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Fire Agate

Fire Agate is a layered stone. The layers are small enough that light entering them forms interference colors known as "fire." The gem is thought to be formed when hot water saturated with colloidal silica and iron oxide invades cavities in country rock and begin to cool. Chalcedony with iron oxide begins to grow on any available surface (the iron oxide gives the basic brown color to the gem). As the solutions began to precipitate and grow layers of silica and iron oxide would be deposited depending on the relative level of those elements in solution and underlying conditions. These alternating silica and iron oxide layers (Schiller layers) cause the brilliant fire in the gem. As iron oxide ran out in the solution colorless chalcedony continued to grow.

Many of these gems are found in Kingman Az, to Needles, Ca. Area around the Colorado River. Ask GG in Golden Valley, Az. Fire Agate has also been found in quantity in some areas of Mexico.

  Cutting Fire Agate essentially reverses nature's process by grinding and polishing away layers, following natural contours, until only the fire is visible. As you might imagine, however, one layer too far and the stone is ruined.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fire_Agate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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