Tag: agate

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.

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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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!!!  

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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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.