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Stone Marbles

Other Stone Marbles

Tigereye, golden quartz with inclusions of a type of asbestos which often has blue fibers, has also been used to make marbles in Germany. This stone is not mined in Germany itself, but comes from such unlikely places as Grinqualand West, South Africa. Tigereye marbles appear to be dark brown in color with bright golden bands circling them.

Rose quartz marbles were also made by the early German craftsmen, and are fairly easy to identify by their pink color. Most pieces of rose quartz of any size are fractured inside, since it is quite hard to get a piece of this material in its natural state which is perfect. Bloodstone, a form of green chalcedonywith red spots scattered through it resembling drops of blood, was occasionally used for marble-making. The green color of this stone is often quite dark being almost a blue-green in shade. With this background, the small specks of red contrast quite brightly. Very few of these marbles of those of rose quartz were produced, making both types quite rare.

Marbles have also been made of Petoskey stone, a type of fossilized coral, or to be more specific it is a calcite replaced coral of the genus Hexagonaria. The genus name Hexagonaria refers to the fact that the coral cells of this group are six sided. The fossil stones display a pattern of little hexagons one next to the other across the surface, visible within marbles made from this stone. The name petoskey comes from the city of Petoskey, Michigan, and these stones are only found along Lake Michigan from Petoskey to Charlevoix, with the exception of some similar types which are found in southern Iowa and southern Indiana.

Goldstone Marbles

Goldstone marbles are actually glass. Goldstone is actually gold aventurine, which is glass containing particles of copper. Green aventurine contains chromic oxide, and reddish aventurine contains ferric oxide. Aventurine can also refer to translucent quartz which is spangled throughout with scales of mica or some other mineral. The marbles, however, are the glass with the copper flecks.

Modern Stone Marbles

Agates are still produced today in Germany and sold in the U.S. There is no way to tell the modern agates from the antiques made a century ago. Take caution when buying agate marbles, especially if many in good condition are for sale. The grinding and polishing process of agate to make marbles is still time consuming and expensive making prices of the modern agates almost as high as the older ones.

Sphere machines which can form large marbles of different types of rocks are also becoming more popular among rock hounds. Most of these spheres are fairly large, certainly larger than normal agate marbles. Today, large alabaster spheres in a variety of pretty colors made abroad are sold in the gift sections of many U. S. stores. These have little value as a collector's item, rather as a home decoration. Rose quartz marbles are fairly new to the marble market.

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