Ellensburg Blue Agate / 14.95 carats / One of the more expensive agates, Ellensburg Blue is often faceted. It reportedly has a hardness (Mohs 7.5 to over 8) exceeding normal quartz. This material originates in the State of Washington, and is fairly rare.
Hida Folk Village, Takayama, Japan. Located near the northern Japan Alps, Takayama is well known for having one of the best-preserved old towns in Japan. The prettiest section of the old city is called Sanmachi. It consists of three narrow lanes packed with wooden buildings housing sake breweries and little boutiques.