Detroit Agate - The Motor City's Most Unique Export Since The Edsel

Fordite/Detroit Agate looks like a magical stone from some fantasy kingdom, and those who come across bits of it must feel like they’ve just missed a meeting with a leprechaun, because the colorful striped stones have an out-of-this-world brilliance, but the truth is Fordite isn’t a precious stone at all.

These striped rainbow colored stones are a byproduct of the automotive industry, chunks of paint buildup which are removed from car painting racks and tumbled like precious stones.

Here’s how these wondrous stones are created:

Before the car painting process was automated like it is now, automotive bodies were painted by hand on long production lines. The vehicles’ paint would drip off and dry on the equipment used to move the automotive bodies. This enamel paint would then get baked onto the rack and solidify. After this process is repeated hundreds or thousands of times, the deposits can grow to be several inches thick.

Enterprising workers who recognized their potential value chipped off these waste products and saved them to be turned into jewelry later. When these stones are ground down and polished, they reveal a dazzling array of colors.

-Via Bored Panda


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