Does only Yemeni agate have white or black stains or impurities or oncogenes?
No. All Agate in the world can have such properties. The point is that no specific inclusion index has been published in any source or scientific article that is specific to Yemeni agate. Some laboratories in Iran have also tried in this regard, but nothing special has been conclude. In the case of red Yemeni agate, we should see iron oxide or hematite.
Emerald is a precious and relatively rare stone, which from a few tons of stone, only a few grams of Emerald can be obtained. We can say that an Emerald has three-phase inclusions or pyrite and so on. Or that Afghan Emeralds have their own unique inclusions because this has been proven.
Hundreds of Yemeni agate specimens from one region must be examined to prove their inclusions and then compare them to those of other parts of the world.
Since agate is a semi-precious stone, it probably did not matter to anyone to look for the form of inclusions in a particular area. There are thousands of tons of agate in Iran, India, Brazil, Africa and almost all parts of the world. It is not a rare and special thing. You say I have a honeycomb Yemeni agate with white spots, etc. But the diversity of agate in Iran is so high that I can show you the exact same from a region other than Yemen!
Are Yemeni Agate without thermal improvement?
No. Almost 90% of Yemeni agates have been heated in coal stoves since ancient times. The Yemenis are the masters of heating agate, which has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Heating is often done for Yemeni yellow and red agate samples. The remaining 10% is for samples that are of very good quality in the natural state.
Is there a way to tell if Yemeni agate is heated or not?
Both yes and no! We can say under a microscope or a loop that there are traces of heat in this stone, but there is no way to confirm that this is Yemeni agate. If we get light behind red agates and you look closely under a microscope, the iron oxide grains are in a messy, cloudy state, and this usually means the red agate stone is heated. Also, shadows from around the rock can be seen even with the naked eye towards the center. However, sometimes it is not so easy to recognize them.
Are the original Yemeni Agate dyed?
Yes. During agate mining in Yemen, as in other parts of the world, low-quality raw materials are found, and there is no way to increase their value other than dyeing them. In Iran, too, many agate from Khorasan and elsewhere are only dyed or only heated or a combination of both.
Is there a way to identify stained Yemeni Agate?
Yes, but there is no way to say that this agate is of Yemeni origin. Dyed agate often have a strong artificial color to our eyes. The best way to see the accumulation of color points in the corner next to the rock. If there is direct light behind them, you may see that the edge around the stone is darker than the middle of the stone. Sometimes, due to the low porosity of the stone, the color does not reach the core well, and for this reason, when you re-polish or engrave it, it turns unbelievably white!
Do only Yemeni opals have the original signs of a honeycomb design inside?
No. Apart from the fact that small amounts of Yemeni agate have honeycombs, many agate from Khorasan, and even India or Brazil can have honeycomb forms. Now imagine a colorless or red agate that is not so desirable to be colored and heated. It has both a good color and a honeycomb design. Therefore, this case is not a solution in the diagnosis of Yemeni agate.
Is Yemeni Agate different from other parts of the world?
No. Some people think that Yemeni agates are in the shape of a cauliflower, while this type of agate is abundant in Khorasan and other parts of the world.
Is the test of not burning hair or yarn correct in diagnosing original Yemeni agate stone?
No! I do not know how this idea got to anyone’s mind, but it is clear that it is a fraudulent act.
Is only agate found in Yemen?
No. Yemen has many minerals. Yemen has been known since ancient times for its trade in agate and other ornamental stones such as onyx and jade. However, amongst the other stones and the incense and spice and coffee beans, Agate has gained worldwide reputation as a magical stone.
Onyx and eye agate stones as well as other agate colors such as lily, white, yellow, etc. are found in many parts of Yemen. The white rocks are mainly from Aden and some other areas between Sa’da, Al-Hijaz and Najran. In fact, agate has been mined in southern Yemen for more than 7,000 years. However, these areas, which used to be rich in quality agate veins, are almost depleted or there are less of high quality specimens in them.
What is the type of Yemeni agate’s cutting?
In the past centuries, diamond sanding plates and other cutting tools were not as easily accessible as today. Names such as old carving, definite carving, ant head, hammer, nail or ax, ant foot, Yemeni registration carving (flat), etc. which are used to describe old agates only exist due to the use of early tools such as granite. With the old methods, scratches and grooves or traces of grains resembling ant footprints remained on the polished stone and could be seen with a 10x loop or under a microscope.
Although these types of abrasions have undesirable effects on the polishing of the stone, but they lead to the belief that it is old and without artificial improvement and discoloration, and the signature of the Yemeni agate, therefore their presence increases the price of the agate. THIS IS A MISTAKE. It is true that these methods were used in ancient times, but for centuries the Yemenis have been improving agates, and heating is a traditional custom among them. Thus, attempting to distinguish the Yemeni agate by its appearance can lead us astray.
Today, although new registration lathes are common in Iran, but it has been seen that some lathes in Iran also heat Khorasan agates and after finishing the work, they create scratches and grooves (for example with 400 sandpaper) and scratches on it so that it will look like Old Yemeni agate carved with old tools. Now tell me, can the appearance of this stone tell you if its original Yemeni Agate or not !?
Why is Yemeni agate valuable?
The answer is in its history. Yemeni agate is a brand because its reserves are historical. In addition, Yemeni agate has a special honor and spiritual value among Muslims. Imagine a Cambodian ruby and a Burmese ruby both of the same quality and condition, yet the Burmese ruby has a higher value because it has historical and famous mines. In the case of agate, the history of their mines, along with the narrations in Islamic books from the Prophet or Imam Ali (as) and other Imams about the honor of the Yemeni agate, have increased their value and popularity.
Ibn Shahr Ashoob narrates that: One day Gabriel descended on the Prophet and said:
O Rasulullah, my Lord sends greetings and peace upon you and says, Put your ring on your right hand and put agate as its jewel and also tell to your cousin Ali (as) to put his ring in his right hand and put agate as its jewel.
The Prophet (PBUH) conveyed the message of Gabriel to Ameer al-Mu’mineen (PBUH). The Imam asked:
O Rasulullah, what is agate?
The Prophet (PBUH) said:
It is the name of a mountain in Yemen.
In the past, the import and export of stones was not as fast as it is today, and it is not unusual for someone to point to a gem near their place of residence. For example, if the Mexican fire agate had been introduced to the Arabs at that time, it might have been one of the most popular agates! There are many narrations about agate, but Yemen is not mentioned. It has been narrated from Hazrat Amir Al-Momenin Ali (AS) that:
The prayer of a person who has an agate ring in his hand is forty times more rewarded than the congregational prayer of a person who has a non-agate ring in his hand.
Of course, we are right about the Yemeni red agates, which are among the highest quality agate in the world, but are they not available elsewhere? There are red agates in Iran which have a unique quality without the need for any improvement. Also some Indian or Brazilian agates with insignificant improvements (or just heating like the Yemeni ones) have very high quality samples.
- Karimi Hasan, Sangshenas.com, Translated By MyRings.Co
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