DECEMBER 1st, 2021: I have a special place in my heart for Carnelian Agate. Back when Noelle and I first got into rockhounding, we had a magical trip to the Big Bend area. I had been doing my research on stones to look for in legendary Brewster County, TX, and had seen a form of Carnelian Agate online called Big Bend Blood Agate. Of all the possibilities I had read about previously, that was the one I wanted to find the most. We never found one on that trip, or the trip after that. But by our third venture into the Big Bend region we had a better idea of what to look for. To our surprise our secret spot called the gate, we found, was somewhat plentiful with them. I picked up several specimens that day that fit the bill. Some of them turned out to be the real deal, some were fire quartz and some were just pretty rocks. This specific stone I’m working on tonight (see attached blog photo) was one of the best of those specimens. It is not a typical Big Bend Blood Agate, but is instead perhaps the finest blend of Carnelian Agate one could hope to find. The stone was not too much bigger than two golf balls put together, and produced only two pieces of jewelry, but they are top grade. Somewhere between quartz and chalcedony–these two beauties were soft enough to grind easily on the wheel, and as the finishing and polishing phases progressed I knew I had something special on my hands. They finished out perfectly with no fissures and polished with  a smooth, clear glassy finish. Amazing stuff…