“Part of the fun attending a trade fair is looking for new and interesting things. Usually we are looking for treasurers that our customers will also love but sometimes you make an amazing discovery that just isn’t to most peoples taste.”

Last year we discovered a new gem variety called Fordite (also known as Motor Agate). Perhaps the ultimate in ‘recycled’ gemstones Fordite ‘rough’ comes from the successive layering of overspray in large painting bays of automotive companies. Some layers have been bake hardened over 100 times with a rainbow of popular car colours from the period.

The ‘rough’ is then shaped and polished into a myriad of unique shapes and colour patterns.

Fordite varieties include Great Britain Fordite (recovered from an English auto factory in the 1970’s) and Detroit / Ohio Fordite recovered from American auto factories in the 1980’s).

The hand spraying techniques that created the rough are no longer in practice in major car companies so the gem is quite rare. The piece below is our only piece.


“Detroit” Fordite Regular grey banding of primer layers between colour layers.

Interesting? Yes. Our gem of choice for a new range of jewellery? No.


This story was taken from Holdsworth Bros newsletter ‘Pearle’ Autumn 2009

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