Why we love agate
Agate stone is formed out of the pockets inside volcanic rocks or old lava flow when the crevices, nodules and cracks fill with deposits of silica over the ages.
The stone itself is distinguished by impressive shades of natural colors and contrast in the band patterns it contains.
The characteristic band patterns—which begin at the center of the rock and move outwards like the rings on a tree—are visually dynamic. Each band is made up of different compositions of minerals, which can often be identified by the various colors present.
Agate comes in all shapes and sizes making it ideal as a statement piece in any room
Benefits and Uses
Agate is a stone mysteriously linked to health and balance by meta-physicians who carry it to help calm the wearer.
If you are prone to excessive worry or are in need of a talisman of strength, agate is a great choice for promoting well being. It also makes a stunning visual for home or office interior design.
History of Agate
Agate has been used as a gemstone for as long as man has made jewelry and in antiquity is was quite highly valued. It was the first gemstone ever written down in an ancient document and at least 3500 years ago Egyptians procured colorful agates from the Achates River on the Mediterranean island of Sicily (from which the modern name ‘agate’ comes from). Consequently the tombs of ancient Egyptian royalty are littered with agate ornaments and jewelry.
Not far from Sicily is the Greek island of Crete where archaeological digs in Knossos have discovered agate carvings dating back to the Bronze Age. People in Idar-Oberstein in Germany have been cutting and polishing locally mined agates for well over 500 years and documents suggest mining has been undertaken there for around 3000 years. It was here that the first cases of high quality dyed agates were discovered, although dyeing agate has been going on for thousands of years it was not to such a high standard. When the local mines were exhausted, German immigrants in Brazil found huge resources of plain white agate which was sent back to Germany to be dyed to continue a very profitable industry.
As the world was opened up to new explorers more and more types of agate were discovered, Blue Lace Agate is an attractive gemstone. This agate was first discovered in the early 1960’s by George Swanson, in the southwestern African region of the Kalahari Desert of Namibia and was soon a darling of the gem world. Botswana Agate is a beautiful white and purple or peach striped agate discovered in this southern African country while Fire Agate is only found in the western parts of North America and was discovered as recently as the 1950s.