Some of my favorites are the Dryhead Agates he found - from the Bighorn Canyon area of Montana, just north of the Wyoming border. This is a remote area which, even today, is largely unsettled.
photo by Cecilia Doan
The bands inside the agates formed when layers of silica crystallized. Agates with bands, such as the three shown above, are called "fortification" agates. The origin of the word fortify stems from the Latin word fortis, meaning strong. Like a fortress viewed from above, they are truly magnificent.
It is hard to describe how it feels when I'm sorting through the stones my Grandfather left behind. Many are cut and polished, ready to set. Others are much like rocks you'd see while hiking, you'd never notice them. I often wonder what his plans for each stone were. Perhaps an ornate belt buckle, or ring, or cuff. I also wonder what year it was, what clothes he wore, and if my Grandmother was there.
There are so many things I'm curious about. Which is exactly how he would want it.