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More about Agate: Agate was discovered with the Stone Age man in France 20,000-16,000 BC. Agate was highly valued by ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptian. The Agate industry grew up centuries ago in the Idar-Oberstein district of Germany, where agates were abundant. Agate is one of the gemstones 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. Agate derives its name from the Greek "Agate??" – meaning happy. According to another theory the word Agate comes from the Achates River in Sicily, now known as the Drillo River, which still remains a major source of this stone. Agate comes in a variety of beautiful colors, ranging from transparent to opaque. The stones can be artificially stained to produce combinations of color more vivid than those found in the natural state. Agate has irregular, sometimes circular bands of color and often replaces fossil wood. Agates are identical in chemical structure to jasper, flint, chert, bloodstone, and tiger-eye, and are often found in association with opal. Agate is the stone for self-expression, creativity, health and good fortune. It soothes emotions and pain, sensitizes and attunes senses and 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. This stone also works directly with the nervous system to alleviate physical tension and is said to assist in the treatment of arthritis, skeletal conditions, and as an aid to digestion. Important sources of agate are Russia (Ural mountains), Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Madagascar, Mexico, Uruguay and the USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana).

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