Agate is the stone for self-expression, creativity, health and good fortune. It makes it much easier to open up oneself. Soothes emotions and pain. Sensitizes and attunes senses. Helps to develop powers of eloquence, self-confidence and public-speaking. It is believed to be of special benefit to athletes and to those taking any kind of examination or test - mental or physical. It eases a sore throat and takes away the hoarseness. This stone also works directly with the nervous system to alleviate physical tension and is said to be a treatment of arthritis, skeletal conditions, and as an aid to digestion. General healing, reduces fever, hardens tender gums, gives courage and banishes fear.
Agate comes in most colors. Agates range from transparent to opaque in a variety of beautiful colors. Agate presents various tints in the same specimen. The stones can be artificially stained to produce combinations of color more vivid than those found in the natural state. It is a semipellucid crystallized quartz, consisting of banded or with branching inclusions chalcedony. Physical properties of agate are in general those of quartz. Agate has irregular, sometimes circular bands of color and often replaces fossil wood. Many fossils are agatized material where the original organic substance has been replaced by agate while retaining the original structure. Agates are identical in chemical structure to jasper, flint, chert, bloodstone, and tiger-eye, and are often found in association with opal. The colorful, banded rocks are used as a semiprecious gemstone and for making mortars and pestles. One will often see these in beads, agate pendants and necklaces.
|Specific Gravity||2.61||Refractive Index||1.53 - 1.54|
Agate was discovered with the Stone Age man in France 20,000-16,000 BC. The Egyptians used it prior to 3000 BC. Agate was highly valued by ancient civilizations. Said by the ancients to render the wearer invisible.
The agate-working industry grew up centuries ago in the Idar-Oberstein district of Germany, where agates were abundant. Cameos are cut from stones, such as onyx or agate, where different colors occur in layers. The background material is cut away, leaving the cameo design in relief. Agate is one of the gemstones, that used in commesso, also called florentine mosaic. Commesso is a technique of fashioning pictures with thin, cut-to-shape pieces of brightly colored, semiprecious stones, developed in Florence in the late 16th century. The stones most commonly used are agates, quartzes, chalcedonies, jaspers, granites, porphyries, petrified woods, and lapis lazuli. Commesso pictures, used mainly for tabletops and small wall panels, range from emblematic and floral subjects to landscapes. Agate derives its name from the Greek "Agateес" - meaning happy. According to another theory the word Agate comes from the Greek name of a stone found in the Achates River in Sicily, now known as the Drillo River, which still remains a major source of this stone.
Important sources of agate are Russia (Ural mountains), Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Madagascar, Mexico, Uruguay and the USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana).