Curious about moss aqua

Was: The gemstone bead business

Is this the stuff that is made by dropping some sort of a chemical
onto plain old translucent chalcedony to produce the pattern? I have
seen something similar that was definitely manmade.

Rose Alene


dendritic inclusions.

Yath Iqbal

Judging by your description, I believe the stone you are referring
to is moss agate, not aqua. It’s pretty common and quite decorative.


Here is a link to a gemstone bead seller who carries both moss
aquamarine & moss amethyst:

For those of you who are curious about it. I can’t tell if it’s
rutilated or just horribly included!

Barbara Lee
Gemella Contemporary Jewelry

A student showed me some “moss aqua”. it is simply moss agate
seemingly dyed…


Yath, I am inclinded to agree with you that the moss aqua beads I
got in Tucson are probably, as you say, aquamarine color Chalcedony
with dendriditic inclusion. The dealer definately referred to them as
aquamarine–but he may have been referring to the color.



Moss Aquamarine and Moss Amethyst are natural occurrences. Rare, but
natural as far as I know. I have some of both.

Be careful “stocking up”. You can end up with a lot of something you
like, but necessarily what your customer base likes. Been there,
done that. It is tempting though, because you are right. They come
and go never to be seen again.

I stopped by your site to see what quality gems you use. I know you
didn’t ask about this, but pop-ups are a no-no on a fine jewelry
site. Lovely designs, beautiful colors though.

Lastly, my best advice is invest in an electronic gem tester. It
will tell you exactly what it is, good enough for beads. I have a
Presidium one, worth every penny.

Best of luck,


Vera Battemarco
Couture Artisan Jewelry ™

Rose, the dendrites in the stones I have are all inside the stones.
They are tube shaped beads transluscent pale greenish color, so I
doubt that some sort of chemical was dropped on them.


Sounds like a perfectly normal dendritic agate.

Lindsay Legler

Barbara, Vera is right when she cautions you about ending up with a
lot of something you like, but which has little customer appeal. I
found very little interest in the moss aquamarines I got, when I
tried to sell them at a show. Fortunately, I only purchased a few
strands. I finally donat= ed them to a group that was having a
silent auction fund raiser. To my utter surprise and delight, the
bidding on them was beyond my expectations, and they brought in some
nice money for the charity. So, it all depends on the clientele, and
the circumstances. Also, before the bidding started most of the
guests had had several glasses of champagne. That may have helped.



Thank you for your helpful reply. I recall seeing your work on, by the way. Lovely.

Question: What popups on my site? Do you mean my etsy rotator or
something else? I use a Mac & don’t see popups. Hm. Question 2: The
gem tester by Presidium – is that the reflectivity meter?


The gem tester by Presidium -- is that the reflectivity meter? 

the Presidium gem tester is a reflectivity meter, from which they
deduce the refractive index.


For those of you who are curious about it. I can't tell if it's
rutilated or just horribly included! 

That’s not rutilated that’s tourmilated! At least the straight black
lines are. I have a bit of a soft spot for it in cabs and odd shaped
faceted stones and it’s been ages since I’ve seen any (other then
the few still in my bench). One of the odd things about it that makes
me happy is the Tourmaline needles are always in clear quartz with
clouds of amethyst around and between like ink in water.

I’ll stop waxing romantic… I’m looking at frankly not so hot
photos that just aren’t close enough or clear enough. The things I
can see clearly look like Tourmaline needles, I don’t see anything
that looks like dentrite which would be “moss” but it would be very
difficult to make out in photos of this quality, also I have yet to
see them in or about Amethyst. Rutile needles are yellow and I have
yet to see them in Amethyst (I am only one person though). The other
neat needle like inclusion that I have seen in and about Amethyst
(and own a sample including) I can’t recall what the dealer called
(dealer was also a gemologist and known for a certain level of
fussiness in these matters). I think it started with a hard C which I
know isn’t helpful, but the needles are short, quite fine and dark
red, quite striking but you have to look closely, also in the sample
are tourmaline needles. I’ve had it for 12 years, no clue what I’m
going to set it in but I’ll be dipped if I’m going to sell it. :slight_smile:

Norah Kerr

I ran into this material about 20 years ago at Quartzsite Powwow Gem
and Mineral show in Arizona. The vendor stated it was new and was
treated calcedony, but it was stable. He had a lot of cabs cut
showing very nice patterns and color. Where it went from there I have
no idea. I don’t remember the man’s name, he seemed to be the
orginator, from the way he talked. He was a little upset with me for
my questions on the “aqua” part as being a ligitimate term for the
material. I have been retired for many years, now, but still doing a
few things gem and jewelry wise.


The other neat needle like inclusion that I have seen in and about
Amethyst (and own a sample including) I can't recall what the
dealer called 

Cacoxenite or crocoite?

Pam Chott

The other neat needle like inclusion that I have seen in and about


Richard Hart

neat needle like inclusion that I have seen in and about Amethyst 


Not Crocoite, I’m sure.

Raspberry quartz is reddish rutile in clear quartz, quite rare, but
I own a large natural point. I’ve had it for over twenty years,
can’t bring myself to cut such a wondrous thing.

Wayne, aren’t they all?

Hi Norah,

Could your red needles be “chalcotrichite”? I found this via google
and it described needle like clusters of cuprite (Cu2O) so I’m not
sure whether such things are found inside other gemstones or not.
Hopefully one of our gemologists will positively ID your red


That sounds long enough. It was over ten years ago and I admit to
being entranced with the stone and was trying to buy it quickly but
suavely so they didn’t drive the price up… lets see how it works.

Calcantrichated-tourmoulated amethyst

Yup, that’s a mouthful. Sounds about right though, it’s pretty. And
it most certainly wasn’t covered in my gemology classes, which is one
of the reasons why I bought it.

Norah Kerr

The vendor who sells moss amethyst said that she believes it’s also
known as “Goethite.” I looked it up, and goethite is basically…
RUST! So it’s not a variety of amethyst at all, I don’t believe.

Barbara Lee
Gemella Contemporary Jewelry