Articles by: John Carver

Flower Garden Agates

Flower Garden Agates

This is why I love cutting material from The Carver! Rock 4582 Rock 4538 The oval flower garden agate cab has a white fortification agate in the center. A fortification agate is named for the pattern that would be seen on the ground if one were looking down from above upon an old-fashioned fortress—think Fort Ticonderoga. (See Gemstones of the World, by Walter Schumann, page 134, 1977 edition, for discussion and photos of the fortification agate.) The point of this blog, beyond the beauty of these flower garden agates, is that it is very complicated and difficult to exactly identify a particular type of agate, particularly when many agates contain within them several identifiable specific types of agate. Ergo, this is a flower garden agate with a fortification agate in it. Rock #4538 Detail

Brecciated Lava Agate

Brecciated Lava Agate

This stone was cut as a geological oddity, rather than as a gemstone. I doubt it will ever be set as part of a piece of jewelry. First, you notice three jagged shards or pieces on the left side of the rainbow shaped stone. These shards are from hardened lava that was broken and fell into a crack in the lava surrounding the shards. The lava, which was initially molten and then hardened, was at some later point in time broken by tectonic forces or by volcanic explosion or lifted by rising magma. The crack and the shards were later (How much later, you ask? How the hell would I know?!!) filled in by a silica solution or silica gel that subsequently crystallized and formed the brown material surrounding the three shards. The surrounding material is chalcedony (a micro-crystalline quartz structure). Chalcedony is a common material in many agates and […]

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Winter Stone Cutting and Wood Cutting in Maine

Winter Stone Cutting and Wood Cutting in Maine

My cutting of the voluminous Carver material continues between wood cutting activity to heat my home. Rock #4604 Rock #4606 Winter is wood cutting time in Maine as the swamps and low places, which are otherwise filled with water, freeze hard, leveling out the low muddy places. I access these frozen places on my ATV and cut and haul out my firewood. I split the wood with my wood splitter and then stack it on my porch (a 2 to 4 day supply), move it inside, and then ‘feed’ my wood stove as needed. Stove and Woodpile Splitter and Woodpile Why do I store wood inside when it is piled conveniently on the porch? Because this morning at 5 a.m. it was 7 degrees above zero and at 9:30 a.m. it had dropped to 0 degrees! Warm wood burns easier than cold wood. Cutting rocks is much easier than cutting […]

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Blue Filigree Agate

Blue Filigree Agate

I found it. I cut it. I named it. This is another ‘one off’ from The Carver agate field. The stone is so spectacular, different, and beautiful, that I wish I had another stone or more of the same stone. I do not. Rock #4576: Blue FiligreeClick on the image to enlarge This is a slab from a single geode I cut around Christmas 2021. I strongly urge the viewer to enlarge the photo, if possible. The stone has various shades of blue and there are tiny light blue bubbles that give the agate opalescence, which is to say, it shimmers like an opal. Although the stone is not opal, I believe the same cause of opalescence in opals has caused this specimen to opalesce, e.g., the tiny grayish blue bubbles seen in this stone under magnification create the strong opalescent effect. Rock #4576: Blue Filigree Detail The gold filigree […]

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Green plasma jasper from the shore of the Penobscot Bay, Maine

Green plasma jasper from the shore of the Penobscot Bay, Maine

So far this is the only stone not from The Carver and displayed on this website. Green plasma jasper is found on the shore of many (but not all) Penobscot Bay islands. It is a visitor to the Maine coast, carried by gigantic glaciers nearly two miles thick that came down from Canada to the Penobscot Bay and then melted approximately 10,000 years ago, leaving the green plasma jasper behind. The bedrock source of green plasma jasper has not yet been determined by me, but my guess is that its source is hundreds of miles north of the Penobscot Bay. This uniquely shaped pendant is approximately 3 inches long and set in goldfill. I think it would look good with a heavy gold chain or leather. Green plasma jasper Oval plasma jasper unset

New to the Shop: Pendants!

New to the Shop: Pendants!

After much feedback, I have started a new product, in addition to my silver bracelets. Pendants which are set in sterling silver or goldfill are the new product. The bracelets are only set in sterling silver due to the fact that gold prices are astronomical. The pendants use much less precious metal and are, therefore, more affordable. The pendants also allow for more unusual setting designs and can accommodate more variable stone shapes. The pendants are sold without a chain so that you can decide on the style, length, and weight of the chain that suits you, or use one you may already own. You will find these new Pendants beginning on Page 3 of the Shop. Enjoy them and let me know what you think! Sagenitic agate in goldfill wirewrap Large Carver agate cross-section

Fragmented Filament Agate from The Carver Agate Field + Video

Fragmented Filament Agate from The Carver Agate Field + Video

Between gardening, yard work, and carpentry projects, I have been cutting a few stones this summer. The video below gives you a quick look at what I have been up to. Most of the stones are pretty, but one in particular (the fragmented filament agate) looks like a bottle full of eyebrows or eyelashes. You may ask “What the hell is a fragmented filament agate?” Well, I am going to tell you. Nodules, geodes and agates often form in the inside of gas bubbles that form in lava. The bubbles form while the lava is still hot and pliable. Later, after the lava has cooled, water containing silica and minerals permeate the lava and cracks in the lava entering the ‘bubble’ (technically called a vesicle or vug). Some of these minerals and silica will form a thin layer on the inside of the bubble. This thin layer sometimes scales off […]

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Four Stones I Just Cut and Really, Really Like!!

Four Stones I Just Cut and Really, Really Like!!

Photos 1 and 2: The huge 2 1/4″ cabs were each cut from the same Carver agate/jaspagate. Each has spectacular coloration and pattern and a tiny bluish fortification agate to set off the red/yellow/orange/green coloration. Photo 3: This Carver agate came from a geode slab I cut. Enlarge this picture by clicking on it and take a closer look!! One of the most beautiful agates I have cut! The tiny ‘vug’ goes nearly through the stone and is set off by blue banding. Photo 4: Carnelian agate with spectacular gold sagenitic inclusions.

TexasAmethystAgate Museum, Art Gallery, and Shop: A Video Tour and More!

TexasAmethystAgate Museum, Art Gallery, and Shop: A Video Tour and More!

Watch the tour and then read below for more details on the completion of the new headquarters: The Museum The wall shelves display the best and most diverse specimens I have found on The Carver Agate Field. The shelves are made from local cedar trees I cut on my property and had milled by a neighbor on his ‘bandmill’ sawmill. They are rough but work well! The work and equipment tables are all made from wooden pallets I salvaged from the shop construction project. I added wooden legs with roller wheels on each to allow the easy movement of all the tables. They can be locked in place by brakes on each wheel. The table tops are left over sheathing from the building construction project. The black plastic cabinets and drawers also have wheels and brakes. These contain polished museum specimens that could not fit on the wall shelves. The […]

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Carver Geode with New Mystery

Carver Geode with New Mystery

What are the tiny long black crystals inside the small white geode center? Baffles me! I have cut open and looked at literally thousands of The Carver agate field nodules and geodes, but I have never seen this before. I am hoping to find someone to identify what this is. The fact the tiny fragile crystals survived cutting and washing is amazing to me. I hope some of my West Texas rocker friends can help solve this mystery.