Chalcedony is a mineral with a hardness of 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness [?]. These Trigonally structured gems are made of silicon dioxide, their full chemical compound being SiO2.

Chalcedony is a compact form of silica, composed of microscopic quartz crystals. It is softer than quartz and denser than opal. Its appearance may range from transparent to translucent to opaque. The main types are chalcedony, which is uniformly colored, and agate, which has curved bands or zones of varying color.

Varieties include the red to reddish brown, translucent carnelian, the red, opaque jasper, the bright-green chrysophrase, moss agate with dark, branchlike patterns, and heliotrope, green with red spots. Flint and chert are impure forms of chalcedony.

Chalcedony occurs in some fossils, such as petrified wood. It forms in cavities in rocks of different types, especially lavas, and develops at relatively low temperatures.

Visible examples would be the agate in Rio Grande de Sul (Brazil), carnelian in Uruguay and California, chrysoprase in Queensland (Australia), and flint in the chalk of the white cliffs of Dover (England).

The specific gravity [?] for Chalcedony is 2.61, it's refractive index [?] is 1.53-1.54, and it's double refraction [?] is 0.004.

History

The name chalcedony probably comes from Calcedon or Chalcedon, an ancient port on the Sea of Marmara, in Asia Minor. The Greek khalkedon and Latin charcedonia do not appear, at least from the description of Pliny the Elder, to be the same mineral as the modern chalcedony. Its abundance and durability has made it one of the earliest materials used by man to make pointed tools, knives, and even food containers.

Industrial Usages

Chalcedony has been used since time immemorial as gems, because of their color, hardness, and ability to take a good polish, and as precious materials for the production of ornaments or small sculptures.

You May Also Like...

Agate Chalcedony

Agate Chalcedony: Agate Chalcedony differs from other Chalcedony in that it often has distinct banding. In fact some slices of Agate may appear to have banding similar to that of tree rings. Due to its porous nature it is often colored (by humans) black, red, green, or blue to further increase its visual appeal. Agate Chalcedony is found in Brazil, China, Germany ,Hungary, Mexico, Uruguay, the United States, and (read full)

Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase: Chrysoprase is a variety of chalcedony, usually black or leek-green in color. The most highly-prized variation comes in bright-green, apple- or leek-green. It has a waxy lustre. It occurs as mammillary or botryoidal masses. The microscopic quartz fibers have a radial structure. The pigment is nickel. Large broken pieces are often full of fissures with irregular colors. Its color can fade in sun (read full)

Carnelian

Carnelian: Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony, which is translucent and is red to reddish-brown. It may also occur as flesh-colored chalcedony, known as cornelian or carnelian. It is slightly similar in appearance to its relation, the dark brown chalcedony, sard. The colour of cornelian is caused by colloidally dispersed hematite. Other reddish chalcedonies may have been colored by heating since if they (read full)

Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase: Chrysoprase is a massive, translucent, dull leek-green to yellow-green compact quartz aggregate, a variety of chalcedony. It is a crystalline quartz leek-green in color containing swarm of green hair-like fibers amphibole actinolite, which is responsible for green color. Its color is caused by fibrous ferrohornblende aggregates or disseminated chlorite minerals. The stone is more translucent than (read full)

Plasma Chalcedony

Plasma Chalcedony: Plasma is a massive, semitransparent, leek to dark green variety of Chalcedony (a microcrystalline variety of the Quartz group), microgranular or microfibrous, consisting of speckles of red or brownish-red jasper, resembling drops of blood. It is translucent to opaque, may be dark green to bright-green, apple-green, or nearly emerald-green, containing microfibrous of actinolite, frequently fleck (read full)

Tags

Terms

Double Refraction or dr is the ability of a mineral to separate a refracted ray of light into 2 rays. If held over an image or text it will display the object 2x its original size.

Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness is the standard used to categorize a mineral's ability to resist scratching. It gets its name from Friedrich Mohs, the German geologist who first created the scale.

RI or Refractive Index defines light's ability to move through the mineral or in a general sense, any material.

SG or Specific Gravity is the ratio of the weight of any substance to that of pure water at temperature of 3.98°C(39.2°F) and standard atmospheric pressure. This is important to note when actively seeking these minerals in the wild. Minerals with a higher SG will settle below material with a lower sg over time.