Indonesian Picture Agate 1

(Batu Akik Gambar 1)

*Indonesian Gemstone Series*

by: Agianto Mutiadjaja

Traditionally and according to mineralogy, Chalcedony is a group name that refers to all microcrystalline (or cryptocrystalline) quartz, including jasper (opaque chalcedony), agate (patterned or banded chalcedony) and chert (granular chalcedony). Thus chalcedony has a very wide variety of form, texture and color. But nowadays, many refer Chalcedony as the variety name of a particular stone within that group - the semitransparent to translucent waxy fibrous microcrystalline quartz that has a single color. A pure chalcedony is grayish-white or bluish white and, some may also have shades of brown. However, Chalcedony can also exist in many other colors due to the inclusion of certain trace minerals. They are often called according to their coloration: Purple Chalcedony, Orange Chalcedony ; some are even coined with a special variety name: reddish brown Carnelian, apple green Chrysoprase.

Indonesia has a hidden treasure of many beautiful chalcedonies with a variety of colors. But at this opportunity, we would like to introduce one of its most unique chalcedonies, in fact as previously defined, is one of Indonesian unique Picture Agate (Batu Gambar Akik) - a pure white chalcedony stained (or patterned) with reddish brown iron oxide that provide a picture appearance.

It is very different from the other Picture Agate (including Moss Agate and Dendritic Agate) and Picture Jasper that may be found in many other places:

As with all the other picture stones, if it is not because of the observation and imagination of a skilled craftsman, it is only an ordinary rock - a common white rock stained inside out with reddish brown web-like lines. The rough is found in East Java and is believed to be formed by a natural quench crackling process in which preexisting pure chalcedony was crazed and cracked* due to a sudden and extreme change in temperature (such as a hot volcanic activity followed by a cold rain), thus allowing new iron oxide containing silica solution to later fill in the fissures and crystallize to form the stains.


usually contain water and air trapped in between the layers of fibers which may help to produce some of the unique cracks.

Gemological Data of Indonesian Picture Chalcedony: Chemistry: Silicon dioxide, SiO2 (stained by iron oxide) Crystal System: Trigonal (Microcrystalline) Color: White with reddish brown stain Luster: Dull to Waxy Transparency: Translucent Cleavage: None Fracture: Conchoidal Hardness: 7 Specific Gravity: Approximately 2.60 Refractive Index: 1.540 Streak: White Treatments: The red stain may be man-made This stone is a natural white chalcedony, but its picture is fake. The “stain” color of this kind of imitation stone is usually less bright and brownish and is only on the surface with a very perfect picture.

Valuation: White translucent stones with an obvious unique picture are valued more.

Metaphysical Properties: Chalcedony encourages balance, good will and harmony.

Thank You