(Last Updated on : 07-10-2017)
Agate is a semi-crystalline variety of quartz
. This is a gemstone
, widely distributed but not very popular. It is found mainly in India, Brazil, Madagascar, China, Russia and Australia. The colourful, 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.
Agate is the birthstone of Taurus
that is bull. The time ranges from April 20 - May 20. Agate is the anniversary gemstone for the 12th year of marriage. Moss Agate is the anniversary gemstone for the 14th year of marriage
Origin of Agate
Agate is one of the oldest stones in recorded history. The Egyptians used it prior to 3000 BC. Agate was highly valued by ancient civilizations. The name of the gemstone is derived from the Greek word Agate which means 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.
Appearance of Agate
Agate has irregular, sometimes circular bands of colour 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 Many fossils are agatized material where the original organic substance has been replaced by agate while retaining the original structure.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
Colour of Agate
Agate is available in various colours. The colours of agate are arranged in strips or bands or blended in clouds and classified accordingly as moss, ribbon, dendrite, etc. Agates range from transparent to opaque in a variety of beautiful colours. It presents various tints in the same specimen. The stones can be artificially stained to produce combinations of colour. These are more vivid than those found in the natural state. This is generally brown in colour. When used for ornamental purposes it has usually been dyed artificially as the porous nature of this mineral allows it to absorb material from solution. There is variety of brownish- orange or red agate that is known as carnelian
, the green variety chrysoprase and the blue variety chalcedony. Black agate is known as onyx
Varieties of Agate
There are several types of agate. Varieties include Blue, Blue Lace, Crazy Lace, Green, Indian, Moss, Tree and Wood. The Moss agate or mocha stone contains visible impurities in the form that resemble moss.
Benefits of Agate
Agates have been used in jewellery
from ancient time. They were used to ward off storms. This is the stone everyone should have for protection. Agates attract strength. This is also a protection from bad dreams. The agates with banded colours were placed at the head of a sleeper to give rich and varied dreams.
The gemstone Agate also has the healing properties. It is used for stomach upsets. The agate should be placed on the solar plexus. It also protects from stress
, energy drains and headaches
. It draws out the venom of insect and reptile
bites. It cures fever
and eye infections. It improves eyesight and relieves inflammation and tiredness of the eyes. It staunches bleeding and also relieves skin irritations. It promotes fertility and helps in increasing athletic prowess. It gives good health and long life. Agate brings stability to anyone's life.