Moroccan agate
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Posted by: frank Post Reply
02/22/2018, 20:33:52

I have always been curious about the origin of the stone that stone beads are made from especially after the publication of " The History of Beads ". A few years ago huge amounts of spectacular Moroccan agate and jasper started arriving at a wholesale facility in the desert of Oregon. The unrivaled saturated color of the jasper and the large areas of single color made me think of certain Egyptian beads in Dubin.The owner has been selling some retail and I bought some last year. The stones in the photo are weathered out of basalt and the color is not accentuated. I have seen tons of these natural "beads".I am curious if anyone has ever seen anything like them in an ethnographic context.These are simply picked up off the ground and would have been easily available for trade if such a network existed from the hinterlands of Morocco. Small cutting and bead drilling factories are being made in Morocco to create a finished goods market and I expect that they will show up at Tucson eventually.Having said that I can relate that I have helped mine hundreds of tons of very fine jaspers and agates from Oregon which were bought by Chinese buyers and we have never seen any of this finished product in the US market. Thanks for any help. The stones pictured range from 5 mm to about 18 mm and these have only been prepolished and polished as they were superb in the rough.

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