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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday's Gem - Banded Agate

Banded Agate is a more common rock and is part of the Chalcedony family, which falls under the bigger family of quarts.  It is a microcrystalline giving it a very smooth, waxy look and the shape is most often a botryiodal mass or mammillary (in basic terms a rounded lump.)  Just like other agates, banded agate is formed by precipitate (fluids that carry solids) rich in silicate percolating or flowing into a host rock’s cavity or cracks.  As the fluid is evaporated or is reabsorbed the sediment is left behind leaving layers of silicate rich rock behind that eventually will fill the cavity forming the agate nodule or geode (nodules are solid, geodes are hollow.) 

A great example of a Nodule found in Etsy Shop Etil at http://ow.ly/cyYYF

Banded Agate is usually found with bands of white, blue, gray and clear.  It is opaque to translucent and can look almost a little like the insides of a white jelly bean.  Because this stone is porous it is often dyed commercially and used in home decoration (geodes halves for book ends, novelty items, etc.) or jewelry.  While adding color to the piece can bring out the depth of bands and makes it "pop", the natural color is very pretty and dainty.

A wonderful tumbled Lace Agate that has been dyed pink found in ArtFire shop LotusBeads at http://ow.ly/cyXws

The bands of this stone can make shapes and will often lead to specialized names like: Iris Agate (the inside layer looks like an Iris flower) and Lace Agate (the banding is not straight but resembles lace.)  Agate is readily found in most areas of the USA, Brazil, Uruguay, Madagascar, China, India, and Mexico, but the Banded Agate is especially beautiful from the Mohave here in California. 

This wonderful piece of Banded Agate was found in Etsy shop RedTailedHawk at http://ow.ly/cyXHR

This agate makes very delicate and feminine looking jewelry and I especially love some of the piece I found on Etsy and ArtFire today: 

'Saturday's Gem - Banded Agate - From Rock to Beads' by ButterflyInTheAttic2

Banded Missouri Agate Quart...
$10.00
Unpolished Banded Black Skin...
$7.00
White Banded Agate Slice M2...
$3.00
White Banded Agate (s-122)
$5.00
white banded agate cabochon
$11.00
Moroccan Banded Agate Caboch...
$14.50
One Pair of White Banded Aga...
$24.00
White Banded Agate Oval Cabo...
$8.00
BANDED AGATE Donut Gemstone ...
$4.99
BANDED AGATE double sided P...
$13.00
10 Tumbled Blue Lace Agate N...
$10.75
Blue & White Banded Agate 18...
$5.00
Beautiful Banded Agate 18x13...
$4.99
4MM Cafe Latte Banded Agate ...
$4.99
Agate, Banded, White/Brown/B...
$7.95
Agate, Light Blue and Clear,...
$9.75


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