Chalcedony was a treasured gemstone of the ancient world. No important Roman was without a seal, amulet or signet ring carved from this fine, durable material. The Victorians, too, chose chalcedony for carved cameos and intaglios; its fine texture allows for intricate craftsmanship. Today, jewelry designers love its glowing, translucent tones and its wide range of colors and shapes.
Chalcedony is best known for its variety of colors and patterns. The translucent stripes and bands of agates, the rich green and brown of fine-grained jasper, the plan-like forms of moss agate, the green and red pattern of bloodstone, the translucent orange-red of carnelian and apple-green of chrysoprase, and the striking black of onyx are all faces of this versatile quartz gem.
This type of stone is found in the United States, Brazil, Africa, India, Madagascar, and Southern China.
Durable and easy to care for, chalcedony has a hardness of 7 and enviable toughness, even when carved in ornate designs.