One of the most unusual thunderegg varieties you'll ever encounter are the Priday Moss thundereggs. These eggs are mined from a relatively shallow hard rock pit on the Richardson Ranch in Jefferson County, Oregon. The eggs are extremely difficult to extract whole and are often hammered out in chunks which are later cut into jewelry. The red, yellow, orange and green mossy filaments form in a translucent agate lens unlike any other thunderegg you'll ever encounter - the red and yellow are the most prized, but the other colors are quite beautiful too. The smaller eggs at the very top of the pit have clear blue lenses. All of the stone in this pit has a greenish colored matrix. You can work for hours to fill a small bucket - my first trip to this mine was in the early 80's and worked with a sledge and hard chisel for an entire afternoon for 5 lbs. of agate! As you can see here there are more productive ways to tackle this classic pit!

The pit is worked mostly by hand, but on occasion John Richardson can be found loosening the ledge and clearing out the tailings with his big backhoe. I helped John experiment with some new teeth for working the hard ledge and was able to recover a good supply of premium eggs that would have otherwise taken me a month to dig! The only other thunderegg I know of that compares are the Red Bed eggs which lie just a few hundred yards over the hill behind the backhoe. It's also a hard rock dig.

The view of the Cascade mountain range from the Richardson Ranch is unmatched. Native American legend held that the thundereggs came from the angered volcanic peeks that would throw them at one another in battle.

This is a fine example of a complete egg recovered on this trip. Note that this one is a double lens with both the blue agate lens in the top and a colorful moss lens in the bottom - a true collector piece! I have a good supply that I've been working with so drop me a note and check availability. I might be coaxed into selling small quantities of rough eggs too.

Tour the rock shop
Ever wonder how we do all this neat stuff? Here's a glimpse at part of the Sticks-in-Stones Rock Shop!



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