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Caption: Agate. Cut surface of a geode displaying the host rock around the outside and agate in the centre. Geodes form when a hollow in a rock becomes filled with mineral crystals that grow inward to the centre of the hollow. Agate is a form of chalcedony, a cryptocrystalline quartz (silicon dioxide) gemstone. The colours are derived from impurities in the mineral. This tennis ball- sized geode was found in Brazil.

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Keywords: agate, cryptocrystalline, crystalline, cut, gemstone, geode, impure, impurities, mineral, natural, polished, quartz, rock, section, sectioned, semi-precious, silicon dioxide, sliced, stone, surface

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