Tag: agate

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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Design Challenge Leads to New Design and First Pendant

Design Challenge Leads to New Design and First Pendant

If you follow my work, then you know I design sterling silver settings to highlight the unique characteristics of each designer free-form Carver gemstone that I cut. I previously have made sterling silver bracelets which I have thought were best at emphasizing each gemstone’s beauty.  The setting is secondary to the stone! Recently, however, I  cut a Carver geode with several unique characteristics, including a striking petite red feature and a crystalline lined geode center, which begged for something different.  The challenge was to design a setting to highlight the stone’s crystalline pocket which, without doubt, is the most unique feature of the stone. A mirror and the decision to create a pendant, not a bracelet, was the answer!  Viewing the creation will explain this choice.  This is a totally new design and the first pendant which I have offered for sale. Visit the Shop to learn more.  

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 Year Powder Blue Fortification Agate Bracelet

New Year Powder Blue Fortification Agate Bracelet

This bracelet and its powder blue agate stone were created just before Christmas 2019–the only bracelet I made in 2019. It is a great start for 2020 and is gemologically interesting. Though at first, this blue agate may merely seem beautiful and elegant, it is much more, particularly if you like rocks like I do! First, the lower right hand corner of the stone has a half moon shaped blue area of finely banded agate. This fine blue banding displays opalescence, e.g., its blue color and reflectivity subtly changes depending upon the intensity and type of light (natural, incandescent, fluorescent, LED, etc.). Second, the orientation of the stone to the light will change its reflectivity and brightness.  This is very much what you would see with certain types of precious opal.  Third, the fortification agate (named so because it has a shape with angular corners, like looking down from above […]

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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.  

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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