Seriously, the easiest way to spot a moonstone among all those other rocks on the beach is when the
sun shines. The moonstones are transparent and translucent so when the sun hits them they literally glow. Arguments can be made as to when the best tides are for agate hunting on our Humboldt County beaches. The high tides wash them up and the low tides expose them. Many of my best finds have been at the high tide line and many have been at negative low tide near the water. Some people stay in one location and dig for them. I like to walk. Just walking along I find many stones that catch my eye and stand out from the rest. Our moonstones come in a variety of colors including clear, grey, yellow, orange, red and black. When formed they have a “rind” on them that can have all sorts of crazy patterns including paisleys, stripes, spots, and swirls.
Remember too that we have so many wonderful agates besides the moonstones. California jade, red and green jaspers, serpentine (our state rock), petrified wood, carnelian, Oregon picture stone, and bloodstone to name a few of the beautiful stones that get naturally tumbled on our local beaches. When these stones are wet you can see what they will look like after a final polish in a rock tumbler.
Oh! But please be careful. Agates are harder than steel and the forces that tumble them are the same forces that can tumble you to smithereens. We have “sneaker waves” here. If the sand is wet it will be wet again real soon. Never turn your back on the water. Keep your ears open for the sound of incoming and crashing waves. We lose a few beachcombers to our coastal waters every year. If you are unfamiliar with how to read surf-sets choose the high tide line method of agate hunting. No need to be near the waves and lots of beautiful stones are found higher up the beach.