TNB Night Owl – Fordite

Fordite, photo by Rhonda

Elementary school science teaches that there are three kinds of rocks: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Then again, it also teaches us that there are three phases of matter, up until the point where we learn about plasma and Bose-Einstein condensates. Mindful of the limits of elementary school science, let me introduce Fordite.

Fordite is a jewelry stone which is popular due to its ability to retain a high gloss after polishing and its many bright and vibrant colors. The stones are used in earrings, necklaces, and even wedding rings.

They’re also paint.

Not painted; paint. The stones are composed of hundreds and often thousands of layers of paint, each one baked onto the next. They were created during the automotive painting process, across the decades when cars were spray-painted by hand. The excess would inevitably coat a rail or a floor, which would then be heated and dried along with the rest of the car. Then the car would be taken off the assembly line and the next body to be painted put in place.

The result was a multicolored substance with most of the properties of agate. Some workers decided to recycle the buildup rather than simply throwing it out, and “Motor City Agate”, or more popularly “Fordite”, was born.

In one of the most successful examples of turning trash into treasure, the paint deposits typically sell at prices equivalent to actual semi-precious gemstones.

Question of the night: What was/is the best American car?

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.