Geology

The End of the Beginning

The End of the Beginning

In April, 2020, the exploration of The Carver Agate Field ended after approximately 12 years.  That was the beginning. The task has now turned to cutting, polishing and exploring the huge volume of The Carver rocks collected over the last 12 years.  This process has moved to the new ‘Carver’ headquarters being constructed at this time (see photos). Years of further exploratory work will be featured on TexasAmethystAgate.com.  During construction, however, there will be a delay extending into late fall.  Until then, I expect a major feature article  about The Carver Agate Field to appear soon in Rock and Gem Magazine.  This article, expected in the September issue, will be the ‘end of the beginning’ of the surface geological exploration of The Carver.   The article will be published here as soon as it has been published in Rock and Gem.  The article, co-authored with Midland geologist, Bill Halepeska, will reveal […]

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7+ Pound Banded Blue Agate with Geological Oddity Found Inside

7+ Pound Banded Blue Agate with Geological Oddity Found Inside

The ‘deep pit’ on The Carver agate field ‘popped’ a 7+ pound,  6 1/2″ x  3 3/4″ banded blue agate beauty! While the ‘deep pit’ photo gallery on this website has lots of photos of ‘deep pit’ beauties, this specimen contains a large yellow inclusion (on the left side of the photo below) which has a blackish dendritic agate formation in and on its surface. A dendritic agate is a tree-like or fern-like image.  The word dendrite is Greek for “tree-like.”  Normally, these dendritic formations from The Carver have formed on the outside surfaces of a geode or nodule, as shown below in photo 2849.  What is geologically odd is that this dendrite formed on the yellow material which broke off and fell into the gas bubble pocket, which was then encased inside the larger blue agate when it later formed. I believe this was likely an 8-step geological process, […]

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Metallic Mystery Agate

Metallic Mystery Agate

This agate formed in association with a yellow jasper (which is predominantly comprised of silica). Before I cut this Carver find, it displayed a curious metallic sheen which was in fact what initially drew my attention to it.  The sheen was very different from the sheen observed from other quartz and jasper materials.  This metallic sheen appears quite clearly on the bottom of the pictured cabochon. The rounded surface of the cabochon shows agatization and two visible “vugs.”  The stone from which this cab was cut also had a curious and unexpected heft (weight) that, combined with the metallic sheen, suggested a metallic component had mixed with jasper and formed  a metallic mystery agate that had not been previously observed on The Carver agate field. If I can find out what metal is involved I will update you.  

Agate “Vugs”

Agate “Vugs”

Some, but not all, agates contain “vugs,” tiny voids often filled with quartz crystals.  They are a sort of miniature geode.  The crystals when present are usually very petite (sometimes microscopic). Note that two of the three vugs pictured in the image below have visible quartz crystals.  Some lapidists view vugs as imperfections to be avoided when cutting a stone.  I, however, love to include vugs when cutting cabochon. I like to see the sparkle that often emanates from the vug when a tiny crystal catches a ray of light. Including a vug in a cab adds beauty, uniqueness, and perhaps, as some believe, mystical powers.  I do not know the technical name for the type of agate shown. In fact, many agate types are unnamed or have local names which have been applied to them.  If you would like to name this type of agate, let me know what […]

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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 […]

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New from the Carver Agate Field: Is It Jasper? Agate? Jasp-Agate?

New from the Carver Agate Field: Is It Jasper? Agate? Jasp-Agate?

These definitions will help us decide! Jasper:  opaque (light does not penetrate); any color of chalcedony which is a micro-crystalline (requires magnification for crystals to be seen) form of quartz. Agate:  a banded translucent (lets light through) chalcedony of any color, most often found in nodules, geodes, or cracks in silicaceous volcanic rocks. Jasp-agate:  a chalcedony with characteristics of both agate and jasper.  The basic component is silica (quartz) which may be either micro or macro crystalline (crystals can be seen without magnification).  It can be opaque, transparent or translucent (sometimes all three appear in the same specimen).  It can be banded like an agate or it can be like a jasper with agate structures which form within cracks or fractures or vugs (small cave-like voids) in jasper. If you would like to see some of the Carver Agate Field jaspers and jasp-agates, take a look at the new JASP-AGATE […]

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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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Geologically Significant: New Amethyst Agate Geode Find

Geologically Significant: New Amethyst Agate Geode Find

A 16+ pound amethyst agate geode found on ‘the Carver’ has recently been cut into 3 pieces, and polished. The geode rind is purple amethyst and approximately 1 1/2″ thick in most places. This thick amethyst rind encircles an approximately 5 1/2″ x 2″ crystal-filled hollow center. The amethyst crystals in the geode center are covered with a secondary surface mineral crystallization of a yellow/beige color. Even more interesting, the yellow/beige mineralization layer coating the amethyst is, in places, coated with a gray/black crystallization layer apparently involving a third type of mineral (I am seeking expert assistance to identify the mineralization involved). The gray/black mineralization layer appears to have intruded into the geode through the rind of the geode, into its center. This intrusion is visible on the photos shown.   Amethyst Agate Geode Slice A Amethyst Agate Geode Slice B   This specimen is geologically significant because it was […]

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CITRINE SCEPTER AND YELLOW AGATES from ‘The Carver’ featured in Rock & Gem, August 2018

CITRINE SCEPTER AND YELLOW AGATES from ‘The Carver’ featured in Rock & Gem, August 2018

The August 2018 edition of Rock & Gem Magazine will feature an article and photos by me entitled “The Unicorn Scepter and Yellow Agates.” In September I will publish this article here at the website. The photos referred to and utilized in the article can be seen and enlarged here in this posting. These photos show the citrine scepter and the incredible diversity of the yellow agates which are featured in the Rock & Gem article. Some featured images: Slideshow of images included in the Rock & Gem article