Geology

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!

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.

A First!   Ametrine Geode Discovered on The Carver!

A First! Ametrine Geode Discovered on The Carver!

Ametrine is a single stone which is part amethyst (purple quartz) and part citrine (yellow quartz). While I have found some great amethyst geode crystals on The Carver, citrine geode crystals are rare indeed. The most exotic and rare was the perfect citrine crystal I named The Unicorn after the mystical single-horned animal which has never been, in fact, found in nature. Rock & Gem magazine featured this stone which can be seen on this website. What has until now never been seen by me in the thousands of nodules and geodes I have discovered on The Carver and cut open is the combination of purple micro-crystalline quartz and citrine banding in a single band in a single geode. Pictured here is 1/2 of the ametrine geode (photo #4225) and three cabs from the same geode which I have cut and polished. As you view each photo, the citrine portion […]

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Rock & Gem Magazine Gets It Right

Rock & Gem Magazine Gets It Right

Rock & Gem Magazine’s three articles about The Carver Agate Field have now been published–with a necessary correction to the latest article which appeared in the December issue (see the cover below). The three articles are: The New Carver Agate Field: Is It Worth The Hype? Rock & Gem Magazine vol. 47, issue #8 (August 2017) The Unicorn Citrine Scepter and Yellow Agates. Rock & Gem Magazine vol. 48, issue #8 (August 2018) Captivating Find at the Carver Agate Field: Geological Mystery Draws Interest, Rock and Gem Magazine vol. 50, issue #10 (October 2020) the correction The most recent article and correction is the latest geological mystery solved by my geologist friend, Bill Halepeska, and me. This Rock & Gem article and its correction tracks in abbreviated form the geological mystery we discovered on The Carver–which we believe we have solved. Click the image for a larger, more readable version. […]

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NEW Article + Correction in Rock and Gem Magazine, October 2020

NEW Article + Correction in Rock and Gem Magazine, October 2020

In October, Rock & Gem Magazine published the article geologist Bill Halepeska and I had authored in volume 50, issue 10. There were, unfortunately, factual errors that occurred during the editing process. Here at last is the published article, along with the correction. Click each image to open up a larger version for easier reading. And the Correction