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Amethyst

Amethyst

Agate is silicon dioxide, a gemstone variety of the tectosilicate mineral quartz in the trigonal crystal system. Agate is a variety of chalcedony, quartz with an microcrystalline texture so fine that its crystalline nature is too small to see clearly even under strong magnification. Agate occurs in numerous varieties including banded, brecciated, dendritic, spotted and sagenitic forms and in endless color combinations. Although it also occurs in other rock types, agate is classically associated with cavities in basalts that cool so rapidly upon flooding the surface gas bubbles are trapped within. Silica dissolved from the lava coagulates as a gel inside the bubbles, eventually hardening and crystallizing into an agate nodule. As the lava weathers and decomposes, the more resistant agate nodules are freed and become buried in soil or may be transported through erosion and deposited in streams and along shorelines.

Agates are world-wide in occurrence with notable localities including Australia, Austria, Botswana, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Russia, Uruguay, and the United States. Within the United States, California, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, North and South Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wyoming are among the states with well known agate localities. The use of agate and other chalcedonies as ornamental stones is prehistoric. Agate is one of the 12 stones mentioned in the Bible description of the priest Aaron's chest plate. Onyx, a variety of agate with alternating black and white bands, was prized by ancient Romans who employed it in the fine art of cameo making. The German town of Idar-Oberstein has been famous for high quality agate work since the Middle Ages, and became especially famous for its carved agate bowls and other vessels.

Agate is most commonly presented in jewelry as cabochons, beads and carvings. Agate is a relatively tough and hard material (7 Mhos hardness) with good wear characteristics and resistance to abrasion. Agate wears well in rings and bracelets and is commonly employed as a gemstone in all types of jewelry. Agate does not have specific care requirements, but conservative gemstone precautions should be observed when cleaning and storing agate for the sake of preserving the original condition of the stone. It is safest to clean agates using warm water, mild soap and a cloth or soft brush. Do not use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner and keep agates out of contact with excessive heat, acids, ammonia and other chemical or abrasive cleaners.

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African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 14mm Coin African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 14mm Coin Approximate Size: 14mm diameter x 5.5mm thick. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 29 beads. Average strand weight approximately 43 grams. These African Green Opal coins display a unique, eye-catching mixture of earth tone jasper matrix embedded with green opal.
African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 14mm Square African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 14mm Square Approximate Size: 14mm long x 14mm wide x 5mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 29 beads. Average strand weight approximately 48 grams. These African Green Opal squares display a unique, eye-catching mixture of earth tone jasper matrix embedded with green opal.
African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 18mm RectangleAfrican Green Opal Gemstone Beads 18mm RectangleApproximate Size: 18mm long x 13mm wide x 6mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 23 beads. Average strand weight approximately 57 grams. These African Green Opal rectangles display a unique, eye-catching mixture of earth tone jasper matrix embedded with green opal.
African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 40mm Rectangle African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 40mm Rectangle Approximate Size: 40mm long x 30mm wide x 7mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 10 beads. Average strand weight approximately 115 grams. These African Green Opal rectangles display a unique, eye-catching mixture of earth tone jasper matrix embedded with green opal.
African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 8mm Rondelle African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 8mm Rondelle Approximate Size: 8mm diameter x 5mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 76 beads. Average strand weight approximately 38 grams. These African Green Opal rondelles display a unique, eye-catching mixture of earth tone jasper matrix embedded with green opal.
African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 8mm Round African Green Opal Gemstone Beads 8mm Round Approximate Size: 8mm diameter. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 50 beads. Average strand weight approximately 35 grams. These African Green Opal rounds display a unique, eye-catching mixture of earth tone jasper matrix embedded with green opal.
Amazonite Gemstone Beads 10mm CoinAmazonite Gemstone Beads 10mm CoinApproximate Size: 10mm diameter x 5mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 8 inches long and each strand contains approximately 19 beads. Average strand weight approximately 15 grams. Natural amazonite coins with pleasing translucent pastel blue-green color
Amazonite Gemstone Beads 10mm SquareAmazonite Gemstone Beads 10mm SquareApproximate Size: 10mm long x 10mm wide x 5mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 8 inches long and each strand contains approximately 16 beads. Average strand weight approximately 16 grams. Natural amazonite diagonally drilled squares with pleasing translucent pastel blue-green color.
Amazonite Gemstone Beads 14mm RiceAmazonite Gemstone Beads 14mm RiceApproximate Size: 14mm long x 7mm diameter. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 8 inches long and each strand contains approximately 14 beads. Average strand weight approximately 14 grams. Natural amazonite rice shape beads with pleasing translucent pastel blue-green color.
Amazonite Gemstone Beads 8mm RondelleAmazonite Gemstone Beads 8mm RondelleApproximate Size: 8mm diameter x 5mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 8 inches long and each strand contains approximately 40 beads. Average strand weight approximately 22 grams. Natural amazonite rondelles with pleasing translucent pastel blue-green color.
Amazonite Gemstone Beads 8mm RoundAmazonite Gemstone Beads 8mm RoundApproximate Size: 8mm diameter. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 8 inches long and each strand contains approximately 25 beads. Average strand weight approximately 18 grams. Natural amazonite rounds with pleasing translucent pastel blue-green color.
Botswana Agate Gemstone Beads 10mmBotswana Agate Gemstone Beads 10mmApproximate Size: 10mm diameter. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 40 beads. Average strand weight approximately 58 grams. Locality: Botswana, Africa These gemmy Botswana agate rounds show the finely striped patterns and rich palette of colors characteristic of this fine variety of fortification agate.
Botswana Agate Gemstone Beads 13mm TubeBotswana Agate Gemstone Beads 13mm TubeApproximate Size: 13mm long x 4mm diameter. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 30 beads. Average strand weight approximately 12 grams. Locality: Botswana, Africa These gemmy Botswana agate tubes show the finely striped patterns characteristic of this fine variety of fortification agate. These tubes were cut from predominately smoky color material.
Botswana Agate Gemstone Beads 14mm OvalBotswana Agate Gemstone Beads 14mm OvalApproximate Size: 14mm long x 10mm wide x 4.5mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 29 beads. Average strand weight approximately 26 grams. Locality: Botswana, Africa These gemmy Botswana agate ovals show the finely striped patterns and rich palette of colors characteristic of this fine variety of fortification agate.
Botswana Agate Gemstone Beads 6mm CubeBotswana Agate Gemstone Beads 6mm CubeApproximate Size: 6mm long x 6mm wide x 6mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 66 beads. Average strand weight approximately 36 grams. Locality: Botswana, Africa These gemmy Botswana agate cube shaped beads show the finely striped patterns and rich palette of colors characteristic of this fine variety of fortification agate.
Botswana Agate Gemstone Beads 6mm RoundBotswana Agate Gemstone Beads 6mm RoundApproximate Size: 6mm diameter. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 66 beads. Average strand weight approximately 21 grams. Locality: Botswana, Africa These gemmy Botswana agate rounds show the finely striped patterns and rich palette of colors characteristic of this fine variety of fortification agate.
Botswana Agate Gemstone Beads 8mm RondelleBotswana Agate Gemstone Beads 8mm RondelleApproximate Size: 8mm diameter x 5mm thick. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details. Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 74 beads. Average strand weight approximately 35 grams. Locality: Botswana, Africa These gemmy Botswana agate rounds show the finely striped patterns and rich palette of colors characteristic of this fine variety of fortification agate.
Diamonds  Diamonds Carat for carat, fine diamonds are among the most desirable and expensive items on Earth. Diamonds provide the standard of price, beauty and value against which all other gemstones are measured. More than unsurpassed in beauty and sparkle, no other gemstone has so many desirable attributes combined. In Diamonds, well known and authoritative gem and mineral author Fred Ward provides superb photos to illustrate his discussion of this gem. Chapters include History and Lore, The Hunt for Treasure, Romancing the Stone, Jewels and Artifacts, Synthetic and Industrial Diamonds, and Buying and Caring for Diamonds. Diamonds is sure to be appreciated by anyone with an interest in the history, lore and characteristics of this incomparable stone.
EmeraldsEmeraldsEmeralds are the premier gems in the beryl family. For more than 4,000 years, emeralds have been among the most valuable of all jewels. In Emeralds, well known and authoritative gem and mineral author Fred Ward provides superb photos to illustrate his discussion of this gem. Chapters include History and Lore, The Hunt for Treasure, Romancing the Stone, Jewels and Artifacts, lab-Grown Emeralds and Imitations, and Buying and Caring for Emeralds. Emeralds is sure to be appreciated by anyone with an interest in the history, lore and characteristics of this precious stone.
JadeJadeIn Jade, Fred Ward presents the history and lore of jade. Chapters include In the Beginning, China and the Stone of Heaven, The Olmec, Maya and Aztec in Mesoamerica, The Maori in New Zealand, Jade today in Burma, China, Canada, New Zealand, Guatemala, Russia and the United States, and Buying and Caring for Jade. Any reader with an interest in gemstones and jade will appreciate this beautifully illustrated book.
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