Difference Between The Gemstones – Agate, Jasper And Chalcedony

Either in rock tumbling or lapidary work, there are mostly three gemstones that are overtly used and are quite famous in this regard. Agate, Jasper and Chalcedony are mostly used in wrong terms and in the incorrect ways. However, it is of utmost importance to know that Agate and Jasper are two varieties of Chalcedony. The materials should be visually inspected before a name is labelled to any of the gemstone.

What is Agate?

Agate is a kind of Chalcedony which is either translucent or in the semitransparent form. If it is held up against the light, one can see the cloudy or deformed images within it and also a small amount of light actually passes through it. On the other hand, while performing the experiment, if you keep your hand in between the light and the agate, no light would be passing through it. If the piece of Chalcedony in your hand shows any presence of bands in it, you can be sure of it being nothing but an agate. Often agate has several variations, such as in – mossy, plume-shaped or dendritic types etc.

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What is Jasper?

A variety of Chalcedony which is opaque in nature is Jasper, which means, no light is able to pass through it. When there is any form of micro-crystalline quartz present, or any form of impurities gets added to it, the capability to transmit light through it is reduced. This is the reason as to why Jasper cannot transmit light since it contains impurities. Therefore, agate and jasper although are kinds of Chalcedony, varies from one another on a great extent.

What is Chalcedony?

Materials that are formed of the micro crystallized quartz is labelled under the name of Chalcedony. Agate and Jasper, both are types of this. Chalcedony is generally a very hardened material, almost rated 7 in Mohs scale. It gives a texture that is not granular and a lustre that is waxy in nature. The gemstone is quite durable and is found in varieties of colours such as – red, gray, yellow, orange etc.

What are the differences between agate and jasper?

  • The main point of difference between the two is transmission of light, and the quality of being translucent or opaque.
  • Another is that, agate has bands present in it but is absent in Jasper.
  • Jasper is formed when volcanic ash gets solidified but Agates are basically a type of igneous rocks.

Thus, it can be clearly understood how the gemstones Agate, Jasper and Chalcedony vary from each other.

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