Lavender Chalcedony: A New Find

Northern Nevada has released another beautiful gem, according to Michael Randall of Gem Reflections of California, San Anselmo, Calif. This time, it’s lavender chalcedony. While chalcedonies, particularly agates, are fairly common to Nevada, the recently uncovered lavender is a nice new find.

The purplish chalcedony is found in an area that also yields a type of agate called “amethyst sage” or “amethystine agate” by the locals. Those agates also are purple/lavender in color but are commonly full of dendrites, streaks of gold-colored nontranslucent material that produces a bit of a “scenic thing,” as Randall describes it. Of course, getting these scenes is another matter. As Randall notes, “Scenic agate is always a one-in-a-thousand shot. It’s so labor intensive” to find the material and then cut it for maximum beauty.

The new lavender chalcedony, a translucent material colored by manganese, looks better than amethyst, Randall says. It contains no dendrites, since it comes from a geothermal dome encased in fine-grained milky white common opal. If the opal has dendrites, the chalcedony will, too.