About

Each morning we come to work curious . . . curious what new wonders we will discover that day in the world of minerals.  Mageia can help you to satisfy such a curiosity, to discover those wonders.

The odd name for our store may be a bit of whimsy, but is no accident. “Mageia” translates roughly as magic in ancient Greek. We believe there is magic in the unending variety of colors, shapes, and characteristics found in the natural world.
children exploring the mineral exhibits
If your interests include building a personal mineral collection, we can assist any budget and every age  — from rare specimens to a special kids’ section.   We think that even the smallest weekly allowance should be able to find enchantment.

What Can You Do Here?  Browse, study, ask, discover.  Linger without limit or interruption over any exhibit that invites your interest.  Our display rooms are spacious, many collectors can share them at the same time.  Pick up the specimens, feel their heft, examine from every angle, or under different light sources.  Show us something you have found in your travels, ask us to identify it.  Find a book to take home and enjoy.

mineral displaysAnd build your own collection.  An amazing number of visitors express the same reaction during their first trip to Mageia:  “It’s like a museum where you can buy what you see.”

We carry a wide range of minerals found throughout the United States, in exotic world wide destinations, and from our back yard, the three most northwestern counties of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (sometimes called “Keweenaw Peninsula”, “Lake Superior Copper District,” or simply “Copper Country”).  For the lapidary interest, we offer rough samples from the most prized locations in the western U.S., plus slabs of such material suitable for polishing or shaping into cabochons. The jewelry section includes cabochons ready to set and a selection of local minerals as well as worldwide faceted gems, available as loose stones or mounted in custom jewelry by Ryland Designs. 

What’s So Special About Our Local Minerals?   This area is famed among rock hounds due to the mineralization that accompanied native copper, which was mined here for over a hundred years. Mining brought thousands of tons of material to the surface as shafts were dug down to the deeply buried copper. Carried along in these excavations and spread over the surface landscape were many collectible minerals, some found throughout the world, but a few found centennial 001only here in this three county area where the copper mines operated. Among the unique local minerals are nodular datolite, copper replacement agates, and “greenstone” (chlorastrolite, a variety of pumpellyite).  In addition, most of the world’s native copper is found in the deposits here, sometimes appearing in crystalline form,  or with silver and silver crystals. At the end of the last ice age, retreating glaciers completed the mineral assortment in this region, depositing what we call “Lake Superior” agates and many other minerals from the northern reaches of our continent.

While we are passionate about our local treasures, over half of our stock is from other U.S. and worldwide origins, allowing us to serve all mineral collecting interests.mageia_sidebar_1

Where Are We?  An unusual question, perhaps, but geography causes many visitors to our remote region to never come across Mageia “by accident.”  The Keweenaw Peninsula can be reached by two completely separate driving routes. From the southwest, M-26 brings visitors via Wisconsin, while a different highway from the southeast, U.S. 41, serves those coming through the lower peninsula of Michigan and over the McKackinaw Bridge.  Northbound U.S. 41 passes our front door in Chassell, a tiny town eight miles before one reaches the ‘big” town in the region, Houghton. (See map link on the left.)

However, visitors from the west via M-26 often have no cause to wander over our way because the copper mines, and today’s collecting centers for copper associated minerals, are on the western side of things.  Moreover, there is no obviously easy connection across from one highway to the other except by going into Houghton on M-26 and coming out on U.S. 41 “back”, it seems, to Chassell.

But it is a trip you will be glad you made.  And we will show you an easy shortcut back — it just isn’t obvious.