About Pat

Pat McMahan was born in Los Angeles, California in 1947. At the age of eight, he met Professor Ade, a neighbor and a well-known rockhound, who collected in the 1930s. 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. 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 their two boys, Scott and Chad, to the desert for camping and rock collecting. 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 graduated from the University of Southern California in 1969. His major was business, but he loved the earth sciences and studied geology, 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.

Selling his business at age 42 and retiring, Pat has spent much of the past 26 years collecting agates. He and his family relocated to Sedona, Arizona, where he joined the Sedona Gem and Mineral Club. His long years of intensive rock hunting resulted in one of the most comprehensive collections of sagenite, plume and banded agate, in the world. More than 8,000 polished agates and other specimens from over 550 locations can be admired at his “Museum of Agates” at his home in Arizona. Most of the agates in his collection have been dug and collected by Pat, and all of them are awe-inspiring.

Pat has spent considerable time mining on the Laguna and Coyamito Ranches in Mexico with Gene Mueller from thegemshop.com. He has dug “Condor Agate” at over a dozen localities in Argentina, and collected in all 11 Western states in the U.S., as well as in Canada and Alaska. He has displayed agates in rock shows in Europe and across the United States. He has published articles in Rock and Gem Magazine and the German magazine, Mineralien Welt, and was a contributing writer on the topic of agates with inclusions in Johann Zenz’s authoritative book, Agates II.

Pat has finished his book which exhibits his finest agates. The book is called: Agates, The Pat McMahan Collection. It can be found HERE. The book will be available for purchase on May 1st, 2016.