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 Post subject: Agate Go Stones
Post #1 Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:50 pm 
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Come this summer I might start dealing in brand new agate Go stones in addition to my used and cleaned slate and shell sets.

I'm just trying to gauge if there is an interest in agate stones or if I should focus most of my resources entirely on Slate and Shell.

They would come in red, white, and black, be Japanese/international standard in diameter (about 21.5 - 22 mm) and hopefully come in sizes 32 (8.8 mm) and 36 (10.1 mm).

Prices would likely be somewhere between $200 - $400 per set depending on the stones and what was included (box, bowls, board). All sets should also include a gem certificate certifying they're genuine and not artificial.

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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #2 Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:02 pm 
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Hi,
long time to answer and this is maybe a first info about your question ;-)
I looked here and there for an agate go stones set, but let go the idea due to the fact that most if not all sets I have seen around in online shops are based on shiny black and...
...partly transparent, whitish stones that didn't have any appeal on me :tmbdown:

Sooner or later - maybe later though - I think I will be interested on a set based on alternative gem material, due to the fact that it will probably have some distict advantages over shell and slate (namely: less need to maintenance and care) still I am not sure what colours I would like. I was thinking to a complementary colours set, possibly based on blue/brown, green/red match with the issue of finding the right "material" also to have other conditions that mimic the standard glossy white and matt black of the japanese style sets, something like striped/spackled/veined material.

Some pictures of the colours you suggested could help developing that idea.
I didn't know agate could have colour variations up to red, but had to change my mind since I have found pictures like this one: red and striped, very nice!
Attachment:
striped_agate.jpg
striped_agate.jpg [ 16.49 KiB | Viewed 835 times ]

Do you think that white sets can be found also in milky white colour?

Last but not least, for those who like to believe in luck, horoscope and gemmology, agate is the mineral connected with Gemini.

Galation

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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #3 Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:19 pm 
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Hello Galation,
Thank you for the feedback. I've had a few people comment, though mostly through PM :D

Quote:
I was thinking to a complementary colours set...

I'll be purchasing a few sets of semi-precious stones for sale this summer (other than agate) and matching the colors is incredibly difficult because they can't be too similar, and can't distract from the board itself. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good matches ;-)
Quote:
Some pictures of the colours you suggested could help developing that idea.

I would like to post some pictures and will soon. I'm just waiting on some sample stones before I do. Of what I have seen so far I really like the red-white sets, though I'll also get red-black and black-white as well.
Quote:
most if not all sets I have seen around in online shops are based on shiny black and...
...partly transparent, whitish stones that didn't have any appeal on me

Quote:
Do you think that white sets can be found also in milky white colour?

I'll look for that when the samples arrive. They won't be as bright as shell stones, probably more of an eggshell tone. I do plan on offering a set of white jade and obsidian, or white jade and onyx this summer.

Thank you again for the feedback. I'll post some pictures after the samples arrive. :salute:


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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #4 Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:27 am 
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Hi,
I've got a set of agate black and white stones, and I am very happy with them. They are shiny black and translucent shiny white. I've got them for 240 euros. The stones are 9 mm thick.

The white stones have variations between translucent and opaque, that can be a bit distracting. When there is a single opaque one in a string on the board, I am tempted to replace it with a translucent one, as it seems to stand out.
The shape of the stones is not always perfect. Some of them are a bit flat instead of being perfectly bi-convex. But this is not distracting.

I much prefer the shiny black agate stones over the matte glass korean ones. They shine even more than white glass.

Agate is a mineral that is supposed to be striped. Actually, striped chalcedony is called agate. So it's a bit surprising to have plain white and black agate.
Some of the white stones have faint stripes, which is very nice. Black ones are certainly artificially stained. Natural black agate is rare.

Beware of objects pretending to be made of onyx. More often that not, they are made of calcite, a soft and common mineral with nice colours. Especially when they come from Mexico or Pakistan.
The test to distinguish agate / onyx from calcite is the reaction with hydrochloric acid, which reacts with calcite, but not with agate or onyx.
The test can also be performed with white vinegar. I put a drop of 14° vinegar on a calcite chess piece, and after 30 seconds, some tiny bubbles began to form inside the drop.
No reaction at all on my go stones.
With hydrochloric acid, the reaction is much stronger. Foam immediately appears, and the piece is damaged where the acid dissolves the stone. But hydrochloric acid is more dangerous to handle than vinegar.

EDIT : I forgot to mention that the white agate stones have a beautiful bi-chromatic behaviour : they tend to look partly translucent-yellowish and partly white-opaque according to the direction the light comes from.


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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #5 Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:08 pm 
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A Mosh test can be used to determine the hardness of materials and minerals.
It is a quick and easy way, and also non-destructive, of testing. There's also a Mohs hardness scale of minerals, to quickly determine the material.
Distinguishes between glass, calcite, jade, agaath, diamond, etc.

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