From the Trellis Necklace Series: Crazy Lace Agate

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This necklace (you can see it on Etsy here) was designed around the superb focal heart-shaped stone of Crazy Lace Agate.

Crazy Lace Agate is among the most well-known of the world’s agates. The material comes from a mining site in northern Mexico and has been featured in lapidary arts since the 1950s.  The name “Crazy Lace” refers to the fractal geometric patterns that result from agate encrusting and later replacing the pointy calcite crystals lining fissures in limestone.

Most of the world’s agates developed in ancient volcanic lava: when gasses trapped in the lava escaped as the rock cooled, hardened, then cracked, hollow cavities were left inside the host rock. Agate develops layer by layer as its microcrystals self-organize to form concentric bands, “eyes”, plumes, or other patterns — the colors and arrangement of these microcrystals influenced by changes in pressure, temperature, and mineral content that occurred during the formation process. This is why agates from a certain area are identifiable as a group; there are thousands of named agates found in nearly all countries of the world. Yet each individual piece of agate is unique — even slabs cut from the same specimen will vary in color and design.

 

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