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Agates

Agates

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
Agates Inside and Out, By Karen A BrzysAgates Inside and Out, By Karen A BrzysAgates Inside Out was written to help rockhounds "think like an agate." Well illustrated with numerous high quality photographs, it presents information to help beginning and experienced agate hunters understand agates "inside out". Chapter 1, "What Is An Agate?", defines what agates are, reviews agates and human history, details agate characteristics, and describes different types of quartz minerals. Chapter 2, "How Did Agates Form?", discusses how agates are formed. This chapter is intended for those of you who live and die agates and want to understand everything about them. It reviews the relevant geology, agate forming influences, agate formation theories, types of host rock, and the timing of agate genesis. The more you understand about agate formation, the more successful you will be in differentiating in the field between an agate and an agate want-to-be. Chapter 3, "How Do You Find Agates?", presents information about the specific characteristics you should be looking for w
Agates Treasures of the EarthAgates Treasures of the EarthAn illustrated Guide to the different agates from around the world • An introduction to the geology and formation of agates
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.
Okapi' Agate Gemstone Beads 13mm Tube - $8.85Okapi' Agate Gemstone Beads 13mm Tube - $8.85Approximate 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.
Parti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 10mm CoinParti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 10mm CoinApproximate Size: 10mm diameter x 5.5mm 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 20 beads. Average strand weight approximately 16 grams. Parti-color agate coins - these are very translucent and gemmy beads.
Parti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 14mm RectanglesParti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 14mm RectanglesApproximate Size: 14mm long x 8.5mm wide x 8.5mm 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 14 beads. Average strand weight approximately 30 grams. Parti-color agate rectangles - these baroque rectangles are very translucent and gemmy beads.
Parti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 16mm RiceParti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 16mm RiceApproximate Size: 16mm long x 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 13 beads. Average strand weight approximately 21 grams. Parti-color agate rice shaped beads - these are very translucent and gemmy beads.
Parti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 6mm RoundParti-color 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 8 inches long and each strand contains approximately 33 beads. Average strand weight approximately 11 grams. Parti-color agate rounds - these are very translucent and gemmy beads.
Parti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 8mm RondelleParti-color Agate Gemstone Beads 8mm RondelleApproximate Size: 8mm diameter x 5.0mm 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 21 grams. Parti-color agate rondelles - these are very translucent and gemmy beads.
The Wonder of the North American AgatesThe Wonder of the North American AgatesSoft cover, 9.00" x 8.25", 136 pages, copyright 2013 Agates - few other natural formations exhibit the tremendous variety seen in these curiously banded gemstones; no two are exactly alike when it comes to color, pattern or shape. And though they are found on every continent, many well-known and significant varieties are present in North America. This book features some of the most famous, most valuable and rarest agates from Canada, the United States and Mexico. The Wonder of North American Agates features: • More than 60 of the most beautiful varieties of agates from across North America • Intriguing, informative text that explains the fascinating differences between agates and why each is significant • Compelling, true-to-life photos that show each agate's special beauty Contents include: Introduction; Understanding Agates; A Brief Overview of North American Agate Varieties, Map of North American Agates, Agates of the Western United States: Baker Ranch thundereggs, Big Diggings
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