Pat McMahan

pat_mcmahan_pic  Pat McMahan was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1947. At the age of 8 he met Professor Ade, a well know rockhound who collected in the 1930’s. He had fabulous material and took Pat under his wing, teaching him how to cut, polish, distinguish the various rocks, document his collection and prepare displays for shows. With Professor Ade’s influence Pat came to love sagenite and plume agate. Little did Professor Ade know that he was creating a life-long obsession for Pat. Pat focused on rocks until he was 12 years old then set the hobby aside until he was about 35 and had kids of his own. He got a guidebook and took his wife Kathy and two boys Scott and Chad to the desert camping and rock collecting.
Pat graduated from the University of Southern California in 1969. His major was business but he loved the earth sciences and studied geology, systematic botany, and more. Upon graduation he worked in his family’s office furniture business and after 15 years opened his own retail stores in Santa Barbara and Ventura.
After selling his business at age 42 and retiring, Pat has spent much of the past 26 years collecting agates. His long years of intensive collecting resulted in the best and most comprehensive collection of sagenite and plume agate in the world. His “Museum of Agates” in Cottonwood, Arizona , houses more than 8,000 polished agate specimens from over 550 locations. Pat is able to cut large amounts of rock with his 18 slab saws. It is astounding that most of the agates in his collection have been collected by Pat himself, all of them of awe-inspiring quality.
Pat has collected at many agate deposits in Mexico over the past 20 years and commercially mined the Laguna and Coyamito Ranches with Gene Mueller of The Gem Shop, Inc. Pat has dug Condor Agate at over a dozen localities in Argentina, has collected agates in all 11 Western states, the Lake Superior region, and has collected in Panama, Canada, and Alaska. In addition to plume, sagenite, and dendritic agates, he has a collection of quality banded agates and fine jaspers. One of the agates he found is on the front cover of the first “Agates” book by Johann Zens. He has displayed agates in rock shows in Europe and across the U.S. Pat has published articles in Rock and Gem Magazine and the German magazine Mineralien Welt and is the author of a chapter on agates with inclusions in the authoritative book “Agates II”. has just completed “Agates, The Pat McMahan Collection”. A 496 page book with 1,250 photos of agates from over 300 locations. It is being introduced at 2016 Agate Expo.
He can be reached through his website