Spring Trip 2018 travel blog

FORDITE - Count the layers of paint



Here is a brief history of only in Michigan stones: Fordite, Leland Blue and Petoskey.


Fordite, also known as Detroit Agate or Motor Agate as they are the paint scrapings from old Ford factors in the days cars were painted by hand. One day an enterprising Ford factory worker chipped off the inches thick paint slag from old painting racks and ground them into shapes, applied polish and made fantastically colorful jewelry.

I checked into the stores nearby and a small Fordite pendant costs about $195. eBay carries Corvette Fordite and these are even more. What a recycling bonanza!


Talk about fortuitous, in 1885 the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company went bust due to overhead costs and no good harbor in Leland, Michigan. Tons of slag was dumped into the harbor. Leland Blue is a byproduct of the iron making processes when blue glass is combined with different chemicals producing Leland rock in purple, grey and green as well as blue.

Another enterprising Michigan beachcomber shaped and polished the rocks from Leland beach and created Leland Blue stone jewelry. I goggled the price of one small bead of Leland blue $25.00.


Petoskey stones are fossil coral from 350 million years ago; also Michigan’s official state stone.

According the owner of Treasure Chest in nearby Charlevoix, Petoskey products are the money makers. In this area Petoskey Stones are THE stone to buy. Today I went to a quilt store and they had sold out of Petoskey Stone fabric in one day! There are socks, T-shirt’s, purses, backpacks with Petoskey Stones stitched, stamped or embroidered on them.

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