Acasta Island

How is the Acasta Gneiss collected?

To collect pieces of this rare rock, a flight must be chartered from the city of Yellowknife to a small outcrop approximately 300km north of the city.  Flights leading to the small, remote island can be complicated by extreme weather conditions such as choppy waters, severe wind, blizzards, and low visibility and chartered flights are not always able to land.  Once arriving at the site, one will first notice a metal silo and once on shore, a closer inspection reveals the title Acasta City Hall, established 4.03 Ga (billion years ago), which is a building used for research expeditions and student field trips.  From this site, Rock of Ages’s owner Mark Brown and others are able to collect less than 800 pounds of rock each trip from the Rock of Ages claim.  Due to expensive nature of collecting, chartered flights to the Rock of Ages occur every other year or sometimes less.

The geological specimen that we get or rocks from contains the mineral zircon, which has been age dated at 3.962 billion years. Each and every piece of this rock came from the site where the world’s oldest known intact crustal rock was discovered, on an island in the Acasta River, Nortwest Territories, Canada.

 Dragons Den Episode

Rock of Ages Featured on the Dragon' Den 2012

Yellowknife native and self-made prospector, Mark Brown was featured on the Dragon’s Den in 2012 to pitch the Rock of Ages.  

 Buckingham Palace Thank You

Letter from Buckingham Palace

A gift sample of Acasta River Gneiss was sent to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Mars Rover

Welcome to Yellowknife, Mars

On August 5th, 2012, NASA’s Mars Rover named Curiosity touched down on the Red Planet and it was decided to name the landing spot Yellowknife after the northern town’s relationship with the Acasta Gneiss also known as the Rock of Ages. The Acasta Gniess has been dated using U-Pb isotopes which revealed an approximate maximum age of 4.03 billion years old.

 God Particle

Higgin’ partical ‘The god partical’ 13.5 Billion years

“Around the world, scientists working in Geneva, Switzerland grabbed headlines in July, 2012 with the announcement of a new discovery about the origin of the universe. Bold headlines shouted the news: Higgs quest finds what looks like ‘God particle’.

The excitement concerned their announcement of the discovery of a new subatomic particle. It is sometimes called the “God particle” because its existence is fundamental to the creation of the universe.

Thousands of international scientists have been cooperating since the 1960s when physicist Peter Higgs of Edinburgh University in Scotland put forward his theory. At that point, there was agreement that the Big Bang had occurred, but until this discovery, weren’t sure why or how. This discovery will enable–what else? –further research into the mysteries of the universe.” -Rock of Ages (Carolyn Pogue)