On The Rocks
Michigan and Beyond
Welcome to our photo gallery!
Below are photos of a small sampling of our past and current pieces. Please call, email or message us on Facebook and we'd be happy to help you find what you are looking for!
Well before dinosaurs roamed the earth, over 350 million years ago during the Devonian period, the land we know as Michigan was located near the equator. Covered by a warm, shallow, saltwater sea, the colonial coral hexagonaria percarinata thrived with other marine life in tropical reefs. The earth’s plates moved and pushed Michigan north to the 45th parallel and above sea level, which created dry land formations. More recently, about two million years ago, glacial action scraped the earth and spread the fossils across the northern Lower Peninsula, depositing major concentrations in the Petoskey area. The prehistoric fossil, unique to the Traverse Group rock strata, is called the Petoskey Stone and is Michigan’s official state stone.
Leland Blue (Antique Foundry Glass)
This unique material was a byproduct of the short-lived days of smelting iron ore in Northwestern Michigan. The Upper Peninsula Mesabi iron ranges supplied the ore. A high grade charcoal made only from beech and maple combined with local limestone flux reduced the iron ore to pig iron, creating a unique foundry glass. Smelting began in 1875 and by 1900 had ceased due to lack of hardwood.
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Fordite, AKA Detroit agate, is an interesting and historic byproduct of a bygone age. These unique “gems” are actually layer upon layer of enamel paint which built up over time in the Ford auto plant paint booths as each car was spray-painted individually. When the paint accumulated into thick layers, it became necessary to remove it, which auto workers did by cracking it off with hammers. The vast majority of this material was discarded, but fortunately a few workers familiar with lapidary (art of stone-cutting) salvaged some choice pieces. This is a true piece of American history.