Friday, 22 July 2022

The King of Agates

 I am now well into my 8th decade of fascination with rocks- especially agates.

Why agates you say? Diamonds and other gems bore me but agates, with their infinite variety of inclusions, never do. I'm drawn not only to the colours but also the amazing patterns and often wonder under just what conditions they could possibly be formed.

Recently I had a visit from a man who has the same fascination- on steroids!

Pat McMahan lives in Arizona but his agate obsession has taken him all over the world. In the process he has amassed a Smithsonian worthy collection- the second largest in the world!

A few years back, his quest for new varieties brought him to Nova Scotia and to my shop, "The Lap of Lapidary" on Digby Neck and he has now visited on several occasions. Pat is particularly interested in plume agate and sagenite and we are honoured that he has left with several of Vickie's finds.

This year's visit was special. Because of Covid he had not been here for a few years and I was able to acquire a copy of his book.

To say that Pat, over the course of years and with the help of his sons, has written and published a book is like saying Rembrandt "just" painted a picture! His book is titled simply "Agates" and apart from being breathtakingly beautiful(and I don't use that term lightly) it is a stunning treasure, loaded with gorgeous colour photos of agate varieties from all over the world along with unique, valuable information.

"Agates" is a true labour of love as Pat and his sons prepared all the specimens, did all the curating and all the photography themselves.

So if you like agates, you owe it to yourself to visit Pat's website at If you are a lapidary, you will drool at Pat's shop and collection of equipment. And if you are true lover of agates and want to go on a worldwide trek to discover beautiful varieties, indulge yourself and get your own copy of this most beautiful treasure!

Pat in his shop

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