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New gemstone book Agates: Treasures of the Earth published

09 June 2006

Agates: Treasures of the Earth is the first popular guide to these beautiful gemstones and is the new book from the Natural History Museum.

Beloved by the Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians and Romans, agate is highly valued today for use in jewellery, sculpture and technology. It's very popular among collectors, due to its wide distribution and stunning visual appeal.

This new book includes a detailed introduction to the geology of agates and a comprehensive guide to agates of the world.

Cover of book Agates: Treasures of the Earth

Cover of book Agates: Treasures of the Earth

It is sumptuously illustrated throughout with photographs of wonderfully colourful minerals, accompanied by text from a well-known expert in the field.

Thunder eggs

Agate has a multitude of colourful names such as landscape onyx, thunder eggs, moss agate, flame agate and wave onyx.

Created from volcanic lava, some agate dates back 545 million years. It forms in rock cavities, taking on distinctive shapes and colours all over the world according to the local geology. Although it is quite easily available, rare and high-quality specimens are highly sought-after.