Fordite, also known as Detroit Agate, formed from multiple layers of automobile paint overspray repeatedly baked along with the autobodies. Knocked off and dumped as worthless slag, this unique “mineral” takes on new life as beautiful jewelry.
You can’t wear a Mercury Topaz on your finger (nor would you want to) but we can all thank the automakers for unintentionally bequeathing us Fordite, the accidental gemstone that shines as brilliantly as the body of a factory-fresh Ford, Chevy or Chrysler! That it should do so is no accident, however, since Fordite (also known as Detroit Agate or Motor Agate) actually IS car paint… layer upon layer of the Motor City’s most sublime and gaudy hues, liberally applied over months and years in the old-fashioned, hand-operated paint spraying booths.
While every autobody that rolled into the paint booth only got a couple of coats of paint (primer plus final), the skids, supports and mounts that carried them to and from their colorful destiny were covered repeatedly. Over time, the layers built up over one another like the skin of a psychedelic onion and with each session in the curing & drying booth the paint was baked as hard as rock. Eventually, the baked-on “crud” would impede the process of securing the bodies to the skids and some undoubtedly low-ranking employee would be tasked with the onerous job of chipping away the “slag” and dumping it. If only they had saved those dregs, said workers would be rolling in dough today! (images via Rhonda)