Did Henry Ford create Detroit Agate?

Did Henry Ford create Detroit Agate?

One of our jewelers, Julie Sanford, is known for creating lovely necklaces using sterling silver and natural stones.  One material that she uses is Fordite.  Quinn McDonald wrote about Fordite in her blog, “QuinnCreative” today:


“You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.” Henry Ford is supposed to have said that about the Model T. And until 1908 it was true.  The first cars were all black. It was inexpensive and most machinery was black or gray, why not cars? Henry Ford then developed a paint that dried fast. It, too, was black. But in 1908, red and green became available. After that, colors became the norm.

Fast forward into the 1900’s. Cars were painted in special rooms that were dust free and allowed for spray painting. The walls became layered with paint. When the paint got too thick, it was broken off in chunks.

Some brilliant person saw the value in this old paint. It was hard and layered. It was waterproof and tough. It looked like agate. It became used in design and jewelry and was known as Detroit Agate or Fordite.

Fordite bracelet by Julie Sanford