by Inigo del Castillo in New Art on Wednesday 28 May 2014

No these rocks were not made from deep inside a groovy cave. Nor were they formed by molten stuff in a far out volcano. In fact, these aren’t rocks at all! Fordite, also known as Detroit agate, is a colorful and psychedelic gemstone-like byproduct of early automobile painting techniques.

Back in the day, cars were spray painted by hand, with the excess paint dripping and collecting on the factory floor, creating layer upon layer of random colors. Heating methods that were used to dry the car’s paint also hardened the waste product beneath it, turning them into spectacular formations. It is assumed that workers who recognized the beauty of these dried paint rocks took them home.

Today, the materials are shaped and polished to be made into jewelry and stones. And with automobile manufacturing shifting to automated car painting, Fordite might never be accidentally made ever again. Which means the remaining stones are increasingly becoming rare. Talk about ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!’

Via Demilked