Agate

ASIAN AGATE MARKET

EXPORTS OF OPAL, ONYX AND AGATE GEMSTONES IN MIDDLE EAST

The best agates are red, yellow and white. Gemstones have different sources and pressure and temperature are two factors that are involved in their formation. So far, about 200 areas including the gemstones have been identified in Iran. Agate can be sourced from silica minerals or hydrothermal fluids.

Why are agates so special?

The best agates are red, yellow and white
The best agates are red, yellow and white

Agate is a kind of quartz among the semi-gemstones. Agate is characterized by its fineness and light color. Agate is semi-gloss, matte, and luster glass. Agate color is from white to dark gray and black, yellow and red, green and blue light, and in the second grade stone is renowned jewels. 

The best agates are red, yellow and white. After Neishabour Turquoise Mine, the oldest semi-precious stone mine in Iran is Baig Mine. This mine is located in Khorasan Razavi province. Baig is a mine of Shajar Bamroud Agate in South Khorasan, and the only mining major parts supplier of raw materials workshop of Shajar Agate in Iran.   

Other identified areas: 
East of Ghaen near Shahrokht in a plain called Bamroud,   Southwest Trudeau, Central Alborz and Kerman.

Agate Gemstone Trade in Middle East

Gemstones have different sources and pressure and temperature are two factors that are involved in their formation
Gemstones have different sources and pressure and temperature are two factors that are involved in their formation

Gemstones have different sources and pressure and temperature are two factors that are involved in their formation. In general, the materials and minerals that make up the gemstones are including:

  1. Magmatic
  2. Metamorphic
  3. Sediment
  4. Organic


So far, about 200 areas including the gemstones have been identified in Iran. Therefore, the development of milling cutters can be job opportunities in the field of exploration, extraction, production, trade, and export. Most of the gemstones identified in Iran are agate, turquoise, crystal, garnet, and jasper. Many of these gemstone mines are located in Khorasan, Isfahan, East Azerbaijan, Hamedan, and Zanjan.

Although the trade in gemstones is one of the most profitable types of trade, unfortunately, there is no accurate and organized scientific study center in the distribution and exploration of gemstones in Iran.
Iran plays a small role in the gemstone trade. The added value of processed stones will be about 700 % of the ore, but the industry of carving and cutting gemstones in Iran is not developed. The value of exports of gold, jewels, gemstones in 2004 (compared to the year 2003) is approximately 1.86 percent.

Exports of gold, jewels, and gemstones in 2004 (compared to the year 2003) is reached to the 5.81 percent and reduced to 5.800 kg.
At present, Iran's main exports are handicrafts, carpets, turquoise, and gemstones. Recently, the Iranian Handicrafts Organization has established training workshops in various places such as East Azerbaijan, Ardabil, Markazi, Tehran, West Azerbaijan, Khorasan, Fars, etc. to improve the gemstone cutting industry. 

Of course, centers and schools related to gemstones must equip themselves with the latest tools and technology in the world in terms of cutting and carving gemstones, to be able to keep pace with international standards in this field. Iran is located in the world diamond line, so it should take steps in the development and production of precious and semi-gemstones as much as possible to develop and improve this industry. Iran is dependent on oil export earnings, while precious and semi-gemstones will make the economy more profitable.

Agate is found in abundance in Iran and so far more than fifteen cases of Agate minerals that six cases are economically exploited. Agate deposits in Iran have been found in modern Oligocene volcanic rocks up to the present day, all of which have precipitated silicon-rich acidic solutions within the cavities.

Thus, amygdala to geodesic shapes is formed on the surface of the earth, which is composed of layers with different colors of agate. Some of them are filled with layers of Agate while others have holes in their center. The presence of layering in these structures indicates the periodicity of sedimentation of Agate layers, which can be attributed to the alternating periods of activity of hydrothermal solutions.
 

Do you know what the Agate Reserves in Iran are?

So far, about 200 areas including the gemstones have been identified in Iran
So far, about 200 areas including the gemstones have been identified in Iran

Qom Agate Reserve
Qom Agate reserve is geographically located at 25 km of Tehran highway and 5 km to the right of the highway. This reserve is one of the famous Agate mines of Iran, which is currently being exploited. The rocks that contain the Agate deposit of Qom are Eocene andesite. Hydrothermal solutions trapped in the voids and voids of volcanic rocks have over time formed chalcedony geodes and crystals. Qom Agate consists of chalcedony and jasper. The definitive reserve is 27.395 million tons of andesitic ore.

Khor Agate Reserve, Red Agate is Rich in Iron Oxide
The reserve position is located at 35 kilometers southeast of the city of Khor in Esfahan province. Agate of this area has a long history. The study area is located in the structural zone of Central Iran. This place is mostly rocky۔ Eocene volcanic eruptions are erupting. Its morphology is Mahouri hill and is characterized by smooth erosion surfaces. The desired geodes can be seen scattered on the ground and at a depth of about one meter. Their host rocks are volcanic and mainly tuff and lava with andesitic composition, the general color of which is dark gray. The geodes of the region are of two types: solid and with various colors in different dimensions and the other hollow and containing quartz crystals including amethyst and in the mountain in different dimensions.

Geode with a Strip of Agate from Khur
These geodes have a chalcedony composition at the edge where the silica cools rapidly. But in their central core, which has enough time to cool, they have quartz crystals in various and interesting colors. Silica-rich fluids trapped inside volcanic and pyroclastic rocks have formed geodes. Dispersion range of about 5 thousand square meters, Agate storage 1250 kg, and solid geodes is in an estimated amount of 937 kg.

Chah Kasegoo agate Reserve
The Chah Kasegoo Agate mine deposit is located 36 km from Ferdows and the area is covered by pyroxene andesitic volcanic rocks with satellite hill morphology. These rocks are seen as blackcaps and domes that are altered with gypsum. Agate rubble and nodules are scattered throughout this volcanic complex. Host Agate rock mineralization of pyroxene andesite volcanic unit area. Magmatism-dependent hydrothermal solutions have formed Agate nodules within the volcanic complex. Agate with some gypsum has been seen in the altered range.

Mossy Ferdows Agate Minerals
The cumulative thickness of the Agate layers varies from 5 to 15 cm, but their average dimensions are 7 cm. Wide range but sparse mineralization. The way to access this store is simple. Agate nodules most of the area has a thin outer shell of silicate and green (sometimes yellow to pink). Agate is also found in yellow to brown color, which is called Jaz. In some parts, an accumulation of agates with quartz crystals of amethyst type in the central core in purple color.

Chah Haji Agate Reserve, Ferdows Agate Reserves
This mine is located in the southwest of Ferdows city. Paleocene green tuffs are widely distributed in the area. On this tuff unit, at the height of the volcanic domes, Hornblende andesite is placed with a brown facade that has a high color variation and has been seen in milky white, white-gray, cream-yellow, brown, burnt brown, and black colors.

A beautiful Agate called Babaqouri (onyx) has been found exclusively in this area. Another name for this agate, Eye Agate or Agate is an eye. Agates are formed and exposed along with jasper and colored naps. Agate mineralization is mostly done inside the green tuff unit and also secondary to the seams and cracks created by the fault (placement of silica solutions and silica gel deposition and finally the formation of Agate nodules).

Access to these agates is somewhat difficult, and Agate harvesting is associated with carving and sometimes explosion. Area approximately 2000 square meters and a depth of one meter and a relative density of 1.5 kg of onyx with a purity of 50%. The geological reserve of Agate in Haji Chah is almost equal to one ton.

Torbat Heydariyeh Agate mine, Agate of Torbat Heydariyeh Region
In the northwest Khorasan Razavi province around the village of Baig, there is an area consisting of Eocene volcanoes to the late Neogene, which in the distance between Torbat Heydariyeh to the village of Baig and Fadiyeh Agate mineralization is observed in cavities and cuts. There are two economic indicators in this region:

Ma’jan River Reserve: 
This reserve is located in the northwest of Fadiyeh village. One of the valuable areas of the adjacent volcanic complex is the decorative stone deposit of the Majan River. In this area, pyroxene - olivine basaltic lavas with dark facies and prismatic formation in the form of blackcaps are located in the ridge and the range of lava and Lahar rock assemblages. In both Lahar and Lava units, Agate geodes can be easily extracted by digging a pit.

Godard Atashsang Area:  
Carving works and excavations to extract the metal Agate and quartz geodes are seen in this area. The range of gemstones in Baig village is part of the north-inner volcanic-plutonic belt. This belt is introduced as a single zone.

In the Godard area, rock, andesite, and pyroxene are the main units that are considered to be the host rocks of agate. The types of veins in this reserve are more than the reservoir of Majan River and the color of Agate is mostly white. The color is milky white to gray. The Agate of the region is mainly found in the form of twins, and veins, but in some cases as shear cement, it includes other components. The color is white, milky, gray, brown, purple, rarely yellow, and cream. The amount of Agate reserves in Baig village is about 1.2 tons with various colors and Godar fire Agate reserves are 5 tons.

Mavi (blue) Agate Reserve, Middle agate
In East Azarbaijan province, there is an area containing Agate mineralization, which is located in the paper section of Miyaneh city and inside a triangle headed by Mavi, Inqar, and Zaranjin villages. The area of ​​this area is 8 square kilometers. Agate with gray, milky, red, and yellow color variation is found in three areas 

In the general reserve, the range is three geological units belonging to the Eocene and Oligocene ages. Two geological units, including Eocene gray and purple tuffs and rhyolites, trashy dacites, and Oligocene-age ignimbrites, are exposed at this site. Agate mineralization is abundant in Oligocene volcanic rocks. The fault is also in line N10E the border forms these two stone units.

The role of this fault in the infiltration of hydrothermal solutions has been a cause of alteration in this region. In cuts caused by repeated movements, this fault in some parts of Agate in the form of cement encloses the shear particles and connects them, and in some places, Agate is deposited as a thin layer on the shear parts. The predominant color of these agates is blue. The rotation of hydrothermal solutions along the fault has caused the formation of Agate in the area.

How are agates formed?

Agate can be sourced from silica minerals or hydrothermal fluids
Agate can be sourced from silica minerals or hydrothermal fluids

In general, Agate can be sourced from silica minerals or hydrothermal fluids, or in other cases from amorphous silica gel or hydrothermal fluids (hydrothermal fluids) or atmospheric waters. Agate is found in various geological environments in gas cavities, in acidic volcanic rocks, and fossil rock fractures. Most believe that the formation of Agate coincides with the formation of its source, but some believe that the formation of Agate is its source millions of years after the formation of stone.

Large amounts of Agate deposits are formed from the effect of post-volcanic hydrothermal solutions on basalts and andesite. These types of reserves are found in young volcanic areas (Mesozoic – Cenozoic) of folded belts and to a lesser extent in old platforms, and economic reserves along with andesite - porphyries, andesite - basalt porous porphyries and their tuffs. Erosion of these types of reserves results in agate-rich placers.

Agate volcanic hydrothermal deposits are sometimes formed in acidic volcanic rocks. These types of reserves are oval and have an uneven surface. This type of cross Agate reserves 15 - 1 cm and sometimes 30 cm, and in exceptional cases to 1.2 to 0.9 meters looks. Stone cover silicified rhyolite was approximately 25-50%of the rock mass will form. The cavities in the cover stone are partially or filled with agate.

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