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Fire Agate Pricing

All, I have received several inquiries from jewelers about the pricing
of fire agate. For those of you not familiar with fire agate it is a
volcanic boytroydal agate. Inside the bubbles are layers of a
refractive material called limonite. These layers are very thin and
when the stone is cut down to the layer light is refracted to yield
various colors. Most stones have multiple layers of this material.
A long time ago I made up my own system for grading the stones and
pricing them. This system is based upon personal knowledge of the
rarity of the stone and 20 years experience buying and cutting them.
To grade and price the fire agate I assigned simple numerical grades
to them. All prices are in US Dollars. Grade #1 - Vibrant colored
stones that have full color all the way across the stone at every
angle. Multiple colors are more valuable than single colors. You
probably have never seen one of these stones. The color is so
vibrant that it shows as bright in normal room light. These stones
are 1 out of 1,000 for a good cutter. These stones are sold by the
piece. I have seen them sell for as high as $10,000 for one stone.
Generally they sell for $75-$150 per carat. Grade #2 - This is the
grade you see in most men’s rings. These stones are full colored all
the way across the stone, but the color needs direct lighting to make
it vibrant. Pricing varies in this group. Purples, greens, and
blues are the most desirable colors. They bring $15-$25 per carat.
Reds and yellows bring $5-$10 per carat. Grade #3 is everything else.
These range from stones with spotty color to full colored subdued
colored stones. Prices range from 25 cents - $5 per carat. Some are
sling shot ammunition.

Gerry Galarneau

Gerry, Do you have a web site with photos of fire agates? I have an
occasional call for them and have had a hard time finding good
quality. Joel

Joel Schwalb