JH: Oil Treatment for Agate Stones

The following info was excerpted and summarized from the small booklet called Amazing Agates - Lake Superior's Banded Gemstone by Scott F. Wolter and illustrated by Rick Kollath.

Agates have natural banding, caused by glacial action.

Agates do not need to be cut nor polished.

Oil Treatment

Clean the agate thoroughly with soap and hot water.

The agate can be enhanced through a process known as treating.

The hot water heats the specimen and slightly opens the tiny surface micro-cracks.

The next step is to dry the agate with a towel.

Then immerse the agate in "baby" oil or mineral oil while the agate is still warm.

This allows the oil to seep into and fill the minute cracks, letting light reflect off the surface.

After the oil has seeped into the agate, then wipe off an excess oil on the agate, and allow the agate to dry.

Then all of the beautiful banding patterns and colors will be rich and full.

Summarizing

Clean thoroughly with soap and hot water. Hot water slightly opens the tiny surface micro-cracks. Dry agate with a towel. While the agate is still warm, immerse it in "baby" oil or mineral oil. The oil seeps into the minute cracks, letting light reflect off the surface. Remove agate from the oil and wipe off oil. Allow agate to dry. The banding patterns and colors should be more obvious.

created Jun 24, 2016