The Ferdows Agate Field
Ferdows agate field, Ferdows, South Khorassan province
When we talk about Ferdows agate field, we are speaking about a dozen little agate fields which scattered in an extended volcanic field that covered all around Ferdows little town, except northwest and northeast. This large volcanic state is mainly formed from thick sequences of lava and associated pyroclastics which their composition is limited between andesite, dacite and rhyolith. The general sight of area composed of bald weathered hills which covered with rock debris, with no vegetation. There is no point that you could imagine free from agate in this area. A number of agate fields are scattered in this unsettled desert that seems the most of them are still undiscovered. This fields are little in size and mostly uneconomical in economical view. Many of them has local names like Chah-e-Newk, Angoom, Sarayan and so on, but here we mentioned all of them Ferdows area for brevity.
In several of this agate fields remains of manual excavation operation of locals observed. These are very primitive and limited to some shallow diggings for finding more deep color agates in lower parts, because they found that weathered agates in the surface are commonly fade in color. However basically the range of color in Ferdows agates covered a range between colorless to deep inky blue. Two type of agates observe in south Ferdows: Vein agates and nodular agates, which the later is more varied in internal structures and banding. The most abundant agates other than common banded agates are Horizontally banded agate and Stalactitic agate. Presence of stalactites in agates and geodes could be mentioned as the preeminent characteristic of ferdows agates and geodes. Mixing of different internal structures created some interesting forms in Ferdows agates. At present no one of this agate fields seems economically for excavating but they worth to visit for every agate collector in Iran.
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