[bolded]PRINCESS SODALITE MINE[/bolded] ROCK SHOP
Located 4 km East of Bancroft on Highway 28 at 31241 Hwy 28E
A few things offered at the Princess Sodalite Mine Rock Shop
- Local and Worldwide Mineral and Fossil Specimens
- Rock Farm Collecting
- Canadian Soapstone Carvings
- Silver and Gemstone Jewelry
- Rock Crafts & Gifts
- Candle holders
- Wind chimes
- Decorative minerals and large slices of various attractive stone
A Bit of History
As you make your way down the path towards the rock farm, you are walking past a rock face on your right that was a part of one of Bancroft’s most interesting mining operations – the quarrying of the deep blue mineral called sodalite.
During her visit to the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo , New York , the Princess of Wales was so captivated by a gift of Bancroft sodalite that arrangements were made to quarry enough to decorate her London residence, Marlborough House. In 1906, these hillsides were worked by the owners of the property for this mineral and shortly after, 130 tonnes of the rock were shipped to England to be used as a decorative stone in the Princess’ royal home. And that is from where the name “Princess Sodalite Mine” comes.
Today, sodalite is commonly used in the creation of jewelry and as an ornamental stone. It is also the mineral most people associate with the uniqueness of the Bancroft region’s mineral heritage.
The pieces of sodalite you will find in the rock farm vary in the intensity of blue. Look for pieces that are a deep blue colour. Surrounding the mineral you will usually find a grayish-white mineral called nepheline. Nepheline syenite gneiss (pronounced “nice”) is the main rock which surrounds you.
Since 1961, when the site was first opened to collectors, visitors have been made welcome. Andy Christie, the current owner, will do his best to make your visit a worthwhile experience. Good collecting!
The Rock Farm
When Andy Christie bought the property, a small “rock farm” was already in place. Andy felt there needed to be a place for young people to actually pick over a large number of rock and mineral pieces until they found the samples they wanted to take home with them and so the rock farm was expanded to its current size – a place where collectors both young and old could harvest a vast variety of specimens and do it at a price that was affordable. Andy keeps adding to the farm so each visit brings new opportunities to fine “keepers”, samples that you and your children have collected that can be kept for a life-time. What You Might Find at the Farm
The rock farm is always changing; new “crops” are added while others are being collected. But there are some rocks and minerals which you can find most of the time at the farm. Take your time when you’re collecting. Look, pick-up, look some more until you find a piece that you are happy to take home with you.
Rules of the Rock Farm (these are mandated by their insurance company so no exceptions will be made)
1. Everyone who wishes to enter must have approved safety glasses. Prescription glasses and/or sunglasses are not acceptable. They do have safety glasses for sale in the store at a minimal cost.
2. Footwear must be completely enclosed. Absolutely nothing with any form of holes other than the one your foot goes in will be accepted.
Princess Sodalite Mine Rock Shop
31241 Hwy 28E
For more information, please visit their website.
[…] The sodalite stones that Aura Stone Designs uses are sourced from Brancroft and specifically from the Princess Sodalite Mine. During her visit to the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo , New York , the Princess of Wales was so captivated by a gift of Bancroft sodalite that arrangements were made to quarry enough to decorate her London residence, Marlborough House. In 1906, 130 tonnes of the rock were shipped to England to be used as a decorative stone in the Princess’ royal home. And that is from where the name “Princess Sodalite Mine” comes from (more info here). […]
Looking for a new home for my lapidary equipment. I’m located in Sault Ste Marie Ontario. I can be emailed at deepseeker52@yahoo for details and photos.
We would be interested in seeing what you have ,our family has a small rock tumbler and we are very interested in making rock stuff again.Please if you still have stuff let us know. Stephani and Neil
contact the mine on their website….you have asked your question on a tourism site. 🙂
Could you please tell me if i could dig up my stones on your property?
I have inherited my dads rock collection and they don’t all have names on them. I was wondering if I. Fought the collection to you if you could tell me the names of his specimens?
Thank you in advance
I received a pair of earnings purchased at your store around 1996. They are sterling with the beautiful light blue stone. Can you tell me the name of the stone. Thank you.
My family (Nadine Brumell and two children ) ran a geological supply buisness named “Shield Collectors” We bought many specimens from the ,then owner Mr Carl Boziak. It was always a real treat to look through the bins of minerals and rocks . We found the huge piece of Sodalite that Carl sent to EXPO 67 in Montreal. The hwy used to be no. 500 then and all of out locations were tied to the hwy 500 milage from Denbiegh. The rout of the hwy has been changed greatly so most of out locations are lost. Black Starring Corundom was one of our favourites and we often went to Quadville to see the Mc Coys. Rose quartz, Tourmaline (red and black) Green Feldspar and huge Beryl crystals up to 6 in across. Our “Rock Trips “were always huge fun and invariably profitable. We never took to much from any one site so that others would have success. Great and fond memories of Carl and Don and the Gemboree. All so long ago. Glad the mine is still operating at some level. We lived near Cloyne. I would be happy to hear from other with local memories. I live in Kamloops BC now and am still rock hounding. I found two large Soadlaite book ends with Proncess sodalite labels on them at Value Village . $15.00 WOW !!! I can’t help myself.
I am an amateur rockhead. I started coming to Princess when I was a child, and I am a senior now! These days I use Princess rocks for landscaping. So you won’t see me hunting for gems. It’s those big fat colorful hunks of sodalite and marble that make my garden outstanding. I also like to fiddle with stones I don’t really know, as a reference. This is a rockhound paradise.
I read that at the crucifixion of Christ his blood fell from the cross onto a Jasper gem that was located on nearby ground which created a new gem called bloodstone otherwise known as Heliotrope. I have also noticed it is an alternative birthstone for the month of March. I am looking for some of this gem if it could be shipped to New Brunswick or my parents farm in Ontario if necessary.