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What is agate?

Bérangère Maniglier

Posted on October 17 2022

Agate is a beautiful stone because of the softness of its touch and the beauty of its color. Today's chemical industry also uses agate to make mortars and grinding balls.
Agate comes in very different shapes and colors.
In the northern United States alone, there are 52 ...

What is agate?

Its composition

It is a variety of chalcedony and it belongs to the Quartz group .
Agate is characterized by successive deposits of different colors or tones, it is a fine stone.
From its composition, agate belongs to the Calcedon quartz family and is mainly made up of silica formed through volcanic lava. This stone can be made up, in addition or not, of water molecules. After eruption, the lava turns into drops called melaphyre drops, which solidify to become a mass of quartz.
The stones are composed of several layers, themselves formed by different varieties of quartz and inclusions of other minerals.
This is the reason why agate comes in so many shapes, colors and patterns.
On the Mohs scale, Agate has a hardness between 6.5 and 7.

All the colors are in the agate

The patterns (drawing) revealed on the stone can evoke plants, animals, montages, etc...
Here again, each can receive a descriptive name: moss agate, arborized agate, flower agate, landscape agate… Hundreds of names can thus be applied to Agate.
It is widely distributed across the globe.

His history

From the Greek akhatês, it owes its name to a river in which it was found in abundance: the Achates, currently Dirillo in Sicily. It was at this exact spot that she was discovered for the first time.

In ancient times

During the ancient period, several civilizations (such as the Celts, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, etc.) exploited this stone, not only for its virtues, but also for its natural beauty.

In Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, agate represents Gaia , the goddess of nature, of the wild land. This stone has always been appreciated as talisman and as jewelry adornment.
It was believed to have the power to quench thirst and ward off fevers if it was held in the hand. Persian magicians also used it to divert storms.
Many legends surround agate and its trade in the field of esotericism is therefore widespread.

Where do you find agate?

If the historical sources of Arabia, Egypt, Sicily are now exhausted, the greatest current commercial source is in the north of Uruguay and in Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil. Agates are also found in the basaltic outpourings of the Deccan plateau in India. Many other regions produce it: Madagascar, Bohemia, Mexico, United States.
Apart from its wide use for jewelry, agate is also used for shaping cups. Thus, there are large collections of agate cups, made up by the princely families of Europe .
Today, most museums contain magnificent objects such as cups, candlesticks, caskets, necklaces, bracelets, knife handles and even amulets.
I hope this article has taught you about this beautiful stone that is agate. For other articles and its benefits in lithotherapy, I invite you to the blog of the boutique . You will also find on the shop agate pendants and natural agate bead bracelets.

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