microcrystalline

This lovely stone via reddit user Smartstocks. Comments say this is a type of Chalcedony, a type of quartz that is composed of only microcrystalline SiO2. The darker stuff is an immiscible material, so when it was cooling the SiO2 would not bond with it. This is usually on oxide mineral. It is a volcanic rock also.

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Figuration is one of the oldest art forms, but it is continually evolving, reflecting contemporary concepts of human identity. Figurative art responds to technical innovations like printing, photography and digital reproduction, but the ancient craft of rendering the figure renews itself with each subsequent generation. The artists featured in UNREALISM work within the figurative canon without becoming academic. They are able to make a venerable tradition in art completely of our time.

The exhibition is on view for the duration of Art Basel Miami Beach, through December 6, 2015, 7pm ET at The Moore Building in the Miami Design District.
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Image: Urs Fischer, Zhou Yinghua, 2014, paraffin wax, microcrystalline wax, encaustic pigment, oil paint, steel, and wicks, 73 × 21 ¾ × 20 inches (185.4 × 55.2 × 50.8 cm) , ed. of 2 © Urs Fischer. Photo by Ali Walker

Agate in quartz

The fluctuations of iron in the silica gel from which the inner layer of agate condensed are obviously apparent in this lovely slice of rock. A greater amount in the centre, gradually fizzling out into the near transparent zone, before a final burst as the microcrystalline silica cooled. Afterwards further hot fluids precipitated a nice outer rim of quartz crystals around the agate nodule.

Loz


Image credit: Bijoux et Mineraux

So I was thinking about Jasper’s “overcooked runt” comment about Amethyst, and like - gems’ humanoid forms are illusory and Amethyst’s particularly skilled with shapeshifting (and therefore Amethyst is probably small because she wants to be/believes she should be, not because something’s wrong with her) and Amethyst’s gem isn’t substantially smaller than the others’. For that matter, I’m pretty sure her gem is bigger than Jasper’s. But it’s unlikely that Jasper could know Amethyst personally, so there must be something about her that’s obviously nonstandard to another gem.

Several people have pointed out that Amethyst and Jasper look somewhat physically similar, and that mundane amethysts and jaspers are both forms of quartz.

I think “overcooked” might be the important word - generally speaking, the larger and better defined crystals a mineral has, the slower it forms. What if for some reason, microcrystalline quartzes are better suited as soldiers, and whatever aspect of Homeworld bureaucracy controls the kindergartens simply chooses not to cultivate many crystalline quartzes? 

If that’s the case, Jasper would almost certainly be aware of that policy, being a microcrystalline quartz herself. And with how proud and combative Jasper is, she probably relates to crystalline quartzes in one of two ways. If they’re seen as inherently inferior, she looks down on them with a good deal of contempt. If there are fewer of them because the ones that are cultivated are groomed for more prestigious or important positions, Jasper probably resents them.*

In either case, she’s probably making the (possibly very safe) assumption that a young Amethyst running around essentially unsupervised on a planet with a defunct kindergarten wasn’t intended to be an Amethyst at all. I think Jasper may believe - and may be correct in believing - that our Amethyst was intended to be some variety of agate or other chalcedony (jaspers are usually red or brown or occasionally green, not purple), and some irregularity in her cultivation allowed her to form one or more well-defined crystals instead.

*(As a slight aside: if crystalline quartzes are more elite than microcrystalline quartzes, it’s possible that even if Rose wasn’t royalty the way that some people theorize, she could still have been an important general or colonial governor of some kind.)

“Chalcedony is a microcrystalline Quartz designed to be both useful and powerful. With the utility and visual appeal of a Pearl, Quartizine strength and durability, and a more compact design, the Chalcedony makes a useful and obedient servant, as well as a competent bodyguard. Coming in a broad range of colors, they’re the perfect accessory for a high-profile Gem aristocrat!”

decided to draw one of my ocs, Felicien, as a Gem~