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Brazilian Agate Tumbling Rough

Brazilian agate tumbling rough
$12.95 For
Two Pounds
(907 grams)

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Brazilian Agate Rough

Our Brazilian Agate consists of crushed and sawn pieces of agate nodules collected in Brazil. It is a beautiful translucent to transparent material with colors ranging from milky white through pale yellow-orange though amber-brown. Many pieces contain subtle to distinct banding. Some pieces might be from the crystal centers of the nodule.

Brazilian agate is a hard and tough material. We tumble it at least twice in coarse grit to obtain nicely-rounded pieces. It can be tumbled to a beautiful luster in a rotary or vibratory tumbler using TXP aluminum oxide polish.

The pieces in this mixture range from about 3/8" (9.5 mm) up through about 1 1/2" (38 millimeters) in size.

The rough material in the photograph above is wet to show full color. The photograph below is of polished material.

Polished Brazilian Agate
The photo above is from a batch of Brazilian Agate that we recently tumbled. Here are the steps that we followed to produce this great polish.

Step 1: We stated with about four pounds of Brazilian Agate rough and loaded it into a Lortone QT6 tumbler with about 12 ounces of coarse 60/90 grit silicon carbide and tumbled for two weeks. Brazilian Agate is a very tough material and the normal seven days in coarse grit will just start rounding the pieces. That's why we added a little extra grit and ran for two weeks. We are pretty picky about getting nicely smooth rocks so at the end of two weeks we decided to run one more week. So we rinsed the rocks and put them back in the barrel with 8 ounces of coarse grit and a couple handfuls of large ceramic pellets to make-up for lost volume. At the end of the third week we cleaned up the rocks and were ready for medium grit.

Step 2: We loaded the Brazilian Agate and small ceramic cylinders into a single barrel Lot-O-Tumbler and ran them for three days hours in two tablespoons of 150/220 grit, rinsing and adding new grit at 24 and 48 hours. We then cleaned the rocks and barrel for the fine grit step.

Step 3: We loaded the agate and ceramic cylinders back into the barrel with two tablespoons of file 500F grit and ran for 48 hours without rinsing, checking the tumbler and adding water as needed. Then we cleaned the rocks and barrel.

Step 4: The final step was 48 hours in the Lot-O-Tumbler with one tablespoon of TXP aluminum oxide polish. We checked the Agate at the end of 24 hours and it had a nice polish, but we knew that it could be a little better. So we added one Lot-o-Tumbler cap full of water and allowed the tumbler to run another 24 hours.

We were really pleased with the results. Total processing time was four weeks.

Polished Brazilian agate
We really liked some of the thin translucent to transparent pieces of Brazilian agate that displayed fine bands of yellow, orange, brown and black. Here are a few examples.

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