Keweenaw Mineral Days provides a legal opportunity for mineral collecting on surface prepared rock piles of former native copper mines in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, and benefits the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.

This event is hosted by the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum in collaboration with Keweenaw Gem and Gift, Inc.

Overview

Keweenaw Mineral Days has multiple events broken into three registration parts: General Registration, Collecting Event Registration, and Foundry Tour Registration. All participants must complete the General Registration, which gives all participants the following during the event: unlimited visits to the museum, access to our Mineral Surplus Sale, and a 15% discount in the museum’s gift shop and at the Mineral Surplus Sale. With purchase of general registration individuals can then choose to signup for a collecting event(s) or a foundry tour by completing the Collecting Event Registration and/or Foundry Tour Registration. Please see the following sections for the schedule of events, event costs, and age restrictions for different events.

The event organizers have obtained legal permission to access and prepare old mine-rock piles for surface collecting by registered participants during the Keweenaw Mineral Days event. Only pre-registered participants (no on-site registration on the day of the event will be possible) may be on the rock piles during the designated time from 10 am to 3 pm. Event participants are not allowed on the sites at any other time for the privately owned piles.

Prior to each collecting event, an excavator will be used to turn over material on rock piles with the intent of exposing new material (though this cannot be guaranteed) to search through. The freshly exposed rock will often be coated with fine particles ("muck"), which will make finding minerals more challenging. Your eyes are the most essential tool for mineral collecting - personal eye protection is required (you must bring your own). For finding minerals such as datolite or greenstone, your eyes are the only tool. For finding native copper and native silver, a metal detector can be quite valuable (we rent metal detectors), but, you can find native copper without a metal detector. For more information about what to you need to know to participate in the collecting events, please review this document: Keweenaw Mineral Days Participant Recommendations. For more information about mineral collecting on rock piles, including what minerals you might find, please refer to this document: Keweenaw Mineral Collecting.

There is a minimum number of registered participants required to allow Keweenaw Mineral Days events to proceed. While we anticipate this minimum number will be reached, in the event that it is not reached, individual collecting events may be canceled and registered participants will be refunded accordingly.

COVID-19 Operational Requirements

Currently there are not COVID-19 operational requirements. If that changes, an update will be posted here and registered participants will be notified by email.

Event costs & registration information

Registration has three parts

  1. A General Registration fee, required for all participants to be able to participate in the second and third option listed here.
  2. Collecting Event Registration fees for each collecting event each individual wants to attend.
  3. Foundry Tour Registration fee for tour at Keweenaw Gem & Gift's workshop.

General Registration: $18/adult, $12/minor

  • Kickoff Event on July 13 from 7 to 9pm: Join Director/Curator Dr. John Jaszczak to celebrate 120 years of A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, with a presentation, refreshments and dessert!
  • Free admission to the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum from July 11 through July 18
  • 15% off in the museum gift shop from July 11 through July 18
  • Exclusive access to the special Mineral Surplus Sale on Thursday July 14, 1 to 4pm, and 15% off
  • Ability to register for one of the 3 collecting events

There are no age restrictions for General Registration and associated access to the museum and Surplus Mineral Sale. Please note that anyone planning to attend the Mineral Surplus Sale needs to complete the General Registration.

Collecting Event Registration: $65/collection event/person

The three collecting events cost $65 each. Each event requires a separate collecting-event registration. Each collecting event is scheduled from 10 am to 3 pm. Please do not arrive to the collecting event location earlier than 9:30 am. Collecting will not be allowed to start until 10 am following a brief orientation and safety review. General Registration is also required to sign up for any of the 3 collecting events.

Adults 18 years and older can participate in collecting but must read and acknowledge the Liability Release Form 2022 - Adult during registration.

Minors between ages 12 and 17 can participate in collecting when accompanied by a registered adult or guardian and submitting a completed Liability Release Form 2022 - Minors. This completed form can be emailed in advance to Julie Stark at jlstark@mtu.edu. All minors must be individually registered for General Registration and for each collecting event. Collecting event registration for minors is not confirmed and finalized until the form has been received. Once the Liability Release Form 2022 - Minors is received, the registered adult/guardian will be sent an email confirming that registration is now complete for the minor(s).

Minors aged 11 and younger cannot register and are not allowed on the rock piles or at the collecting event locations.

Foundry Tour Registration: $10/person

Want to see a modern foundry in action?! Then register to visit our co-host Keweenaw Gem & Gift's foundry. The tour will be about 1 hour and 15 minutes, and you will be able to see the process of how they melt and process copper for their shop. Be aware that melting temperatures approach 2200°F. We encourage everyone to bring their own eye protection. Keweenaw Gem & Gift will have eye protection available.

You will need to provide your own transportation to the foundry, located in Dollar Bay. Directions will be supplied before the event. Please register for only one of the two available time slots. General registration is required for each person that would like to attend the foundry tour. All ages are welcome.

 

How to register

Registration opens at 9 am on Monday April 25, 2022.

General Registration is required for all participants. Registrations for collecting event(s) and foundry tour are additionally required for reach event you wish to participate in. Please see the section above called "Event Cost & Registration Information" for full details.

Reminder: There is a minimum number of registered participants required to allow Keweenaw Mineral Days events to proceed. While we anticipate this minimum number will be reached, in the event that it is not reached individual collecting events may be canceled and registered participants will be refunded accordingly.

Register here

Schedule of Events

Monday July 11 through Monday July 18

  • Each individual who has completed the General Registration will receive free admission to the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum and 15% discount on gift shop merchandise. Museum hours are 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday.
  • Registered participants will be emailed informational packets regarding the events they registered for. Name tags will be handed out the day of the first event each participant is registered.

Wednesday July 13:

  • 10 am to 3 pm at Wolverine Mine prepared surface mineral collecting. Both General Registration and Collecting Event Registration are required.
  • 7 pm to 9 pm at ATDC Building (across the parking lot from the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum) Kickoff Event with Director/Curator Dr. John Jaszczak to celebrate 120 years of A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, with a presentation, refreshments and dessert! Comes with General Registration.

Thursday July 14:

  • 8:30 to 9:45 am: Foundry Tour at Keweenaw Gem & Gift's smelter
  • 10 to 11:15 am: Foundry Tour at Keweenaw Gem & Gift's smelter
  • 9 am to 5 pm: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Gift Shop Sale (included with General Registration)
    • 15% discount on gift shop merchandise
  • 10 am to 6 pm: Keweenaw Gem & Gift Open House and Sale (included with General Registration)
    • 15% discount on merchandise
  • 1 pm to 4 pm: Surplus Inventory Sale at the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum (included with General Registration)
    • 15% off all items
    • To be held outside, weather permitting

Friday July 15:

  • 10 am to 3 pm at Seneca Mine prepared surface mineral collecting. Both General Registration and Collecting Event Registration are required.

Saturday July 16:

  • 10 am to 3 pm at Central Mine prepared surface mineral collecting. Both General Registration and Collecting Event Registration are required.

Additional Resources

We have compiled a list of recommendations, from protective gear to how to clean found specimens, to help make your Keweenaw Mineral Days an enjoyable experience. Please download the document through this link: Keweenaw Mineral Days Participant Recommendations.

We have also put together a document with what you could expect from your Keweenaw Mineral Days collecting experience. Please download the document through this link: Keweenaw Mineral Collecting.

Metal Detector Rentals

Please click this link for more information on how to rent metal detectors.

Accommodation Recommendations:

Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau provides an excellent web site to begin your lodging search.

Questions?

Please contact Julie Stark at jlstark@mtu.edu with any questions.

Keweenaw Mineral Days Benefits the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum