Polished Collector Grade Thunderegg Agates from Friend's Ranch, Ashwood, Oregon

The deep inky blue-black agate of the Friend's Ranch thundereggs capture my eye the first time I cut one. The edge of the agate is often tinted with more of a red, orange or rootbeer color and the blue is usually accented with some whispy black and/or orange "flames". The effect looks like a halo of fire surrounding a midnight blue agate sky! The lens itself is usually pretty amorphous with no particular shape or pattern that you could call "typical". The eggs themselves are the same way on the outside, perhaps having less character or recognizable shape and pattern than any other thunderegg I've dug. This photo shows an egg still coated in the ash they are entombed in.

The picture isn't lying - this is just how ordinary these rocks look. If you spotted one out of the context of the pit, you'd likely ignore it! The one feature you can find externally is a bulging ring that prodtrudes slightly from the rest of the stone. Since the agate lens is large and flat inside, you want to cut parallel with this ring, and right through it if you can get it to line up well.

Many of the the Friend's Ranch eggs are hollow. They will only rarely form crystal lined geodes, opting more typically to have amorphous, botryoidal lined cavities when they don't fill completely with agate. The matrix polishes well and ranges from red to brown. They often have a layer of opal that is not very stable and will undercut. Some great eggs get left in the pit because they break along this opal line if they've been exposed to weather (freezing & thawing). They range in size from large fruit to melon sized eggs. Sometimes you can dig a big double that is suitable for bookends. You can move a couple of feet in this bed and go from great eggs to hollow, fragile junk. It's a risky dig if you're digging commercially because you could end up with a lot of duds if you're unlucky and given the average size, the cost of the waste adds up quickly. To complicate matters, the rancher that owns the dig has doubled the price for digging and eliminated any commercial discounts (most ranchers will provide a quantity discount if you dig a significant fraction of a ton). This is probably going to backfire and reduce interest in the bed to the point that it can't be maintained and won't be producing much longer. I dug a barrel full a couple of summers ago that will keep me producing for a while though so if you want a collector grade egg from this bed, visit these pages every now and then and see which ones we liked the best!

Click here to see field photos of the Friend's Ranch Thunderegg Mine


Drop us a note or take advantage of the PayPal shopping cart & automated purchase checkout if you'd like a really nice Friend's Ranch thunderegg agate for your own collection!

Flawless Friend's Ranch Thunderegg. Midnight blue agate lens - a classic! 5", approx. 1.84 lbs. - PRICE:$55.00 - SOLD

This may be the single most beautiful thunderegg of this variety I've ever cut. Other half is in my collection. Absolutely incredible (and uncommon) drusy crystal geode center - this one has it all. PERFECT - you won't see one better! 5 1/2", approx. 2 3/4 lbs. - PRICE:$85.00 - SOLD

An unflattering photo of a beautiful thunderegg with a nice star. 6 1/2", approx. 2 lbs. - PRICE:$45.00 - SOLD

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