From Northern Michigan shores comes an unlikely gem called Leland Bluestone. Found in small amounts along the beaches, Leland Bluestone has a porous appearance and comes in an array of colors, ranging from purple to rich, deep blue.
More than 100 years old, this stone was created by iron foundaries smelting iron for the railroads. Iron ore was mixed with borax and other chemicals and heated to extreme temperatures. When the ore would reach these hot temperatures, the ‘junk’ would float to the top. This ‘junk’ is bluestone. It was then discarded as slag into the lake and on the shores, creating this manmade jewel. It ranges in size from a small pebble to an 8″ stone.
Rock collectors and jewelers alike flock to the Northern Michigan shores in search of this quickly disappearing stone. If you get a chance to enjoy the incredible beauty of Northern Michigan, take some time off the beaten path to see what you can find along the scenic Lake Michigan beaches.