The Ferdows Agate Field

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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.        

"Click on photos for seeing more details in larger size"

Location of Ferdows agate field in Iran

Agate field of Chah-e-Newk, SW Ferdows

A colorless vein agate from south of Chah-e-Newk

General sight of an agate field south of Khan Kook ranch

Agate scraps among Desert Cobblestone fragments

Trench which digged by locals for extracting nodular agates

Banded agate from Ferdows area 57x45mm

"Water level" agate from Ferdows area 55x54mm

"Scenery Agate" from Ferdows area 87x44mm

"Inky blue" banded agate from Ferdows area 87x52mm

Scattered agate nodules on surface, Ferdows to Boshrouyeh road

Scattered agate nodules on surface, Ferdows to Boshrouyeh road

Stalactitic chalcedony richly seen in open space filling of geodes

Haji Hossein, local guide, has collected a chunk of agate nodules

Nodular banded agate from Sarayan agate field, W Ferdows 135x60mm

A large nodular banded agate from Sarayan agate field, W Ferdows 160x76mm

"Water level" agate from Angom agate field , south Ferdows area 54x36mm

"Chacedony fingers" , Ferdows, down edge represent 50mm

"Stalactitic agate", Ferdows, 110x50mm

"Stalactitic agate" Closer view, Ferdows, side edges of image: 16x11mm

Lining of chalcedony stalactites in open space of an agate nodule 86x76 mm

Mixture of stalactite-horizontal banding and leisegang banding in one nodule, Ferdows, 60x50x10 mm

Growth of fine stalactites in a Water Level agate,Ferdows, 62x47 mm

A nice banded agate from Ferdows-Boshrouyeh road agate field, 45x50 mm

Fine stalactites grew before the hollow center filled totally with calcite, south Ferdows, 79x49mm