Fire Agate!

by Jessa Dow on January 15, 2009


~*Fire Agate*~

 


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Fire Agate is described as a variety of agate containing inclusions of goethite or limonite, producing an iridescent effect or “fire”.
The color layers are often described like breath on a pane of glass. The thin layers in this material diffract light back to the eye in rainbow patterns of red, green, yellow and blue. The beautiful colors in fire agate may appear as tiny pinpoints, bubbles, bull’s eyes, flashes, specks, swirls or even as a combination of patterns making for endless possibilities. The world’s fire agate deposits stretch from southwest United States to northern Mexico. Fire agate has been reportedly found in at least 15 locations on Arizona such as Slaughter Mountain and Deer Creek.
These are photos of various fire agates from Maek Anderson’s personal collection~

This is one of my favorite fire agate gems displaying a pattern described as “the molten effect” or the “crackle effect”.
This is when the finished stone displays internal fissures of color, something like cooling lava.

molten

Molten Fire Agate Gems

Multi-color fire agate with a combination of patterns~*

fireagatenew01

This is a fire agate gem with an incredible eye-like banded pattern.

We call this gem “The Snake Eye”.
eye01

An incredible fire agate hand carved to expose the gem’s natural fire layer.
bubbles01

This beautiful Slaughter Mountain fire agate has a mirrorlike or metallic
look that is very unusual
.
The colors refract with extraordinary brightness including the “royal
mist”, which is a pink-purple,

transparent colored chalcedony layer
above the primary, opaque colors.

metal01

~*This super bright stone comes from Aguas Calientes Mexico~*
Full Spectrum Fire Agate

~*Powerfully purple, this gemstone comes from Slaughter Mountain Arizona~*
agate04

Purple fire agate gemstone with fringe colors of green,red,blue and yellow/gold.
fringered01

This is rare variety of Fire Agate showcasing an uncommon spray of sagenite needles~
22x11 mm and runs 5to7 mm tall blue and purple fired-green sagenite 14

Fire Agate w/ Floating Bubbles


Fire Agate pendant by Mark Anderson
“California Poppies”

2384373925_1961ca731d_b

fire agate batch II

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

rakesh goel October 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

i like diffrent kind of gem stones ,its quite amazing to see such kind of natural stones ,wow

Ted Wyka Jr July 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I have a Questions for you, and maybe you can help me. Ive been cutting fire agate for 6 yrs now, and love it.. I have one piece ive worked, but when im done polishing it, it becomes to shiny/gleary. I finish with 50’000 grit. Should i just stop at 14,000?? Any suggestions???

michael morrow February 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm

hello i live in a small town outside of duncan az. since my retirment i took some classes at eac in safford, sinse then i have been working on my own shop and have quite a bit of fireagate like you im hooked on cutting my stones as the fire is so wonderful and im always looking for new ways to cut and polish them.

Mike Galesi January 17, 2011 at 10:40 am

Nice to see all you Fire Agate lovers discussing the one of the most beautiful rare stones, not to mention one of the most difficult to cut!
See you at the Tucson Gem show!

Carol Auten January 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Has anyone made a fire agate polishing/cutting video?

Martella Tinsley January 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

We are into rockhounding and making gemstone jewelry pieces, but we certainly are not as talented as you two. I am hoping that old dogs can learn new tricks…I hope so.
We just started a website at http://www.rockhoundgemstones.com
How can we get an invitation to the mine? Where is the mine actually located in Deer Creek? We live in Tucson, so Phoenix is only 100 miles away and I did not know about this mine. I would love to chat with you by email to get more information.
Please contact me and we may be able to spend some time together when you come to the Gem & Mineral show here. Martella

Bryan Shoemate October 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm

I have been cutting and carving fireagate for many years and rarely have I seen such beautiful stones. Most of the material I cut is from the Opal Hill Mine. I started mining there back in 1976 when Helen Madding owned the mine. It would be a dream come true to do some mining at Deer Creek.
Your jewelry is beautiful, it really complements the stones.
I would love some info on contacting Dave Penny, Thanks, Bryan

David Riordon July 1, 2010 at 11:08 am

I have been bitten by the fire agate bug. I take a lapidary class at our local community college. We cut and polish cabs and basically polish anything we bring in. I found a beautiful piece of fire agate in a wash running out of the Black Mountains near Kingman. I do not want to mess it up. It has large, very dark brown bubbles and what my instructor calls an “acid eye”. I almost feel like hand sanding this piece but don’t know how to start. My instructor suggests I tumble it. Oh well, I love the damn piece and I look at it many times throughout the day and if that’s all I ever get from the rock.. I am very happy and thankful.

Alberto Thirion June 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I totally agree the fire agate is a perfect gem, the best test this on my site.

frank August 23, 2009 at 8:45 pm

You have some fine looking pieces. About 12 years ago I met a elder of Navajo descent,who was a lapidarist extaordinaire and a master silversmith, tought by his father who was tought by his father and so on. He did everything in the triditional ways.He didn’t even realise he was a genius in simplicity. Anyway we met and he took me under his wing. About 5 years after i started studying under him, he had major issues with his eyes and within a matter of months he was blind,and could no longer continue his lifes work. Just before becoming totally blind he asked me over for what i thought was to be my last lesson. To my supprise he took me out back of his house to large shed ,in which i’d never been. he opened the door and inside was a lapidarist’s and silversmith’s dream.his own children over the years had given him just about every known tool,machine and gismo associated with either trade. He then told me he wanted me to have everything in that shed. there were three slab saws ,trim saws ,tumblers ,foredoms[ plural] each with flex shafts and chucked hand toll attachments .diamond grinding wheels ,casting equipment. you name it ,it was there. also along with all of this there was at least a ton of rock which had been collected as far back as his great,great grandfather . which brings me to me real point of this post . Among the rocks was a five gallon bucket of windowed slaughter mountain fire agate that was collected before there were any mines as we know today .He claimed some of it was found as far back as 200 years ago,and to look at I believe him. the colors and itensity of the fire in this agate is beyoud belief even before any polishing is done. I am very careful and protective of each and every piece i have as each will eventually be passed on as jewelery to my family and a select few friends who have vowed never to sell any piece i make. in polishing i have had some wonderful success with 50,00o-160,000 diamond paste,after of course agoing over with tin oxcide mixed with a little cerium oxide. My friend has passed , but everytime i step into my shed/workshop i think loving of him. And each time i pick up one of the rocks he gave me i make a promise to work it untill perfect which i find at times seems imposible,when i think of my teacher and how easy he made it look. thanks for this review board.and may every piece of rough you start with turn into perfection.

Mike Sturma August 10, 2009 at 8:46 pm

30 years ago I was exposed to Fire agates by the man that owned part of DEER CREEK FIRE AGATE mining co.I do not remember his name though. I was stationed at Fort Hood Tx. at the time. I used to make silver Jewelery for the man and he paid me in rough stones……….. Now 30 years later I wish I had some of the rocks he gave me as I am starting to get back into lapidary and silversmithing.

Don Lindberg January 28, 2009 at 12:07 am

My quest for fire agate has led to cold nights in the desert. Somehow I found this site which is as bright as the raw fire agate I have found. I am just learning how to cut and polish and I am curently practicing on some questionable material.

Ryszard Krukowski January 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Hey, those are some great stones… they sure are hard to photograph, and I think you did them justice! Its cool to see that someone posted the cutting guide I wrote with my Dad. I run http://www.fireagateartstudio.com to the best of my abilities and my family has several claims in Deer Creek ^__^

I spotted your work randomly on Deviant Art, its really nice. I always enjoy seeing other people who appreciate Fire Agate and the intricacies of its cutting. Feel free to contact us via email for more tips… my dad has been cutting the stone for like 30 years now…

ryszardk@shaw.ca
http://www.fireagateartstudio.com

Gary W. Bourbonais January 18, 2009 at 12:11 am

Great pictures of some fine fire agate…

The thing about pctures of fire agate, it’s almost impossibe to do it justice…

If you find these pictures intriguing, definitely find some to see in person…
I had seen many pictures of the material….
The first time I saw some in person I was literally dumbstruck in awe….

Teri January 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Wow, these are fantastic! They are so colorful and bold they almost look like dichroic glass. To think these are natural stones! Glorious selection, how will you ever part with any of them? Teri S & T Creations Twitter: Teri_B
http://www.sandtcreations.com/wordpress
http://sandtcreations.etsy.com

shelbyvision January 16, 2009 at 9:46 am

Those are gorgeous pictures, as were your dinosaur bone pics. I bookmarked your web page for future reference.

msadesigns January 16, 2009 at 7:23 am

HI Kathy, Some of these were cut by Mark but some were cut by other various fire agate carvers. I can give you a couple of helpful links for learning how to carve fire agate.. this is one~
http://www.fireagateartstudio.com/cuttingguide.html

I can write to you with some more info… send me an e-mail to dow_jessica@yahoo.com and I’ll forward you some worthwhile reading on the subject:)
Thanks for the nice comments on our gem posts!

Kathy Johnson January 16, 2009 at 12:12 am

Oh, beautiful stones! Do you guys cut these yourselves? If so, do you have any tips for someone who’s never cut a fire agate before? (Fire Agate Cutting for Dummies, perhaps?)

Michael Johnson January 15, 2009 at 6:23 pm

You guys must have great will-power. I would just be walking around with those in my mouth all day :o)

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