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Fire agates

Hi All, I have a couple of fire agates that I’ve had for a couple of
years. They had lots of color when I bought them but have now faded
to mostly shades of brown. Is this usual for fire agates? And does
anyone have any fire agate cabs for sale, 10x18mm or so? They don’t
need to be calibrated. Thanks in advance. Jan McClellan

Jan, I have fire agates that are 25 years old and look just the same
today as they did when I bought them… never heard of one fading.
Try or call them at 208-377-9428. I talked
with them last month and they had some fire agates. I have never
done business with them so can’t say anything about that.Also listed
in my AGTA suppliers book are

Bill Heher Enterprises
Bill Gangi Miltisensory Arts

I don’t know if these numbers are still good but I have always had
good luck with the AGTA suppliers listings. Frank Goss

Jan, I think that it is highly unusual for a fire agate to fade. I
have one that I originally bought about 20 years ago and made a ring
for about 12 years ago. It has not changed at all. Perhaps the one
that you have had been treated in some way. As to your question about
a source, there was a vendor at last weeks SNAG conference who was
selling fire agates. The only problem is that I don’t remember who it
was. Maybe someone else who was there could shed some light on this.

Joel Schwalb

Hi Jan. I’ve never heard of fire agates losing color. I have several
that were cut decades ago and are still beautiful.

The only thing that seems plausible to me is that possibly the thin,
top layer of chalcedony over the bubbles of color has begun to
delaminate - perhaps due to the stresses or angles of grinding when
it was cut. I’m thinking that if the sides were shaped from the base
toward the dome, the stresses may have separated the layers at an
edge and with time, the “crack” traveled further allowing air into
the space which would disrupt color effect.

Pam Chott

Jan, I have never seen a fire agate fade before. I will check with a
couple of other cutters and see what they think.

I have a few fire agate cabs for sale. I will have to check on the
size, but I do know that they are freeform cabs. I have some more
rough available and cut some for you if you are interested.

custom cut designer cabs/concave facetted gems

I have never seen any fire agate fade. We have been cutting and
selling fire agates for years. I bought material that had been stored
for 30+ years and it was fine. I have also left material outside (in
the sun) on my property in Texas during the summer, I didn’t have a

I have had people show me Mexican Fire opal and refer to it as Fire
Agate. In that case, I could see a fading problem.

If the fire agate doesn’t have a chalcedony coating over the
oxidation layer that causes the fire; This layer could be worn away
and give the impression of fading. This material I consider specimen
grade. But, I have seen a lot of other dealers selling cabochons of
this grade.

  • james carpenter -

This thread reminds me that Frank Rothengatter is the gem carver
who is demonstrating at Kraftwerks. I’m ignorant of this stone, just
seen a few examples of Franks work. Can anyone direct me to more info
on fire Agate and its carving? I’m doing my “homework” on this new
(to me) topic

Daniel Ballard

Hi Folks

Image collection of fire agate…I found this awesome…
If you’re on dialup, it will take a long time to load, but the
images are worth the wait…

Gary W. Bourbonais