Finds of agate, a semi-precious silica mineral, are not normally noteworthy. Agate is after all?
SV & CU People looking at agate
SV Smaller agates dwarfed by large agate
SV People examine smaller agates with big agate in foreground
SV & CU Different views of large agate showing grain and colours (7 shots)
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Background: Finds of agate, a semi-precious silica mineral, are not normally noteworthy. Agate is after all only a semi-precious stone and, although useful, is not as highly valued as the diamond and other precious stones. However a recent agate find in China has caused some excitement, mainly because of its size.
SYNOPSIS: The agate was found in the Shandong Province of China, where it was put on show for the public.
The huge stone measured approximately one cubic metre, and weighed eleven-hundred kilograms. Such a large find in one piece is rare.
Shandong is renowned for its large stores of agate, but normally it is found in much smaller pieces.
Agate is a widely scattered material occurring in many parts of the world. It is normally found in volcanic rock, and is very much like quartz, having similar physical properties. Most commercial agates are artificially stained red, green or yellow, to make them more attractive as ornaments. But the stone is useful for industry too. It is used for knife edges requiring delicate balances, mortars and pestles for chemical works, and other industrial purposes.