Golden

Bouquet

Plume

Agate 


 

The Golden Bouquet/Plume Agate looks like a common dirt clod on the outside. It was primarily beige, the same color as the dust around it, with what looks like rhyolite crust including 'mamary' or 'botryoidal' rind. What? The outside looked like craggy confetti rock with dirty grape clusters embedded. Sounds weird enough to pick up, eh?  

The surprise inside will go down in my own rockhounding history; the first big rocks with inner bonanza for me to find as a rock-hound and finish as a lapidary artist. The minerals combined in a lacy, swirling, intricately layered feast with crystal quartz druzy sparkles. The colors range from clear, white, yellow, orange, pink-almost-to wine-maroon, red plume, black plume, white plume, and blue hue to the agate. Just wow.

As I knock pieces off the main stone, it travels through these colors, inner mineral growths that mimic exploding boquets of multicolored flowers or pluming like feathers or smoke.  

 
 The area that we found this is nestled somewhere between Paulina and Brothers. The dry earth is dappled with Sage and Juniper that are so gnarled that they look petrified already! We camped at a primitive spot way off the beaten path. There weren't enough daylight hours for me to completely comprehend the great finds of the day that included some very nice green limb casts and Butterfly Wing Petrified Wood. An owl sung us a lullaby to bed and rain woke us in the night. We had to break camp and escape quickly because the desert dust turns to thick pancake batter that is easy to get your rig stuck in. We lost an entire 'next day' of hounding but I know where to return!

 

 
 This particular plume agate loves to break in the coolest shapes. I break my stones instead of cutting them, not only to keep the strong and have it break where it's weak, but also the organic angles are more interesting to me than the cut or slabbed materials. As you can see in the rough material in one of the first pictures, there are these druzy pockets that, when polished, make pieces that glitter unceasingly. 
 

 
 Plume agates are one of my favorite stones for rings. They are so detailed in their mineral growths and blooms that even the small stones are captivating. Another great reason to use agate for rings is its hardness. Agate is a 7 of 10 on the hardness scale, a diamond being 10, so you know the stone will survive what you put it through. 
 

...To Be Continued
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