Agate Gemstone – Sometimes called the “Earth Rainbow”
Belonging to the quartz family, the banded chalcedony in its varieties is called agate. The name has been derived from Sicilian River Achetes; it is where the agates are believed to have been found first. The gemstone is usually in stripes or bands; some have color specks, or eye marks, or solid or with fossil inclusions. Because of the color specks, it is called the “earth rainbow”!
Where the historical background of agate is concerned, know that it goes back to the Neolithic Age! The Neolithic people is said to have used this gemstone in artifacts. The Babylonians used it as a jewelry item and as amulets (wearing which would heal the person).
The Egyptians and Greeks used it for medicinal purposes. Later, agate spread in Africa, Middle East and Russia.
The quartz bands in agate are microscopic and quite delicate in appearance, but as appearances can be deceptive, agate is very strong, and therefore, is an excellent strengthening and stabilizing gemstone.
There are many types of agate found in the world, but given are a few that are very popular with people, and especially with the gemologists:
· Laguna agate: Most- and highly-praised red and scarlet agate, it is very famous for its extreme tight banding of the two colors.
· Blue Lace agate: This circular and graceful agate is elegantly soothing and soft (as the name suggests).
· Crazy Lace agate: Its gracefully lazy patterns are random; it is also known as “happy face” or “laughter stone”.
· Dendritic agate: It is known as the “stone of plentitude”.
· Fire agate: It is also known as the “fiery stone”, its deep brown color seems to mesmerize people.
· Moss agate: It is called the “crystal of agriculture and gardeners”.
· Botswana agate: It has fine parallel lines of peach, purple or white.
· Condor agate: It is found in vivid colors.
· Eye Agate: Perfectly round, it has banded concentric rings.
· Fortification agate: The bands on this connect to one another—beautiful to look at.
· Iris agate: It has spectral colors that are exhibited on white or translucent base.
· Snakeskin agate: This reddish brown stone has scaly layer as seen in snakes.
Unusual Agate Gifts
Agate Historically and Present
In art, agate is a most common material used in the art of hardstone carving. It has been recovered at a number of ancient sites which indicates it had widespread use in the ancient world. An example is the archaeological findings at the Knossos site on Crete. It had a role in Bronze Age Minoan culture.
Agate was given its name by Theophrastus. He was a Greek philosopher and naturalist. He discovered the stone along the shore of the river Achates in present-day Sicily. That was sometime between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. Various colorful agates and other chalcedonies were obtained from that river over 3,000 years ago. The river is now called Dirillo.
Because of its banding that is unique in all gemstones found, the agate is generally and commonly multicolored; more so because the natural single-color stones are dyed to get bands of different colors.
It is an interesting fact to know that a single-color agate is traded in names like “carnelian” and “sard”. This single color can be purple, pink, brown, red, blue, white, black, gray, yellow and orange.
Chakras and Healing Powers
Different types of agates are known to highly balance the unbalanced 7th chakra, that is, the crown chakra:
- The blue lace agate is known to have positive and stimulating effect on a person’s attitude and emotions—as support and encouragement.
- The dendritic agate is known to bring fullness, harmony and abundance in life.
- The Botswana agate helps the wearer quit smoking in no time. It is an effective problem-solver and aids in depression by releasing the negativities involved.
- The crazy lace agate brings joy to the wearer, promotes optimistic feelings and ideas, and stimulates the mind in a powerful manner.
- Harmonizing the yin and the yang, the Brazilian agate balances the emotions and intellects. Working slowly, it brings great result over time.
- The fire agate helps in igniting the spiritual flame from within.
- The orbicular agate (also known as the bulls eye agate) is very effective in warding off evil doings; not only this, it helps in eliminating fear and teaches the wearer to tackle and survive in bad situations. It bring fulfillment of great wellness.
- The “ultimate pregnancy stone” white agate takes care of morning sickness, unbearable labor pains, while protecting both the mother and the baby. It also ensures healthy breast milk in the mother.
- The plume agate is particularly very beneficial in releasing stress and anxiety.
- The moss agate makes a person victorious and strong.
Where the 3rd chakra, that is, the solar plexus chakra is concerned, the gemstone helps the wearer to overcome and remove strong negative emotions.
Generally speaking, agate improves analytical and perception abilities, heals anger or tension, and transforms negativity into positivity. Basically, the gemstone helps in enhancing mental abilities and mental power, and increasing the body’s energy level.
Please note that the wearer needs to consult a gemologist before wearing this stone either as finger ring, or amulet, studded on a necklace.
The healing powers of agate are quite a few:
- It is an excellent gemstone for healing any problem related to the uterus.
- It is a cleanser of pancreas and the lymphatic system.
- The stone help is healing skin disorders and strengthening the blood vessels.
- It is effective in insomnia, eye problems, gum and teeth issues, and stomach related ailments.
- It is very effective in the treatment of regenerative diseases.
A great and very effective “protecting” and “grounding” stone, agate has a number of metaphysical properties, such as:
- As a grounding stone, it helps the wearer to face life boldly and fearlessly, and in taking the right decisions.
- As a protective stone, it is best for the children, especially from getting hurt, or falling down.
- Being a gemstone of strength, the armor plates of the old time warriors were studded with this stone. Be it a battle, or war, or street fight, or physical power and endurance, this stone is worn by those who are much involved in such attributes.
- It is such a calmer, protector and a healer that in the bygone eras, people would soak the gemstone in water (they believe in color therapy!); then they would drink that water, especially those who would be suffering from chronic sicknesses and diseases.
- An excellently beneficial stone for artists and students, the gemstone strengthens intellect and enhances great creative ideas and creativity.
- It stabilizes and cleanses any negative aura.
- It helps in healing and improving bad or broken relationships.
Where is Agate found?
The US, India, Argentina, Uruguay, Botswana, Australia, Poland, Uruguay and Brazil are the major producers of agate. In the US itself, there are 6 states producing this beautiful gemstone—Michigan, Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, Wyoming and Oregon.