Back to IGS | FAQ | Contact

Help ID this stone - "Fire Agate?"


I wondered if anyone would help me in identifying this stone. I have bought several of these on eBay for a low price. I know these have been heat-treated and color-enhanced, but the markings are interesting, and I make pretty wire-wrapped pendants out of them. They were labeled “fire-agate” when I bought them. It’s just so different than the pictures of fire agate I’ve seen out there, that it makes me wonder. The vendor is in China. When I inquired further, I got this response…

"Yes ,this stone is really different from real Fire Agate.
May be it shoud called as picture jade since its veining somekind like fire on it,so we named it as Fire agate. This item is made form natural stone,just the colour is heat-treated.
We get it from our supplier and they didn’t know where it’s from either :frowning:
Sorry to disappoint you"

Each of the four specimens in the photo is approximately 38 x 29 x 6mm.


Maybe a boulder opal in matrix ?


Thank you Roger… I hope the “?” attracts a few more guesses. All I know is that it can’t be anything rare, because it was very inexpensive…


I haven’t a clue…it doesn’t look like any agate pattern I’m familiar with and it certainly isn’t fire agate. You might try a scratch test to determine hardness…just look up the Mohs scale and assemble a rudimentarly set of hardness samples…you know, fingernail, copper penny, steel knife blade, piece of glass, piece of quartz. Then if you could determine a specific gravity, you might narrow it down some. Looks a little like Larimar, but the pattern isn’t right for that. Maybe attending a meeting of your local gem and mineral society would get you some help, or a visit to the geology department at a local college.


By the looks of it I should say some sort of silica indeed (opal, agate, calchedony) in matrix (rhyolite?). By the looks… because as others stated you can’t know without seeing and testing the actual stones. But it certainly is no fire-agate…
Already a picture can be deceptive and any treatment may take you further away from the correct answer. But in a reaction to your own words: you say you know it is heat-treated and color enhanced? I am not so sure about that since the vendor can’t tell you about it’s origin either. Other than obvious colouring of stones, enhancing is meant to improve on original characteristics of the stone rather than changing them. If it were coloured one should expect the whole rock being affected by it.
Best just have the actual stones tested… pictures leave you with more questions than you already have…


an Ethiopian opal rough polished?


As previously stated it is not prudent to identify a stone by a photo, especially one that is known to be enhanced.

With that said my first thought was of an opal in matrix. Mexican was what came to mind. It can be found for pennies a gram and with the right treatment and enhancing could possibility make it look like this.


Thank you everyone for your contributions to this. I have sent a specimen to an interested geologist/lapidary who told me to do a scratch test. I tried scratching the stone with an exactoknife, and couldn’t even make a mark on the stone…knife kept slipping off. So, maybe that’s an additional hint…
I probably shouldn’t have said “I know that…”, regarding the treatments…I really only know what the person in China wrote back…

When I receive an answer from the geologist/lapidary, I will post here.


OK. I’ve also got separate opinions from someone from AGS, and an independent geologist/lapidary who agree that it’s a form of LARIMAR, and that it is not dyed. I’m pretty happy with this. I guess the unusual markings are just the result of how it was cut. From what I could find on the internet, it’s not your usual “mostly blue” larimar.
Thank you again for all your input.
I’ve attached a photo of how I used the stone…


That is pretty clever wire wrapping. I have some stuff that needs your attention, such as black jade and chrysoprase.