Geology

New Carver Report: Bullfrog Agate from Texas

New Carver Report: Bullfrog Agate from Texas

Bullfrog Agate, named by me, reflects the specific single and small location where this unique agate is found on The Carver Agate Field, located near Alpine, Texas. Bullfrog Agate has a formative process which is different from the geodes, nodules, agates and jaspers found throughout The Carver. Bullfrog Agate is characteristically identified by the soft white rind almost always surrounding a dazzlingly diverse array of colors and agate forms, which contain highly varied and spectacular sagenitic material. For the full geological report and many more photos of this rare and fascinating agate, see Bullfrog Agate Report, the latest of the Carver Reports.

From Western Europe to Northport, Maine

From Western Europe to Northport, Maine

Eons ago, the featured stone was part of western Europe. It was part of the European plate which, according to plate tectonic scientists, crashed into the North American plate. When this occurred, a small portion of the European plate broke off and was left stranded. It attached to the North American plate when the two plates subsequently parted again. This plate movement slowly increased the distance between Europe and North America, which created the Atlantic Ocean. As these plates continued to move apart, there was a ripping of the ocean floor in the Atlantic, which explains the volcanic activity that is still going on in Iceland and the mid-Atlantic Ocean area. Amphibolite / Rock #5142 So……what about this stone? The featured stone is from that part of the European crustal plate which rammed into what is now Northport, Maine, where my son Josh lives and I have a small camp. […]

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Powerful and Violent Forces Create Brecciated Material

Powerful and Violent Forces Create Brecciated Material

My last posting, “Cryptic Message Leads to Brecciated Pierced Earrings!,” featured brecciated material from The Carver Agate Field. The posting promised more geological information. And, here it is. Brecciated agates or other materials are ‘pieces held together with quartz,’ citing Gemstones of The World, by Walter Schumann, page 134. Sometimes the quartz that holds together the shards of broken rock can form agate between the shards. Rock #4867 In this photo of Rock # 4867, there is a small fortification agate which can be seen between the shards. There is also a lava shard at the top of the photo. Rock #4868 Rock #4868 displays jasper (dark brown horizontal strip near top) and agate shards (lower bottom right) as well as a brown lava shard (lower middle) Rock #4833 Photo 4833 shows yellow/orange jasper shards cemented together by quartz which is mostly not visible except as a bluish material (lower […]

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Maine Coast Plasma Jasper: New Video

Maine Coast Plasma Jasper: New Video

Maine coast plasma jasper is not a native stone. It was carried here by the continental glaciers that covered Maine with 10,000 feet of ice a mere 14,000 years ago. When the ice melted, it left behind on parts of the Maine coast this greenish plasma jasper. The stone is many shades of green to grey, with white flecks and an ‘other worldly’ plasma pattern, similar to a space nebula as seen through a powerful telescope. The jasper is hard and fracture resistant. It polishes, but not easily. It has a waxy texture which is key to identification. It shows a conchoidal fracture. I don’t know the bedrock source of this material except that it is north of here in Maine or Canada. Rock #4337 : Click to enlarge Rock #4338 : Click to enlarge Rock #4367 : Click to enlarge

Banded Agate Mimics Banded Jasper

Banded Agate Mimics Banded Jasper

Until magnification, each of these banded agates appear to be comprised of the red and yellow jaspers which are so common on The Carver agate field. Magnification (see third photo), however, reveals that these bands are micro crystalline (too small to be seen by the eye alone), e.g., like agate banding. Unlike most of The Carver agates, these agates were not formed in a nodule or geode. My best guess is that they were formed as a vein agate in a crack in lava. Rock #4596 Rock #3900 Rock #4596 Magnified I hope you are enjoying these postings. Before you go, please remember you can subscribe to this blog and receive an email alert whenever a new posting is published. It’s easy, automatic, and you don’t have to worry about missing out on the next cool new find!

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Lava Lamp Agate

Lava Lamp Agate

Lava lamp agate. I found it. I named it. Here is what you are really looking at. Rock #4526 This is agate on the right side and lava matrix in which it is formed on the left side, cut and polished and set as a pendant in gold-fill wire wrap. This is a free form designer cut of an agate nodule still attached to the lava in which the nodule formed. If you rotate the specimen 45 degrees counter clockwise, you will see the classical amygdaloidal shape. Rock #4526 rotated 45 degrees For those who may not have the word amygdaloidal on the tip of their tongues or in their lexicon, “amygdaloidal” generally means almond-shaped, typically with a flattened bottom and rounded top. This shape comes from the gas bubble pocket formed in lava which filled in with silica material which formed the agate. This specimen is natural and not […]

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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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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

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.