micro and Macrocosms
Here, in the Pacific Northwest, we have no lack of rocks and no lack of trees. Dendrites are when the trees find their way into the rocks in a micro level. The root of the word, dendrite, comes from Greek for tree-like. Minerals grow in or on rocks this way often, referred to as dendrites or dendtritic.
The minerals responsible for the dendrites make their way into Agates in a beautiful way. From lone trees to whole forests, the growths in clear agate look like they are suspended in space and time. Many of these forests are black in color from the oxidation of the mineral, in this case Marcasite.
Trees of another color
Because of the valence of different minerals, we get almost every color of the rainbow in dendrites (I haven’t seen blue in Oregon). This red dendrite grew within a Thunder Egg. The crystals are evident as it sparkles in the sunlight. Agate and Common Opal came in after the growth and filled in a lovely sunset scene behind the tree.
Just like a flashbulb moment, the silicates fortify around the delicate branches of the trees and preserve them for all time. Moss Agate is a great example of dendritic quartz and agate. The ‘Moss’ is recognizably green but some local moss agates come in bright oranges, reds, browns, and yellows with different tints of Agate in the background.
Variations of the theme
From stone so packed with dendrites that it’s almost opaque, to slender, single tendrils wandering through the silicates, the variation of dendritic occurrence is amazing. Different colors can reside within one stone and populations can vary from inch to inch making it one of the most mesmerizing and exciting to polish and make jewelry from.