The meteoric popularity of gemstones in Indonesia and the rising sales of Bengkulu’s unique agate stone, better known as “Red Rafflesia”, have both driven the local government to register a patent for this sparkling gemstone.
“The Red Rafflesia is known to have won several agate gemstone contests in many parts of the Archipelago and is currently sought-after by most gemstone enthusiasts who come to Bengkulu from across Indonesia “, stated Governor of Bengkulu Province, Junaidi Hamsyah on Friday, 13th February 2015.
Governor Junaidi further explained that Red Rafflesia has distinct colors that resemble the Rafflesia arnoldii flower which is the icon of Bengkulu Province and one of Indonesia’s National Flowers. Just like this unusual flower, the agate is also mostly highlighted with the color red, hence the name. The governor added that to patent the agate, the provincial government will follow the process at the Representative of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
According to the governor, the agate has great potential to be developed further beyond worn on a ring or other jewelry. “ the agate craftsmen need to be more creative and not just process the stone for jewelry, they can also make prayer beads, miniature arts, lamp holders, and more” commented the governor. The governor also plans to purchase machineries for the creation of prayer beads to boost the development of the agate industry in the province of Bengkulu.