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.
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
- 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
- helping to connect with nature
- aiding in prosperity
- aiding in emotional balance
- aiding in creativity
- aiding in physical stamina
- building up self-esteem
- relieving feelings of loneliness
- warding off the evil eye
- 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
- aiding in the recovery of long term illnesses
- balancing blood sugar levels
- balancing emotions
- aiding with forgiveness
- dispersing anger
- 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.)
photos: Condor Agate, Agate Bowl, Wikipedia
agate collection images from WikiCommons, thunderegg David Rix Eibonvale
series logo image by wikimedia.org, awesome colorization by me!