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I figured I would add some pictures of a few fire agates that I mined for people that are not familiar with the material.

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Great topic. I have seen people calling reddish chalcedony fire agate based on the color alone.  You have shown the true Fire Agate   

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3 hours ago, adam said:

Great topic. I have seen people calling reddish chalcedony fire agate based on the color alone.  You have shown the true Fire Agate   

I’ve found one piece of reddish chalcedony that had one tiny spot of actual fire. I sometimes wonder if that’s where the confusion comes from. 

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Great pics. Were most of them found on the surface or did you have to dig for them?

I'd like to see how they would come out if cabbed.

Thanks for posting.

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10 hours ago, d_day said:

I’ve found one piece of reddish chalcedony that had one tiny spot of actual fire. I sometimes wonder if that’s where the confusion comes from. 

We find heaps of white, brown and red chalcedony right alongside the good fire agate. Some people think that if it comes from the same location then it all can be called fire agate. Fire agate is a defining characteristic and without fire it is just chalcedony regardless of the base color. Then you have the scammers that pray on peoples ignorance and sell all sorts of stuff under faults names.

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26 minutes ago, Morlock said:

Great pics. Were most of them found on the surface or did you have to dig for them?

I'd like to see how they would come out if cabbed.

Thanks for posting.

A few surface finds but most of them are from hardrock mining in rhyolite. We did hit one potato patch where we were just digging them one after another out of soft dirt. That ended very quickly once we got down 12 inches to bedrock. All hand tools since it is remote and we have to pack everything in and out. Cabbing them rarely turns out very good. You have to get as much chalcedony off the fire layer to get the brightest color. Since it is a botryoidal cabbing tends to grind the top off the bubbles or leaves excess chalcedony. The best way is the carve them following the nature contours of the fire.

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Just out of curiosity, what does top grade rough sell for?

 

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1 hour ago, Morlock said:

Just out of curiosity, what does top grade rough sell for?

 

That is truly a hard question and if you check around you will see a huge range in pricing. I like to mine and hate to sell so any excess I don’t keep I pass on to a friend to sell so I am not the best person to ask. In rough you will mostly see commercial grade being sold at around $30/lb. The price all depends on who is selling it and how good it really is. As for top grade  it is mostly sold by the piece and the price is based on potential. Most top grade pieces are at least worked enough to show the potential in order to justify the cost. The best of the best pieces are almost always held aside to be finished since a finished stone will be worth far more than the rough or windowed piece. Never trust someone selling mine run material since no one ever sells material without highgrading the best pieces out. Finished top grade pieces start at $10/ct and upwards of $100/ct for truly exceptional pieces. These are the rarity and commercial grade is by far less expensive. I have hundreds of pounds of rough and I would guess I only have a few pounds of what I would consider top grade. Granted 99% of it has not been worked so hard telling what is hiding in the stones. Also as supply decreases the new top grade takes the place of what was once thought of as lower grade. This is easily seen in new dealers that have never seen true highgrade material.

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I hope you are getting well compensated for your efforts. I recall digging for fire agates  at Opal Hill south of Blythe in the 90's. Really tough work with what seemed at the time...few good results. I'm impressed with your finds and hope it's paying off well.

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Been to Opal Hill and it was a major pain for what you get. I have seen some nice stuff from there but what I found was not very good. I did have better luck searching in the outskirts of the mine. The best piece I found there came from the road as you start up the hill.

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Awesome thread, love the fire agate! Honestly haven't seen very many rough chunks of it only smaller finished pieces. So really cool! 

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