Ellensburg Blue Agate

Out here in Washington, there’s a blue chalcedony found East of the
mountains near Ellensburg called, of course, Ellensburg Blue Agate.
I’ve been getting some inquiries lately, but just can’t seem to find
a gem dealer who has the stuff. Of course the real local agate sells
for many times the cost of blue lace agate or holly blue.

Anyone have a source?

Michael Babinski
Foxfire Jewelers


Finding real Ellensburg blue is like finding hen’s teeth! I found
one dealer at Tucson last year who had a small stash. Bought one
small piece (around 40 cts as I remember) at a cost of over $40!
Good luck.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!

Dear Michael,

Ellensburg Blue Agate is also known as Blue Chalcedony and you can
find lots of it from many members of the AGTA (American Gem Trade
Assoc.) I remember what was shown 20 some years ago as "true"
Ellensburg Blue to have a bit more of a periwinkle cast to it, but
check with the AGTA and I’ll bet you find a good source.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228

I don’t have a source but I have found that when I’m looking for
natural materials if I check with rock clubs in the area I can find
what I need.

I am in Spokane Wa. and belong to the Rock Rollers. If you check
with a rock shop in your area they can probably put you unto a club.
The club will know what its members work with and can put in touch
with source. They can usually cut you whatever you need as well.

I don’t know anyone selling Ellensburg Blue commercialy.

You might also check with the Northwest Federation of Mineralogy.
They can also lead you too clubs and possibly other sources.

John (Jack) Sexton

Ellensburg Blue has been mined for many years by the Carlson family,
of Tacoma, WA. They can be contacted through Carlson Bros., Jewelers
in tacoma. Ask for Carl, tell them Wayne Emery sent you.

They MIGHT sell some rough to someone out of the area; they have
built a good business for the material in Tacoma over the 50 or so
years they have been in business. They can also dorect you to
someone in the Tacoma Agate Club, and many of the members have some
of the material. I do too, somewhere…what do you need?

Wayne Emery

Dear Wayne,

I went to this mine when I was in Tacoma a few years back and still
have some of the material that I purchased at the time.

Please put me right, I thought the stone was called "Blue John"or do
they use both names?

I still have not decided how to set it as it is so fragile.


To all re Ellensburg Blue

I am not an expert on Ellensburg Blue but have a few pieces (as I
mentioned in an earlier post) and have sought out other blue
chalcedonys. One that looks a lot like EB is the Montana Glory Blue
and a number of the blues coming out of Africa these days. Blue
chalcedony is, as Nanz says, available from many of the AGTA members
and at various shows.

However, just any blue chalcedony is not necessarily EB (and
probably isn’t)!! If you want a good rundown on EB, where its from,
and who has it I suggest you take a look at

If you Google Ellensburg Blue you will find a few other sites on EB
that explains why it is different from other blue chalcedonys.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SoFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!

Please put me right, I thought the stone was called "Blue John"or
do they use both names? 

Ellensburg blue is chalcedony. Blue John is a type of blue-streaked
fluorite or more accurately, fluorospar, that is found only in Blue
John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern in England. It is sometimes called
“Derbyshire spar.”

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


Blue John is actually a name applied to calcium flouride material
also known as flourite. The name is normally used in Britain for
specific material mined there. It is quite soft compared to EB but is
beautiful in its own right. The name is I believe actually a
derivitive from French that means ‘yellowish blue’.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!

Hi Sam,

“Blue John” is a miner’s term for blue fluorite. The mine site
operated by the Carlson’s is definitely not open to the public, very
private, as one might expect. Maybe there’s some confusion…their
mine is up in the Cascades, where the chalcedony occurs in the
Teanaway basalt formation. And it is definitely NOT
fragile…probably some of the toughest stuff on Earth!


The name “Blue John” is usually applied to a blue fluorite material
much softer than Ellensburg blue agate…which is actually a
chalcedony. The Romans used “Blue John” mined in England (Wales??) to
make things like wine goblets. But they were treated with something
to help the material stay together. Probably a pitch, if I remember
right. I think today it is strengthened with plastic.

Rose Alene McArthur

It is Derbyshire,

the stuff that comes out now is fairly small, in the Geological
museum in London there used to be two vases about 18" high and 12"
wide, made from 3" slices of Blue John…


Hi Wayne You are right there was no admission to the mine itself,
which was a family concern if I remember it correctly.

I made my purchases in a tourist type gift shop, perhaps as you say
they were not fragile but irregularly shaped, however it was years
ago and my memory at my age is not what it was.