A Writers Guide to Agate


Condor Agate

Agate is a cryptocrystalline variety of silica, mostly made up of chalcedony. It’s known for its fine grain and bright colors. Agate comes in many colors: gray, white, brown, salmon, red, orange, black, yellow, violet, blue-gray, and even green and blue. It’s often banded.

Agate is a porous material and may be dyed to enhance or to add colors. However, as far back as 300 B.C.E., the Byzantium people burned agate to enhance the color.

Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and naturalist, named the stone after discovering it along the shores of the Achates river (now called the Dirillo located in present day Sicily), between the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C.E.

History and Lore

  • Agate has been used since ancient times — evidence has been found to show that Stone Age man used this stone — for hardstone carving. Hardstone carving is the artistic carving of semi-precious and precious stones.
  • It was believed that wearing agates made the wearer friendly and truthful.
  • Ancient Persian culture believed it prevented storms, and that the wearer would not suffer from thirst.
  • Mithradates, the king of Pontus, had 3,000 bowls made of agate.
  • Sumerians made agate seals, beads, and jewelry.
Bowl. 1st century BC - 1st century AD - Bowl. after 1589 - Socket. Agate, gold, enamel. Museum of silver Platstso Pitti

Hardstone carving: Agate bowl from 1 BCE-1 CE

Some of the Varieties:

  • Agate Geode is a geode with a layer of agate and filled with crystal structures, which are typically quartz.
  • Blue Lace Agate has light blue bands in a lacy or wavy pattern.
  • Botswana Agate is from Botswana and has thin banded parallel lines of white, purple, or peach.
  • Brecciate Agate has broken fragments naturally cemented together.
  • Cloud Agate is a grayish color with blurry patches of inclusions.
  • Condor Agate is from Argentina and often has bright, vivid colors.
  • Crazy Lace Agate has twisting bands of colors.
  • Dendritic Agate is translucent with tree-like or fern-like inclusions.
  • Eye Agate has banded concentric rings.
  • Fire Agate is iridescent with a rainbow of colors. It usually has globular forms.
  • Fortification Agate has bands that connect to each other resembling the walls of a fort.
  • Fossil Agate has replacements of organic material.
  • Iris Agate is iridescent with a rainbow of colors on a translucent colorless or white base. It’s very rare.
  • Laguna Agate is from Ojo Laguna, Chihuahua, Mexico and has dense banding.
  • Moss Agate has dense green moss-like dendritic inclusions.
  • Plume Agate has fluffy inclusions that appear soft and deep.
  • Sagenite Agate has pointed, hair-like inclusions often arranged in fans or bursts.
  • Snakeskin Agate has a scale-like layer that resembles a snake’s skin.
  • Star Agate has banding lines in the formation of a star.
  • Thunderegg is a nodule-like rock, similar to a filled geode, but filled with agate. Note thundereggs may also be filled with jasper or opal.
  • Tube Agate has visible flow channels or pinhole-sized “tubes.”


Magical and Mystical Properties include

  • relieving illness
  • diminishing thirst
  • aiding in healing
  • relieving gastritis
  • stimulating analytical capabilities
  • aiding in protection
  • diverting storms and lightening
  • distinguishing between true friends and false friends
  • building self-confidence
  • protecting children
  • stabilizing one’s aura
  • bringing prosperity
  • aiding in transmutation (changing or the state of being changed into another form)

Blue Lace Agate

  • relieving pain
  • relieving stress
  • healing inner wounds
  • releasing negative energy
  • aiding in plant health
  • bringing peace and happiness
  • aiding in reaching higher spiritual places

Botswana Agate

  • healing and stimulating the circulatory system, the skin, and the brain
  • helping with the intake of oxygen
  • helping to stop smoking
  • easing depression

Crazy Lace Agate

  • aiding in balancing the inner and outer self
  • aiding in laughter
  • dispersing emotional pain
  • aiding in focus
  • warding off the evil eye

Dendritic Agate

  • helping to connect with nature
  • aiding in prosperity
  • aiding in emotional balance
  • aiding in creativity

Eye Agate

  • aiding in physical stamina
  • building up self-esteem
  • relieving feelings of loneliness
  • warding off the evil eye

Fire Agate

  • alleviating stomach and endocrine system problems
  • reducing hot flashes
  • strengthening night vision
  • aiding in balancing oneself
  • aiding in grounding
  • aiding in meditation
  • aiding in relaxation
  • energizing one’s aura

Moss Agate

  • aiding in the recovery of long term illnesses
  • balancing blood sugar levels
  • balancing emotions
  • aiding with forgiveness
  • dispersing anger

Snakeskin Agate

  • relieving stomach aches
  • reducing worry
  • promoting self-esteem
  • helping one to be less visible in a crowd
  • finding lost items

Agate works best when worn directly on the skin.

Discharging & Recharging

Discharge agate once a month by holding it under warm running water. The stone’s energy will increases in the sun. (In stone therapy, when using stones to heal, their energy is used up, requiring the stones to be recharged.)

This is a reference for fiction writers and should not be taken as medical or spiritual advice.gemstone index

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  1. Hi Holly – a great amount of detail here … and agate is a stunning stone – I have a few agates … tiny pieces of ‘jewellery’ … stones have so much to offer once cut open ,,, so beautiful and as you show – with many healing properties.

    Cheers Hilary

    1. I think it’s often overlooked, but it is so pretty.

  2. Wow, so many different varieties. Must be a fairly common rock around the world.

    1. Yeah, I think it’s like quartz in that it’s common and fairly easy to find.

  3. Agate is such a beautiful stone. My father the rock hound had many in his collection and before we sold my mother’s house, I managed to bring home a lot of them.

  4. I’m needing the snake skin and the blue lace 😉

  5. I didn’t realize it was found in so many colors. They are beautiful! Thanks for the info. Have a great week!

  6. Wow. It’s gorgeous. I love all the layers.

    PS: Salmon cakes worked great, I went with spicy. But meatballs no-so-good.

  7. Thank you for the information on agate! Such beautiful pictures! That bowl, in particular, is gorgeous.

  8. Such a beautiful stone. The carved vessel is amazing.

    Arlee Bird

  9. What a beautiful stone! Thanks for all these wonderful little details about it.

  10. You’ve put together a brilliant resource here—thank you! And these stones are gorgeous. I think we had a slice of one at home — pretty big, maybe a hand’s breath across, half again that long — of Laguna Agate, in tones of sepia and purple. It sat there, on the master bedroom dresser, as decoration… I don’t think anyone knew about its properties (and probably would’ve been skeptical about them if they did, haha).

    Thanks so much for stopping over at Julie’s yesterday… Much appreciated. And good luck with NaNo!

    1. The color combo sounds gorgeous. I’m not too sure they can heal but pretty things so make me feel better!

  11. Absolutely Breathtaking!!! I never realized these stones had healing powers…I need some….

  12. Hi there! I thought agate was agate and now you show me all these beautiful varieties! How gorgeous and how many uses! Thank you! 🙂

    1. I didn’t know there were so many variety either. You’re welcome!

  13. My family is big into agates. I didn’t know there was so much detail behind them. I think I’ll have to send this along to them. They’ll be impressed!

  14. Very pretty. I love all the varieties. (And especially that bowl!)

  15. We used to have white stones in a hill that we called agate. I have no idea if they were really agate, but they were pure white, and this particular hill was studded with them. I had no idea all those different types of agate existed.

  16. This is a beautiful stone. I love the colored bands and variety.

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