Fairburn Agates are typically found in the Grassland and Badland areas surrounding the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is likely that the agates originated in the sedimentary deposits that were uplifted when the Black Hills were forming. As the limestone eroded, the more durable agates moved with the outwash materials as they moved downstream from the Hills. The wide variety of patterns and colors likely reflect the many agate-bearing areas that were present in the Hills. That variation can be documented with the differences identified with the known agate areas that remain in-place in the Hills, including TeePee Canyon, State Park and dozens of other, smaller outcrops.
Most Fairburn Agates have been broken as they moved downstream and rounded by the forces of erosion. The surface of Fairburn Agates usually has a desert varnish, or patina, present. The patina often presents different colors than the underlying core color of the agate.
The Agate Works is one of the few lapidaries that cut cabochons from Fairburn Agates, as the value of quality agates in their natural state can exceed the value of cabochons that can be cut from the rough. The forces of erosion and weathering also have created fractures in many of the agates that reduce the value for cabochons. We scour the shows to acquire rough that may be suitable for cutting. The supply of rough is very limited and often expensive. We hope that you will enjoy the stones we offer.
PO Box 10634
Green Bay, WI 54307-0634