Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Agates- God's Abstract Art

I've decided not to bore you with all the chemistry but put simply, agates are beautiful! Some of the ones shown below are extremely rare- found in only a few locations near the Bay of Fundy!
By definition, agates are supposed to be banded but since some aren't, I'm going to give you my definition-
A microcrystalline silicate with some kind of a pattern. The pattern is caused by chemical variations of the silicate (impurities) which are mainly hematite (black, silver, red) and limonite (yellow, brown).
There are several types of agate but all are created in much the same way- very hot silica-rich liquid flowing through cracks in the basalt, cooling and precipitating out the silicate. The silicate builds up over a very long time until there is no more space.
Several different types of agates exist.
Fortification agate gets its name from the fort-like structures you can see.
Cut by Scotia Lapidary

Moss Agate is called that because of the plant-like structures it contains. Not all moss agates are green- they can be pretty much any colour and shape.
Cut by scotia gems (7 inch x 4 inch)

Flame Agate contains flame like structures that seem to shoot in from the edge. The flames can be red, cherry or golden (rare) depending on the impurities. We have all of these in the shop.
Cut and polished by Scotian Lapidary

Cut by Scotia Gems

Plume Agate is kind of similar to the flame but the shape is more rounded. Again, it can be different colours and we have a beautiful piece of cherry just waiting for someone to use it as a pendant.

All cut and polished by Scotian Lapidary

Crazy Lace Agate is the wacko member of the agate family. The matrix is usually white (chalcedony) and it contains really weird shaped designs in various colours. We have some beautiful slabs of this as well.

Crazy Lace all cut by Scotia Gems

There are several other types but they tend to be variations on these.

In the shop, we have tumbled stones, slabs (for display or lapidary), cut display pieces and rough material. This rock is so beautiful, you have to drop by and see it.

We'll be away for a few days but when we get back, I'm going to be posting features on the artists who have work here as well as some of the lapidarys we work with. I'll also have features on "The Beast" (our rock tumbler) as well as some of the things you can see or do in this beautiful part of Nova Scotia.
See you soon.


  1. We are pleased to have new friends who appreciate Digby Neck agate as much as we do.

  2. Thanks John and Nancy. Thanks to your experience, we ended up with some amazing pieces!