Agate identification
Posted by Donna John (+32) 8 years ago
Good day! We have contracted the disease of rockhounding. While in the field we are wondering how you identify montana moss agate in the rough.

We have done research and visited shops we are just looking for ways that make it a bit easier. Thank you in advance!!!
Posted by Kacey (+3151) 8 years ago
There are so many different kinds of agates and they don't all look the same on the outside. Agate hunting is called hunting because they don't just lay there saying "I am an agate"!

If you are lucky you may see a tiny bit that shows agate inside.

If you are very lucky you might stumble over a gorgeous huge agate that is so obviously agate that there will be no doubt.

But the joy is in the hunting.

Happy hunting.
Posted by Larry W. Dann (+56) 8 years ago
Sometimes a raw agate looks a little like a potato lying around. Look for rocks with eyes. Other times they might have a whitish covering on the outside. Turn over a lot of rocks and look at them carefully.
Happy Hunting!!!!!!
Posted by Frank Hardy (+1719) 8 years ago
Finding Montana Moss Agate:

Although this type of agate ranges throughout three states A small area in Montana seems to have the best of this agate. Found in gravel deposits in the middle and lower Yellowstone valleys. Agates are found in both the present stream bed and in gravel terraces. 10 to 15 miles either side of the Yellowstone drainage.

They are nodules of gray, translucent chalcedony, which when cut and polished are seen to contain small manganese dendrites of pleasing appearance. Moss agates are popular recreation for amateur collectors and lapidaries, and are sold and traded in considerable numbers as semiprecious gem stones for use in jewelry and decoration.

Their hardness requires a diamond-beaded blade for successful cutting. Agates have increased in true and aesthetic value. They are becoming more scarce. But spring rains and run-off conditions Turn up new agates in the gravel beds and hillsides around Forsyth most every year.

[kal-sed-n-ee, kal-suh-doh-nee]

Word Origin

noun, plural chalcedonies.
a microcrystalline, translucent variety of quartz, often milky or grayish.

Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+18352) 8 years ago
The first pronunciation of chalcedony in Frank's post is correct. The second pronunciation sounds like something a Canadian or North Dakotan might say.
Posted by Bob Netherton III (+2776) 8 years ago
I once found a nice deposit of agates at a Gem and Mineral show.
Posted by Carolann (+25) 8 years ago
Is there anyone interestedin, or is. there a round hounding group in the atea? i for one would enjoy being around some fellow ethusistd. if any interest please respond here

Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15423) 8 years ago
If you find a very colorful rock on moon creek and your sister takes it and the spends the next 30 year insisting she found it... you've found an agate.
Posted by Amorette Allison (+12509) 8 years ago
There used to be a very active rock club but it faded away as members died off. I think Curtis Fillafer was the last member. He might be interested in firing it up again.
Posted by Donna John (+32) 8 years ago
We are interested. Perhaps we can get a group together!