Red Fox Agate

Red Fox Agate is a rare and beautiful variety of agate characterized by its vibrant orange, red, and white bands, resembling the fur of a red fox. It's considered a precious stone, sought after by collectors and crystal healers alike.

Red Fox Agate is a rare and unique agate variety that is found in Patagonia, Argentina. It is formed in volcanic geodes, which are hollow rocks that are lined with crystals. Red Fox Agate is characterized by its red, botryoidal hematite inclusions, which give the stone a distinctive "foxy" appearance. The agate is also often found with dendritic patterns of blue agate, which adds to its beauty. 

Red Fox Agate is a relatively new discovery, and it was first found in 1997. It is a rare and valuable stone, and it is prized for its beauty and its unique properties.

Red Fox Agate Formation

Red Fox Agate is formed in gas bubbles that become trapped in lava as it cools. These gas bubbles eventually fill with silica-rich water, which deposits layers of chalcedony and quartz on the walls of the bubble. The red and orange coloring of Red Fox Agate is caused by iron oxide impurities in the silica-rich water. 

Red Fox Agate
Red Fox Agate. Photo: The Mineral Collective

Detailed explanation of the formation of Red Fox Agate:

Volcanic activity: Red Fox Agate is formed in areas of volcanic activity. As lava cools, it releases gases that form bubbles in the rock. The gas bubbles eventually collapse, leaving behind hollow cavities. These bubbles can vary in size from a few millimeters to several meters in diameter. 

Silica-rich fluids: The silica-rich fluids deposit layers of chalcedony and quartz on the walls of the cavities, forming agate.

Agate formation: The layers of silica that deposit on the walls of the bubble eventually form agate. Agate is a type of chalcedony, which is a microcrystalline form of quartz. The different colors of agate are caused by impurities in the silica-rich fluids.

Red coloration: The Red Fox Agate red color is caused by iron oxide. Iron oxide is a common impurity in silica-rich fluids, and it can deposit on the walls of the bubble along with the silica. The iron oxide can form a variety of shapes, including botryoidal hematite, which is a common feature of Red Fox Agate.

Red Fox Agate Properties

Summary of the physical properties of Red Fox Agate:

Color: Red Fox Agate is characterized by its red and orange botryoidal hematite inclusions, which resemble the fur of a red fox.

Luster: Waxy, meaning it has a dull sheen resembling wax.

Crystal System: Trigonal or monoclinic, belonging to the chalcedony family within the quartz group.

Streak: White, the color of the underlying agate when scratched.

Hardness: 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale, meaning it can scratch glass but not quartz.

Cleavage: None, meaning it breaks irregularly.

Crystal Form: Cryptocrystalline, meaning the crystals are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

Density: 2.58-2.64 g/cm³, slightly denser than water.

Transparency: Translucent, allowing light to pass through but not clear enough to see through.

Fracture: Conchoidal, meaning it breaks with smooth, curved fractures.

Specific Gravity: 2.58-2.64, the ratio of its density to the density of water.

Solubility: Insoluble in most common solvents, including water.

Magnetism: Non-magnetic, not attracted to magnets.

Fluorescence: Generally not fluorescent, although some specimens may show weak fluorescence under long-wave ultraviolet light.

Pleochroism: Weak, meaning the color changes slightly depending on the viewing angle.

Refractive Index: 1.530-1.540, a measure of how light bends when passing through the material.


Red Fox Agate Geode
Red Fox Agate Geode

Where to find Red Fox Agate

Red Fox Agate is found exclusively in Patagonia, Argentina, particularly in the Santa Cruz Province. It is primarily sourced from the Cerro Cristal region, located near the town of Perito Moreno. The agate is formed in volcanic rocks that originated from the Cordón Cabezón volcanic complex, which was active during the Miocene Epoch.

Red Fox Agate is typically found in alluvial deposits, which are loose sediments that have been transported by water from their original source. These deposits are often found in riverbeds and valleys in the Patagonia region. The agate is also sometimes found in situ, meaning it is still in its original volcanic rock formation.

Red Fox Agate - Argantina
Red Fox Agate - Argantina

Uses of Red Fox Agate

Red Fox Agate is primarily used in jewelry, where its captivating appearance enhances various designs. Here are some specific uses of Red Fox Agate:

Jewelry: Red Fox Agate is commonly used to create eye-catching necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets, and rings. Its vibrant colors and intricate patterns make it a popular choice for both men's and women's jewelry.

Gemstone Collection: Mineral enthusiasts and collectors highly value Red Fox Agate due to its rarity, beauty, and geological significance. They appreciate its unique formation process and the captivating patterns within the agate.

Decorative Objects: Red Fox Agate can be transformed into decorative objects, such as paperweights, bookends, and sculptures. Its polished surfaces and mesmerizing patterns add elegance and intrigue to any room.

Healing Crystals: In some alternative healing practices, Red Fox Agate is believed to possess healing properties. It is associated with promoting creativity, intuition, and transformation, and some believe it can enhance mental clarity and emotional balance.

Cultural Significance: Red Fox Agate holds cultural significance in some regions, particularly in Argentina. It is sometimes associated with the spirit of the red fox, symbolizing wisdom, adaptability, and a connection to nature.

See also: 
What is Lake Superior Agate, and Where Can You Find It?
What is Fire Agate, And Where to Find it?

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