#TellAllTuesday-Mexican Lace Agate

Have you ever seen a rock that was reminiscent of colorful lace?  With concentric lines, squiggles and shapes, not to mention the brilliant colors, this week's feature rock is pretty crazy. That's why it is called Crazy Lace Agate (although I sometimes just call it Mexican Lace Agate) and it is found in Mexico.

On the outside, you can see a bit of color but the rocks below basically look like rocks, right?

When they're put through the saw to create a slab (slice), very quickly you can see just how awesomely colorful and intricate are their designs.  I mean, we're talking about rocks! And, yet each one is incredibly unique.

So, when they are cut, shaped and polished for wearing as jewelry, they create stunning pieces. Generally, their design and coloring is different on each side so it's like having two pieces of jewelry in one.

Next to chrysocolla, my all time favorite stone, I think Crazy Lace Agate comes in a strong second as my personal favorites!  What's your favorite rock?  Feel free to share it with us on any of our social media pages (below).

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week and, as always, Rock On!

#MineralMonday-Turritella Agate

Did you guess the mystery rock that was posted on our social media pages today?  It's a rock that formed about 50 million years ago in the first set of the Rocky Mountains. It comes from an ancient lake bed and contains fossil shells in the rock.  

Decades ago this stone was originally given the name Turritella agate because it was believed that the shells were from the Turritella genus, which is a snail found in the ocean. It was later discovered that the shells were from a fresh water snail, Elimia tenera. However, by then the name Turritella agate had caught on so well that there was no changing it.  I came across an article once where it was stated that scientists didn't even think the stone is an agate but just hardened sediment from the bottom of the old lake bed.

Turritella agate can be found in Wyoming, around the Green River area, which is where we've found it. Supposedly it can also be found in northern Colorado and Utah.

Regardless of it's mistaken identity, the fossil shells in the rock are well defined and stand out well against the dark brown background. Above are photos of a slab (slice) of Turritella agate and below are cut and polished pendants.

Personally, I think it makes for really cool pendants and fossil jewelry!

Thanks for joining us for MineralMonday.  Enjoy and Rock On!

#MineralMonday-Chrysocolla

On our social media pages, I've recently shared a few before and after photos of rock specimens, from the rough rock to Jim's cut and polished pendants or cabochons.  This week, I'd like to share what has become one of my all time favorite stones!  Each piece of this particular rock is unique and so versatile in jewelry that I couldn't just share one photo. In fact, I like this stone much more than the ever-so-popular turquoise.

I made an assumption that most people were familiar with it but we've been asked at fairs, time after time, "What is this stone?"  Drum roll please........the stone is chrysocolla.  According to Wikipedia, chrysocolla 'has a cyan (blue-green) color and is a minor ore of copper...' and is found in the upper layer above a copper lode. It comes from many areas but most of our chrysocolla comes from Arizona. The color in each rock differs, depending on the specific mineralization in the mine in which it was found.

As mentioned above, chrysocolla itself is blue-green, but some of these stones have red (which is cuprite), some have fine lines of green malachite, and I'm sure there are additional minerals that are unfamiliar to me. But, I trust you can appreciate the versatility and variety of all the above rock samples, as well as the cut and polished stones below.

These are some of the stones that Jim recently cut and polished that haven't been made into jewelry...yet.

These are some of the stones that Jim recently cut and polished that haven't been made into jewelry...yet.

These two necklaces are from my personal jewelry collection. The stones in both pendants are chrysocolla, as well as the beads in the necklace on the left. (The beads are not made by us.)

These two necklaces are from my personal jewelry collection. The stones in both pendants are chrysocolla, as well as the beads in the necklace on the left. (The beads are not made by us.)

To share the results of more finished jewelry using chrysocolla, the following items are currently in our shop.

I love the intense blue-green color in this piece!

I love the intense blue-green color in this piece!

See the blotch of native silver in the bottom right side of this pendant? 

See the blotch of native silver in the bottom right side of this pendant? 

There is a lot of color in this pendant, which was a challenge to capture in the photo but it's gorgeous...in my opinion, that is.

There is a lot of color in this pendant, which was a challenge to capture in the photo but it's gorgeous...in my opinion, that is.

Thanks for reading about my personal favorite. Do you have a favorite rock? Feel free to share it with us on our social media pages, below.

Happy Monday and Rock On!