Reframe Japan, Wabi-Sabi

Sulfide Agate

Sulfide Agate in Japan

Although the name of stones is different by location, there are three famous sulfide agates in Japan.
The three are very look-alike:

Silver flower stone ( 銀花石 ) from Aomori prefecture which is the northernmost prefecture on Honshu and faces Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait.

Noto silver stone ( 能登銀石 ) from Noto which is a peninsula that projects north into the Sea of Japan from the coast of Ishikawa Prefecture in central Honshu, the main island of Japan.

Golden flower stone ( 金華石 ) from Hime River which is a river in Niigata Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

As regards the name of sulfide agate, it is because all three stones contain pyrite or marcasite, which are considered a form of sulfide mineral, and agate. However, the name of sulfide agate does not expresses the actual situation. Because all three stones have remarkable characteristic.

Pyrite or marcasite are shooting up one after another and its space is filled with agate. So, if you cut the three stones with certain direction(cutting across pyrite or marcasite) and polished, then you can see flower shape of sulfide mineral.
See the following photo:

Quote from 緋山酔恭の山水石美術館 Noto silver stone ( 能登銀石 ):

Noto silver stone ( 能登銀石 )

Quote from 緋山酔恭の山水石美術館 Silver flower stone ( 銀花石 ):

Silver flower stone ( 銀花石 )

I am not sure this type of structure of sulfide mineral and agate can be seen in stones mined from other than Japan. In Japan, another type of sulfide agates are there, however, sulfide mineral is not piling up and therefore, flower does not appear in that case.

So, Silver flower stone ( 銀花石 ), Noto silver stone ( 能登銀石 ) and Golden flower stone ( 金華石 ) can be considered special.

The potential disadvantage of the three stones are that pyrite or marcasite tend to stain brown as the pyrite or marcasite oxidizes. Although sometimes agate may barrier oxidation, this problem appears to be worse if content rate of marcasite or sulfur is high.

The following photos are also Silver flower stone( 銀花石 ). Although it is not so beautiful as the above, it is good to see how pyrite or marcasite is shooting up one after another.

Silver flower stone( 銀花石 )

Silver flower stone( 銀花石 )