Thursday, August 26, 2010

Working with Horse Canyon Agate - The Polished Pebble

We have been pulling out some awesome pieces of Horse Canyon Agate from the pile here lately. It seems that it was time to work a few.

For those that don't know this stone, you are missing out. Found in the mountains just east of Tehachapi, CA - Horse Canyon Agate is a well known - if not world known gemstone. Most will easily recognize the green to blue green moss in clear agate that comes from this location. But if that is all you think there are sadly mistaken.

                                                 Horse Canyon Moss Agate Cabochon

Beautiful moss agate - in colors not found anywhere else. But, that is just the beginning. There is an unbelievable range of agate found in this area. From a multitude of different colored mosses in clear, amber, blue & even black agate. Most are the signature wispy type - but there is MORE. There is tube agate, saginite, plume & agate that has a jumble of all of them.

Now the down side - it is not available for collection anymore. Yes, I know....we seem to be hearing that with more & more of the stones we work with. Either the landowner doesn't allow collecting anymore (which is the case with this stone) or it is totally extinct, or even better - it is in the middle of a military base. Even worse are the areas that some politicians lock up in "Wilderness Areas". Oh yea, you can still walk in. But who wants to walk 50, 60, 100 miles in to carry out a backpack full of stone? Never mind that most people could not physically do that if they wanted to.

Luckily, we have a stash of Old Stock material & we will be cutting some Killer Cabs from this stone. We just recently cut up a piece. And here is what we found.......

   An end cut! WOW!!!!!!

A slice......

                                                       A finished cab....well, sort of

As we were shaping this beauty, it became apparent that the vugs with the beautiful crystal druzy were being lost in the grinding & polishing. We were on the fence about either leaving them or filling them in. Even as I am typing this....I am still thinking. But I think in the long run, we will fill them in since there is so little left...they kind of just look lost. So tomorrow this little beauty will be listed on our website The Polished Pebble for those that might be interested. You won't be disappointed.

If you want to see more of what this gemstone can look like, you need to check out Agates With Inclusions for their amazing collection of Horse Canyon Agate. The owner, Pat McMahan has a collection of unbelievable agates. It is guaranteed you will have "Agate Envy" after seeing what is there.

Looking for that special Gemstone to complete your latest jewelry project? Or maybe you want to add to your collection of beautiful & rare Cabochons. The Polished Pebble could have just what you are looking for. If not, we do custom orders. Check it out!


  1. Oh, the infinite variety of beauty in stones....

  2. Congratulations for great work. I like that. Cheers.