Agates: Treasures of the Earth
Agates: Treasures of the Earth
Agates: Treasures of the Earth Agates: Treasures of the Earth

* Book Type:

Not Available Online
Publisher: Firefly Books

Author Statement: Roger Pabian with Brian Jackson, Peter Tandy and John Cromartie
Audience: Trade
Specs: color photographs throughout, references, glossary, index
Pages: 184
Trim Size: 5 7/8" X 8 1/4" X 1/2"
Language code 1: eng
Publication Date: 20161004
Copyright Year: 2006
Price: Select Below

Agates: Treasures of the Earth

A well-illustrated reference for agates including an introduction to their geology and formation, a comprehensive identification guide and listings for where they can be found around the world.

"Superbly done ... should be high on everyone's 'must have' list."
--Rock and Gem

Agates, the first popular guide to the brilliantly banded and highly prized gemstones, sold 7,000 copies in hardcover, no doubt for the glorious color photographs that capture collectors' enthusiasm for the stones' distinctive shapes and vivid colors.

Agates is a comprehensive, easy-to-use identification guide and a worldwide listing of where they are found.

The book describes:

  • Names of agates--mineralogical, geological, local, trade, trivial
  • Properties of agates--e.g., color, wall-banded, level-banded, cracked, thunder eggs
  • Sources of agates--e.g., eruptions, lava, sediment, limestone beds, and fissures
  • Lapidary--sawing, grinding, sanding, polishing
  • Imitations and forgeries of agates
  • Uses of agates through the ages, with beautiful photographs of artifacts and jewelry
  • Early writing and collections
  • Use of agates in science and technology
  • Collecting
  • National and regional maps showing agate-producing areas.

Amateur gemologists and agate collectors alike will find this informative and beautifully illustrated book to be an indispensable resource.


Roger Pabian was a professor emeritus at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a highly respected agates specialist, research geologist and invertebrate paleontologist. Brian Jackson is head of mineralogy at the National Museums Scotland and professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Peter Tandy is curator of mineralogy at the Natural History Museum in London, England. John Cromartie is a collector of Scottish agates.



Agates are probably the most common gemstones on Earth. They have been used to create ornaments for around 7000 years, and have been recorded on every continent and in several different geological environments. Since the mid-1900s, agate collecting has become very popular in Europe, North America and the Middle East. There are thousands of agate-producing areas on Earth, and in the following pages, you will become acquainted with a small, but representative sample of these fascinating gems.

The formation of agates is of scientific interest to a range of scientists, from geologists investigating their geological significance to chemists studying the formation of chalcedony within water pipes in geothermal areas. This book is intended to present the current state of knowledge of these gems. Thus, the goal is to acquaint the novice and remind the advanced collector of the rich geological and cultural significance of these most beautiful stones, and to take the reader on a tour of the geographical distribution of agates across the world.



Names of agates

What is an agate?

Properties of agates

Sources of agates

  • Europe
  • Britain
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia


Uses of agates through the ages


Further information
Picture Credits

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