Decorative Agate Slice
Your Purchase Supports Scientific and Educational Endeavors at the
American Museum of Natural History.
Agate is a microcrystalline variety of silica, chiefly chalcedony, characterized by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks and can be common in certain metamorphic rocks.
The stone was given its name by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and naturalist, who discovered the stone along the shore line of the river Achates sometime between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.
Agate is one of the most common materials used in the art of hardstone carving, and has been recovered at a number of ancient sites, indicating its widespread use in the ancient world; for example, archaeological recovery at the Knossos site on Crete illustrates its role in Bronze Age Minoan culture. Most agates occur as nodules in volcanic rocks or ancient lavas where they represent cavities originally produced by the disengagement of volatiles in the molten mass which were then filled, wholly or partially, by siliceous matter deposited in regular layers upon the walls. Such agates, when cut transversely, exhibit a succession of parallel lines, often giving a banded appearance to the section. Such stones are known as banded agate.
Brazilian agate is found as sizable geodes of layered nodules. These occur in brownish tones interlayered with white and gray. Quartz forms within these nodules, creating a striking specimen when cut opposite the layered growth axis. It is often dyed in various colors for ornamental purposes. Many agates are hollow, since deposition has not proceeded far enough to fill the cavity, and in such cases the last deposit commonly consists of drusy quartz.
Slice is 15”H x 16"W and comes with 2.5” wooden stand.