Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: "Fordite"

("Fordite images found on

Beautiful and highly unique, Fordite is actually not a true 'gemstone.'  In fact, it's not a stone at all.  Fordite (also known as "Motor Agate" or "Detroit Agate") is the result of the old-fashioned method for hand-painting cars. It used to be that cars would be sprayed by hand on an assembly line and the cars (and the frames that held them) would be baked to cure the paint.  Well this paint would also build up on the assembly line frames the held the cars and would sometimes receive hundreds of paint layers and after every baking it would just make this layering harder.  The end result is a rock-like substance umpteen layers deep of paint.  It is durable enough to be cut just like any natural gemstone and the colours it can have make it absolutely stunning for jewelry.  However, because this method of painting cars is no longer in use that means that there is a very limited supply of Fordite which, in turn, means that Fordite can actually get surprisingly expensive at times and is likely to go up once the supply has been depleted.