Saturday, October 15, 2005

Crazy Lace Agate Basics

Zig-zag and lace are two words that best describe the pattern in crazy lace agate, which consists of many irregular curves and twists. The unusual pattern is caused by the agate forming on top of other crystals of aragonite or calcite. The layers of agate form a contour over the other crystals making this lace-like pattern. The sharper the crystals or more pointy the crystals of aragonite or calcite, the more the zig-zag the pattern appears.

Imagine if you strip down your bed to the mattress and put lots of tall kitchen utensils on the bed standing straight up and really close together. Now start placing thin blankets and sheets of red, white, gray, peach, and yellow, etc. on them. Once you have a foot of thin sheets and blankets draped over the utensils, you take a big saw and cut a cross section of the bed and blankets so you can see the inside. This is what Crazy Lace Agate looks like. And it is not much more comfortable to sleep on than the bed we just made.

The coloration of Crazy Lace Agate is usually a gray matrix with the bands being reds, browns, and yellows. If you are very lucky, you'll get greens and blues. In the 1920's to the 1970's it was common to dye this material all kinds of colors. Since the dyed material was sold in rock shops and tourist stops, question pieces you come across that are unusually colored.

Crazy Lace Agate has become harder and harder to come by. We don't currently have any in stock.

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