YouTube Video: Rock Cutting and Polishing!

YouTube Video: Rock Cutting and Polishing!

I recently posted 7 new picture galleries of over 100 rocks from the ‘deep pit’ found on The Carver. The ‘Deep Pit Agate, Amethyst, Smoky Quartz Geode Gallery’ is divided into 7 separate galleries: 1:  Geodes and Nodules before Cutting 2:  Amethyst Geodes 3:  Citrine Geodes 4:  Banded Blue and Gray Agates and Geodes 5:  Smoky Quartz Geodes 6:  Calcite Geodes 7:  Miscellaneous  These galleries display cut and polished specimens from the ‘deep pit’ and reflect over a year’s worth of work. My YouTube video shows this week’s find of over 15  pounds of new ‘deep pit’ agates and geodes and demonstrates how I cut and polish them in my shop. Be sure to enlarge the video screen for better viewing. Enjoy!     The rock I am holding here is a deep pit agate.

Yellow Agate Gemstone

Yellow Agate Gemstone

I wrote an article for Rock & Gem Magazine, August 2018, which you can check out here at the website, about yellow agates. The article describes in detail that the number of yellow agates found on a very small portion of The Carver was a geological oddity. Pictured here is one of The Carver yellow agates, handcrafted into a gemstone suitable for setting. Yellow agates within the world and family of agates are quite uncommon and yellow agates in jewelry are even more rare.  Enjoy.  

Another Oddball Retrieved from The Carver

Another Oddball Retrieved from The Carver

While there are similarities to the two previous oddballs shown in an earlier posting, this little beauty has red, orange and gold needles radiating from the rind toward the tiny geode center. These needle-like structures are often referred to as ‘rutilated quartz’.   What is cool about these ‘needles’ are the color and the symmetrical  nature  of the ‘needles’ surrounding the tiny geode. This is why rock hunting on The Carver is a constant thrill–always something new and interesting geologically!     previous oddballs

Balmorhea Blue from The Carver

Balmorhea Blue from The Carver

This ‘deep pit’ blue agate from The Carver is reminiscent of the famous ‘Balmorhea Blue’ agate named for Balmorhea, Texas. Balmorhea is a west Texas town located approximately 60 miles north of Alpine, Texas, where The Carver is located.  Interestingly, Balmorhea, in addition to being famous for its blue agate, is also known as the ‘Venice of Texas’. Located in a near desert environment, a huge spring pours out of the ground and feeds a large swimming pool (which is a part of a state park), Balmorhea Lake, and provides water for canals (which run through the center of town). Balmorhea Blue agate is extremely rare as supplies of it have long ago been almost exhausted.  The ‘Carver blue’ agate appears in many of the ‘deep pit’ nodules/agates, some of which have weighed more than 15 pounds.  This is yet another odd but diverse part of The Carver agate field. […]

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Oops! More Beautiful Rock Specimens!

Oops! More Beautiful Rock Specimens!

Fifteen more beautiful rock specimen pics have been added to the Banded Blue and Gray Agate Nodules and Geodes Gallery and the Deep Pit Smoky Quartz Geodes Gallery. The photos shown here are the newest find–just this week. Shown is a beautiful deep blue banded agate geode with multi-colored sagenitic inclusions. The sagenitic inclusions are minerals which crystallized in the pocket (created by a gas bubble in lava) while silica was simultaneously forming the blue bands. This was a relatively large geode, more complex and beautiful than many of the ‘deep pit’ geodes shown in the Deep Pit Galleries. The pit is now mostly explored except for what rain and wind will uncover for me to discover in future explorations. Cattle are also a major factor in making new finds! Go cows!!!  

NEW: “Deep Pit” Amethyst Smoky Quartz Galleries

NEW: “Deep Pit” Amethyst Smoky Quartz Galleries

A 2018 discovery on ‘The Carver agate field’ has now been mostly explored. A year of cutting and polishing the agates, amethyst, and smoky quartz geodes from the ‘deep pit’ find is now displayed in these new photo galleries dedicated to this remarkable geological deposit from The Carver. The ‘deep pit’ was a small area approximately 15 x 30 feet within a larger pit that was approximately 500 x 700 feet.  From this larger pit, only the small pit yielded the geodes, agates and mineral specimens shown here. This is a geological oddity about which I have almost completed a more detailed geological report.  This report should be interesting because two highly respected Texas geologists have provided two differing geological opinions as to the  origins of this extremely peculiar geological find. Click on the links below to enjoy these new galleries and ‘stay tuned’ for more geological information about the […]

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Rare Large Jasper Nodule from the Carver Agate Field

Rare Large Jasper Nodule from the Carver Agate Field

This posting is more about geology than a pretty specimen. Bear with me as I ‘get into the weeds’ to explain why this is rare and is the subject of this posting. How nodules form Gas bubbles in molten lava sometimes, after hardening, leave a bubble or void in the hardened lava which may fill with a silica solution. The silica often creates banded agates or crystal lined voids in the center of the nodule which are called geodes. What is rare and unusual in this large specimen, is that the nodule formed in the gas bubble is essentially jasper, not agate, quartz, or other crystals.  While The Carver agate field has lots of jaspers, they are almost always formed separate from, and outside of, gas bubbles that have formed in the lava. The process by which jasper would completely fill a large gas bubble is apparently uncommon. I have […]

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Odd-ball Geodes from the Carver Agate Field

Odd-ball Geodes from the Carver Agate Field

This green geode is notable because green is a fairly rare color for nodules and geodes found in West Texas. The salmon/orange-colored geode below has an unusual rind surrounding the crystal-filled hollow center of the stone. While these finds are not ‘spectacular,’ they are geologically interesting to serious rock collectors and discovering them would make any collector’s day!

West Texas Baconite from the Carver Agate Field

West Texas Baconite from the Carver Agate Field

This pink and white banded agate looks like a bacon slice and so that is the name I gave it. The upper edge of the ‘baconite’ contains petite quartz crystals–technically euhedral quartz crystals–that formed in the center of a geode of which this is a part. The outer rind of the geode is seen at the bottom edge of the ‘baconite’ specimen.  

Brecciated Jasp/Agate from The Carver Agate Field

Brecciated Jasp/Agate from The Carver Agate Field

The Carver has produced red and yellow jaspers, sometimes mixed with green.   Yellow and red are seen in this photo.  After the jasper had initially formed, volcanic forces cracked/fractured the jasper into angular shards. Eventually a silica solution in either a liquid or semi-liquid state filled the fractured shards and then hardened, cementing the jasper back together.  These shards that are cemented back together are called brecciated.  Since some of the silica filling in the areas between the shards took on a banding (see particularly the upper left corner of the stone), we see a fortification agate which has formed within the brecciated jasper. For this reason, this specimen can be described as jasp/agate (part jasper, part agate) which is brecciated.