Fire Agate is found predominately in Arizona, northern Mexico and in some parts of the southwestern United States. It was created by fire, (volcanic activity) some 24 -36 million years ago. Hot water, rich in silica and iron oxide filled the cracks of the surrounding rocks in botryoidal formations (globular, grape like crystalline formations.) The various layers diffract light giving the Fire Agate a sheen and opalescence similar to that of an opal.
The most desirable Fire Agates are those with an intense and colorful play of fire that have been carved by expert craftsmen who excavate the fire from deep within the stone. Because the crystalline structure is usually globular, considerable care must be taken to carve out and expose the intricate layers of opalescence. Going one fraction too deep can ruin a specimen and it takes a talented lapidarist to follow the many curves of opalescence and to bring the stone to its optimum potential.
Fire Agates come in many colors, the most prevalent being red, orange yellow and green. Blue and lavender colors are somewhat rarer but it is the combination of color, shape, the intensity of fire and the skill of the lapidarist that ultimately determine the quality and desirability of a Fire Agate. Unlike Opals, Fire Agates are quite hard on the Mohs scale with a hardness of 6.5-7 which makes them all the more desirable for their durability and resistance to scratching.
Most Februarys, I attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show to hand pick Fire Agates and Opals. After 37 years in the business I believe that I have a good eye in choosing remarkable stones but much personal taste is also involved.
This link will take you to a selection of Fire Agates and Opals. I would be delighted to create a custom design around any of these stones.
This link will take you to available One of a Kind Designs.