Chaos vs. Orderly Perfection

Chaos vs. Orderly Perfection

Formed within tuff, a white volcanic ash which has been compressed and hardened, over millions of years, to a very limited extent, is what I describe as a “chaos agate.”

That is not an official agate designation, however.  Apparently, a hodgepodge of mineralization mixes with and in a silica-rich solution which subsequently hardens within the tuff. Since this type of agate forms in a ashy mass, the agate has no orderly shape or form.

Chaos Agate

On the other hand, here is the orderly perfection  of a cabochon from a cross section of a geode.  If you follow this website, you are probably aware that the orderly shape is from the gas bubble in the lava in which geodes form.  A silica-rich solution and mineralization fill the gas bubble and create the geode’s shape.  The gas bubble fills with silica and mineralization through the ‘fill tube,’ so called, which is on the lower right side of the banded agate pictured.  Although there are many theories as to how the bands occur, I believe the electrochemical theory is the best.

Orderly Perfection

Whatever the correct theory, we see in both specimens silica solutions and mineralization coming together to create the coloration that can be both chaotic and orderly.

Chaos and perfect order from the same basic chemical composition.  Ain’t nature something!


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