moss agate

a kind of agate or chalcedony containing brown or black mosslike dendritic markings from various impurities.
[1790-1800]

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also called  mocha stone 

      grayish to milky-white agate (q.v.), a variety of the silica mineral quartz that contains opaque, dark-coloured inclusions whose branching forms resemble ferns, moss, or other vegetation. The included materials, mainly manganese and iron oxides, are of inorganic origin. Most moss agates are found as fragments weathered from volcanic rocks. Long used for ornamental purposes, they are obtained chiefly from India, Brazil, Uruguay, central Europe, and the western United States. The best stones are cut in flat or rounded form, and some are dyed to improve their colour. Its properties are those of quartz (see silica mineral [table]).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • moss agate — n. a kind of agate containing dark colored, branchlike markings of manganese or iron oxides …   English World dictionary

  • moss agate — noun an agate resembling moss with brown, black, or green markings • Hypernyms: ↑agate …   Useful english dictionary

  • moss agate — noun agate with moss like dendritic markings …   English new terms dictionary

  • moss agate — /ˈmɒs ægət/ (say mos aguht) noun a kind of agate or chalcedony containing brown or black moss like dendritic markings from various impurities …   Australian English dictionary

  • moss agate — noun Date: 1798 an agate mineral containing brown, black, or green mosslike or dendritic markings …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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