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Chalcedony

Chalcedony is cryptocrystalline quartz. It is semitransparent to opaque and, depending on its color, chalcedony is further divided into several varieties.

History

All varieties of chalcedony were very popular in Victorian Jewelry. Moss agate, known for its green tree-like patterns was a particular favorite. Bloodstone was often used for cameos and intaglios for gentleman’s jewelry. Carnelian, also popular for intaglios, is often found in beads from the Victorian Era. Banded stones like sardonyx and onyx were used extensively for cameos and some of the most interesting beads feature banded agate. The term “hardstone” used in reference to a cameo usually refers to some form of chalcedony.

Scottish Chalcedony and Citrine Brooch.

Victorian Era Scottish jewelry features many and varied combinations of chalcedony cut en cabochon and faceted, set in silver and sometimes gold. Often the pieces are fitted together mosaic style. Scottish agate or pebble jewelry as it is sometimes called, became fashionable after Victoria bought Balmoral Castle in 1848

Chalcedony Varieties

   
Agate
Various Colors, Banded or Interwoven
Bloodstone
Dark Green with Red Spots
Carnelian
Orangish to Brownish Red
Chrysocolla
Light Blue or Blue-Green
Chrysoprase
Apple Green
Fire Agate
Brown with Multicolor Iridescence
Jasper
All Colors Except Black
Onyx
Black & White
Petrified Wood
Multicolored Silicified Wood
Prase
Dull Green
Sardonyx
Brownish Red & White
Sard
Brownish Red to Orange

Gemological Information for Chalcedony

  
Color:All Colors
Crystal Structure:Trigonal (Polycrystalline Quartz)
Refractive Index:1.54
Durability:Very Durable
Hardness:7
Family:Quartz
Similar Stones:Serpentine, Rhodonite, Amazonite, Chrysoprase, Jadeite, Nephrite, Jet
Treatments:Dyeing
Country of Origin:World Wide Deposits

Chalcedony Care

  
Ultrasonic Cleaning:Usually Safe
Steam Cleaning:Usually Safe
Warm Soapy Water:Safe
Chemical Attack:Avoid
Light Sensitivity:Stable (Unless Dyed)
Heat Sensitivity:No