Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tuxedo Agate or Brazilian Agate? Slab or Cab?

After being in overdrive, my muse has dropped down a few mph. I haven't made a piece in two days. Well, I did make a piece yesterday, but it was an idea who's time was just not ready and I had to scrap it. This tuxedo agate is the last finished piece I did.

When I saw this stone, I got a cold sweat and had to have it! Yeah, I'm weird like that. Sometimes, I get overly excited about a rock. But, that pattern!! Who wouldn't get excited?

I thought mother nature made this just for me. Alas, I was disappointed in two respects. First, it didn't come out of the ground like this. I did some research and asked some questions only to find out that this is a Brazilian Agate that has been treated with sugar, yes sugar, to make the black standout. There's more to it than that, but basically you soak it in sugar water, then cook it in acid. It's the same basic process as for black andamooka matrix opal. I like to use natural stones, but it's such a knock out stone that I forgive it. :)

I was in such a hurry to get this that I didn't notice the shape of it. It is more like a slab or slice than a cab. That makes it a bit more difficult to finish. It is pretty thick, too. I was left with a lot of wire at the the top. However, having decided from the beginning to do something similar to what you see, it ended up working out ok. It's not my best work, but the stone steals the show anyway. :)

Black & White Tuxedo Agate Handmade Sterling Silver Pendant
Clicking this image will take you off site.


  1. Hey Tela, It is a gorgeous cab/slab. No matter what process was used, the end result is incredible. The silver seirl imitates the lines of the stone. A gorgeous piece. Well Done!

    1. Thanks, Christine. Yeah, I don't do much wavy/swirly work, but this called for it. I have looked at lots of these cabs and I haven't seen another with as great a pattern. I got lucky. :)

  2. Wow, what an absolutely gorgeous stone! I'm a natural stone person too, but I can forgive this one for being treated because it's so awesome. :)

    The wavy wire work is just perfect for it!

    1. Sarah, a woman after my own heart :) Thanks! It's so hard to know what is natural and treated, though. I hear most stones are treated in some way. That's why I love cabbed material so much, it's more often than not, straight from the ground and lapidary to me.


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