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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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Agates and Jaspers BookAgates and Jaspers BookThere are many excellent books currently on the market describing banded agates, but there are few with an emphasis on the other structural varieties.There are virtually no current books with images and descriptions of the wide array of fine jaspers presently available. This book tries to fill that void with 240 pages and over 1000 color photos and diagrams describing the structural features of both Agates and Jaspers. It provides an introduction to their genesis, details of their structural characteristics, and a multitude of macro and micro photographs. It's a starting point for some of the current scientific theories of their formation, and contains references to more in-depth studies. No other variety of material offers so many combinations of patterns and spectral colors. Main index sections include: Fortification Agates, Plume Agates, Moss & Tube Agates, Sagenitic Agates, Other Agates, Jaspers, Brecciated Jasper, Orbicular Jasper, Scenic Jasper, Rhyolite, and Fossil Mater
Confetti Jasper Gemstone Beads 14mm RiceConfetti Jasper 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 18 grams. These richly variegated jasper rice shaped beads display a rainbow of colors.
Dragon's Blood Jasper Gemstone Beads 14mm OvalDragon's Blood Jasper Gemstone Beads 14mm OvalApproximate Size: 14mm 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 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 29 beads. Average strand weight approximately 38 grams. These Dragon's Blood Jasper ovals are aptly named. This is a unique and aesthetic material exhibiting an eye pleasing and attention drawing contrast of colors.
Dragon's Blood Jasper Gemstone Beads 15mmDragon's Blood Jasper Gemstone Beads 15mmApproximate Size: 15mm long x 15mm 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 26 beads. Average strand weight approximately 69 grams. These Dragon's Blood Jasper cushions are aptly named. This is a unique and aesthetic material exhibiting an eye pleasing and attention drawing contrast of colors.
Dragon's Blood Jasper Gemstone Beads 20mmDragon's Blood Jasper Gemstone Beads 20mmApproximate Size: 20mm long x 15mm 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 20 beads. Average strand weight approximately 71 grams. These Dragon's Blood Jasper rectangles are aptly named. This is a unique and aesthetic material exhibiting an eye pleasing and attention drawing contrast of colors.
Dragon's Blood Jasper Gemstone Beads 8mm RoundDragon's Blood Jasper 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 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 49 beads. Average strand weight approximately 42 grams. These Dragon's Blood Jasper rounds are aptly named. This is a unique and aesthetic material exhibiting an eye pleasing and attention drawing contrast of colors.
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