Dark trees emerging through rolling fog just before dawn on the edge of a forest...can you see it? These incredible stones are a type of Indian dendritic agate known as Shazar stone. Like landscape jasper, each unique stone displays a miniature image that seems plucked right out of nature.
Shazar stone is found exclusively in the Ken River in the Banda district of India and is believed to have been discovered around 400 years ago. This agate is characterized by its tree like inclusions that can look like miniature foggy landscapes. In fact, the name Shazar or Shajar comes from the Arabic word “Sazar” meaning tree. Some refer to Shazar stone as the Stone of Plentitude and believe it brings abundance and richness in all areas of life. Local legend says that any object that remains in front of the stone for too long will be imprinted inside. However, there is a scientific explanation for how these fascinating inclusions form.
When two or more chalcedony stones trap a piece of fossilized fungus, the fungus produces an acid or base secretion that causes the agate to become translucent and simultaneously bind it all together. The result is a milky stone with dark, branch-like inclusions. Different colors may appear in Shazar stone, such as black and orange-red, and are caused by inclusions of iron and manganese. Cutting Shazar stone takes a tremendous amount of skill, as the stone has to be sliced just right to reveal the picture inside.
Shazar stone is relatively unknown to most Western jewelry buyers, but we here at Market Square Jewelers have a particular enthusiasm for it. We travel directly to the source and carefully select each stone to set into our antique, vintage, and handmade jewelry. To us, each stone is like a photo capturing a moment in time. It’s easy to get lost in these little landscapes, imaging the stories that might take place in them. We hope you appreciate their beauty as much as we do!