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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!
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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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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #6 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:28 am 
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I've finally received the agate sets. I ended up getting 8mm stones instead of the larger ones. In the future I may get some size 32 and 36 sets.

They're much nicer than I'd expected, and I'm especially fond of the red and black set.

I'll post the sets at the end of June or early July.

Each set will include a pair of bamboo bowls, a wooden storage box and imitation leather board (basically everything you'll need to play).

The sets are the following...

Black and White --> Four Sets
White and Red --> Three Sets
Red and Black --> Three Sets

All sets are natural, undyed agate. All sets also include a certificate of gem authenticity (made specifically for each set)

The stones are all biconvex, though there is a tiny flat spot on them for balance.

I can only post three pictures at a time, so I apologize for post spamming.

WHITE AND BLACK STONES

The white and black stones are quite nice. They are very traditional in color of course. The white stones have a milky appearance with some minor transparency. The black stones are stygian, a deep black far richer than slate. Some of the white stones have apparent grain when held to the light, but most are cloudy. A few of the black stones have some grain too (seen in one of my pictures), but this is only apparent when held to a light.

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Last edited by Erythen on Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #7 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:29 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #8 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:31 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #9 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:35 am 
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RED AND WHITE

I love the color combination of the red and white stones. These stones make a beautiful contrast, but not as strong as black and white.

The White stones are, like the other set, milky in appearance with a little transparency. The red stones are a rich blood red. Some of the red stones have a grain in them when viewed through a light, but most are solid red.

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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #10 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:37 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #11 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:37 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #12 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:45 am 
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RED AND BLACK

I admit that I was a bit dubious about this color combination, but after receiving the sets they've quickly become my favorite.

The black stones are the same as the other set, but the red stones are lighter in color (than the white and red set) and have beautiful grain patterns, clear even without a back light. Many of the patterns are reminiscent of snow grade Slate and Shell...though not always as strait (please see the pictures).

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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #13 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:46 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #14 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:47 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #15 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:07 am 
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I will also offer about 100 slate and shell sets (of varying grades, sizes and quality). I'll be posting them periodically throughout the summer as I clean and quality check them.

The highlights include...

1. Size 31 - Snow Grade
2. Size 31 - Suwabute (Special Hyuga Stones) Snow Grade
3. Size 32 - Suwabute (Special Hyuga Stones) Snow Grade
4. Size 33 - Snow Grade
5. Size 36 - Snow Grade
6. Size 38 - Snow Grade
7. Size 40 - Snow Grade
8. Size 41 - Moon Grade
9. Size 42 - Moon Grade
10. Size 44 - Standard Grade

I'll also offer the following semi-precious stone sets...

1. White Jade and Green Lemon Jade
2. White Jade and Dark Green Jade
3. White Jade and Obsidian
4. White Turquoise and Brazilian Blue Stone
5. Goldstone (Orange and Blue)
6. Lapis Lazuli and Dark Red Jade
7. Lapis Lazuli and Red Jasper
8. Rosewood and Ebony (Wooden stones)

Each semi-precious stone set will include a pair of rosewood bowls, a storage case and imitation leather board.

I'll also have about 15 - 20 rosewood bowls suitable for up to at least size 36 stones.

With luck I'll also have a store website setup before the end of Summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #16 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:12 pm 
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Are your rosewoos bowls subject to CITES requirements? Almost all Dalbergia (rosewood) species cannot be imported into CITES signatory countries without meeting strict requirements. There may be a risk of confiscation by the customs.

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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #17 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:41 pm 
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gowan wrote:
Are your rosewoos bowls subject to CITES requirements? Almost all Dalbergia (rosewood) species cannot be imported into CITES signatory countries without meeting strict requirements. There may be a risk of confiscation by the customs.


Thank you for the heads-up. I'll check and make sure :tmbup:

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Post #18 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:36 pm 
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Quote:
CITES requirements? ... (rosewood)
Oh, Prestige set.

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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #19 Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:02 am 
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The last time I checked (somewhere around 2015), there was one rosewood that was completely banned : dalbergia nigra (Rio rosewood, or Bahia rosewood, or Brazilian rosewood). It is black and dark red and was widely used for music instruments.
Rosewoods from Madagascar are severely restricted (they are logged illegally from protected areas, and massively exported to China).
There were no restrictions on other rosewoods (kingwood, tulipwood, east indian Rosewood, etc). They are usually black and brown. When the colour is different, the name is different too (kingwood = black and purple, tulipwood = red, pink and yellow).

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 Post subject: Re: Agate Go Stones
Post #20 Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Pio2001 wrote:
The last time I checked (somewhere around 2015),


Things have changed since 2015. All kinds of rosewood (Dalbergia species) are now regulated.

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