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“...Whitecliffs is a small settlement in the Canterbury foothills.  Agates found at this dig site site are highly prized by collectors throughout New Zealand. Whitecliffs agates are multi-coloured, varying from subtle porcelain colours to sardonyx and show both banding and fortification. Agates with crystalline centers are also common. On very rare occasions petrified wood with infilling of porcelain agate can also be found at this site.  The agate nodules found at Whitecliffs are generally are under 100mm in size. However a very small number of larger nodules (up to 250 mm in diameter) have been found at the collecting site. The agates are very difficult to find and a very hard days digging often goes unrewarded. The dig is administered by the Canterbury Mineral and Lapidary Club..”

written by Scott Hardwick, Christchurch