SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Agate, a cryptocrystalline variety of the mineral quartz, whose variegated colours are distributed in regular bands or zones, in clouds or in dendritic forms, as in moss agate. The banding is usually in parallel lines of different colours, sometimes straight, sometimes undulating or concentric. The bands represent the edges of successive layers of deposition from solution in cavities in rocks. It is found in many localities; India, Brazil, Uruguay and Germany are known for fine specimens.
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