Finding Better Jewelry

How to Design and Make Jewelry with Fire Agates

by Cody Day

Fire agates are a variety of chalcedony with distinctive internal iridescent colors and shapes. These gemstones are very durable, and that quality makes them ideal for cutting and setting into jewelry. Fire agates come in many different colors from deep reds, purples, light yellows, lime greens, and many shades of blue. Here are some qualities and things to consider when making jewelry with fire agates.

Choosing Fire Agates: When considering fire agates to make into jewelry, look for stones with deep colors and well-defined internal shapes. Most fire agates come with internal bubbles and pockets that resemble the molten liquids that formed them millions of years ago. These internal shapes give fire agates an unusual brilliance and iridescence that makes them highly desirable. 

Precious Metals and Fire Agates:  The many colors of fire agates allow them to be effectively set in gold, sterling silver, and/or platinum. The colors of each fire agate are unique and should be matched with the precious metal that showcases them best. 

Gemstones That Compliment Fire Agates:  When working with fire agates, you may want to use them with other gemstones that compliment them and not compete with them. The many colors of fire agates must be considered when choosing complimentary accent stones. Here are some gemstones that can compliment and enhance fire agates:

  • Peridot - The intense lime green color of peridot gemstones naturally compliments the different colors of fire agates, especially those that are predominantly deep red and orange. For continuity, peridot can also be used with fire agates that have green and blue as their central hue. 
  • Labradorite - The teal blue and green colors within labradorite gemstones make them complimentary stones for fire agates. Some labradorite stones also have soft violet and yellow inclusions that look good with fire agates. Look for colorful labradorite beads as accents for a special fire agate pendant. 
  • Citrine - The deep golden yellows and oranges of citrine gemstones can intensify the effect of a fire agate pendant especially one with purple and blue inclusions. A fire agate pendant with lots of internal bumps and shapes can work well with clear crystal citrine gemstones. 
  • Carnelian - The deep reds and oranges of carnelian gemstones make them ideal to pair with fire agates. Drilled carnelian beads can be great accent beads for an unusual fire agate pendant or round fire agate beads. 
  • Other Gemstones - Ruby, sapphire, jade, amethyst, and lapis lazuli gemstones can also be used as attractive accent stones with fire agates. 

Lapidary Cuts for Fire Agates:  Here are some effective lapidary cuts that can showcase your fire agates in a piece of hand-made jewelry:

  • Natural-Shaped Fire Agates - A fire agate that has been left in its own natural shape is often the best way to display it in a pendant. The top surface of a natural-shaped fire agate looks best when highly polished without changing the exterior shape of the gemstone. 
  • Fire Agate Cabochons - Another successful shape for a fire agate gemstone is when it is cut as a high-domed cabochon. This cut allows as much light as possible to enter the gemstone and reveals its iridescence and internal colors and shapes. 
  • Fire Agate Beads - Round fire agate beads are quite effective when strung with gold or sterling silver beads and bead caps. This look works well when the fire agate beads are highly polished and the gold and/or silver beads have a brushed or matte finish. 

Fire agates are distinctive gemstones that can be paired with other gemstones and precious metals to create unusual and beautiful jewelry. Look for unique cuts and colors of fire agates from retailers like the Studio Rock Shop to use in your jewelry, and you will make creations that many people will notice and want to own.