Chalcedony Jewelry

Chalcedony jewelry has become very popular in recent years. This cryptocrystalline quartz is very common and was perhaps used by early man to create tools and weapons. Within this family there are many other varieties offering a huge diversity of patterns and colors. Chalcedony jewelry is often made from the unstained quartz material that is grayish blue to purple in color. Chalcedony jewelry that has been stained by other oxides is called jasper. Banded varieties, or materials with mosslike inclusions, are known as agate. Often, chalcedony jewelry features cabochons and beads. The agate form can be carved into cameos or ornamental objects.

Because this cryptocrystalline quartz is so abundant, there are many other colors of chalcedony jewelry available in the marketplace. Carnelian is a variety that may be red, orange-red or brown in color. Heating can turn almost any chalcedony red since it contains compounds that oxidize when heated. Other common forms of solid-colored chalcedony are onyx, sard, plasma, bloodstone and flint. Each of these varies in color from green to black to white and red.

Chalcedony jewelry can also be created from the patterned, mosslike variety known as agate. Banded agates have regular color layers and bright colors. The moss agates have mossy inclusions of mineral oxides. There are several other varieties including scenic, lace, fire, shell and Turritella agate.

Moh's scale of hardness lists chalcedony as having a hardness of 6.5-7. It is not recommended that chalcedony jewelry be cleaned with abrasive jewelry cleaner, but rather with a polishing cloth.


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