Among Colorado minerals that generate a high dollar volume are varieties of cryptocrystalline quartz. In its various forms, this mineral is known as carnelian, chalcedony, onyx, sardonyx, chrysoprase, agate, jasper, petrified wood and many others. It is found in many locations around the state, with petrified (agatized) wood occurrences in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, Delta,and El Paso counties (to name a few).

Pictured right: Sowbelly agate from theLast Chance Mine. Creede District, Mineral Co., Colorado.The term “sowbelly” refers to cryptocrystallinequartz consisting of alternating bands of chalcedony and amethyst and which may contain native silver.

Sow belly agate from the amethyst vein of the Commodore mine in Creede.