Agate, which is from the Chalcedony family is known by many varieties and names. No gemstone is more creatively colored and striped by nature than the Agate. Each individual Agate forms by minerals filling a cavity in host rock. As a result, Agate is often found as a round nodule, with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. The unbelievable bands in Agates sometimes may look like eyes, fanciful scallops, mazes, leaves or even landscapes.
In ancient texts tell us that Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet, it was told to be able to quench ones thirst as well as protect from fevers; there are even legends that tell us that Persian magicians used Agate to divert unwanted storms.
Bowls created from Agate were very popular during the Byzantine Empire, collecting these bowls became common among European royalty during the Renaissance and as such many museums in Europe, including the Louver, have spectacular examples. There is one collection of over 3,000 Agate bowls which was accumulated by Mithradeates, King of Pontus; as an example of how enthusiastically the Agate was regarded in the past.
Mohs Hardness of 7 with a trigonal crystal structure.
Agates occur in nodular masses in rock such as volcanic lavas. When split open, they often reveal an amazing variety of colors, patterns and a beautiful distinct banding that distinguishes the Agate from other forms of Chalcedony.
The mining of Agate in the Nahe River valley in Germany was documented in 1497, which gave rise to the cutting center of Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Originally, the river was used to power the grinding wheels. When the Nahe Agate deposit was exhausted in the nineteenth century, Idar cutters started to develop the agate deposits of Brazil, which also sparked exploration and discovery of Brazil’s rich deposits of amethyst, citrine, tourmaline, topaz, and other gemstones.
Although the small town of Idar-Oberstein is still known for the finest agate carving in the world, today Idar imports a huge range of other gem materials from around the world.
Agate is said to enhance one’s perceptiveness and to stimulate general analytical capacity, as well as provide balance between one’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual states. Agate is also said to alleviate hostilities and promote goodwill.
It is said that Agate will improve one’s memory and concentration as well as increasing stamina. Assisting in discerning the truth, as well as encouraging honesty from all those in it’s presence. It is said to enhance personal courage, protect against danger. Providing a calming influence, preventing insomnia and used to insure pleasant dreams.
Agates are among some of the oldest known Healing and Good Luck stones, in general enabling the wearer to choose between true and false friends.
Told to help the bearer avert storms and lightning, protecting children from danger, especially in preventing falls, and danger in general.
Physically it was said to improve circulation, treat disorders of the pancreas, as well as cleansing and balancing the bridge between one’s heart and mind.
Different types and colors of Agates have additional properties.
The numerous types of agate – vaguely distinguishable by color or marking – are used in various types of magic. Though any type of agate may be worn for the above uses, these particular stones have traditional energies. A list of some of the major ones and their magical attributes are as follows:
Zodiac Stone of: Gemini (Elementally)
Associations: (Generally Speaking) Mercury
Birthstone: Not a Traditional Birthstone for any Month
Stone of Gemini (Elemental) to sensitize and strengthen willpower.