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What on Earth is Agate?

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For thousands of years, agates, a cryptocrystalline variety of silica, have been used as gemstones. In fact, some of the earliest stones fashioned by people were agates.

As jewelry, they’re used in everything from pendants, earrings, and rings. Today, however, apart from being used in jewelry, agate is now being cut into small sculptures and used in other art forms. You’ll also see them as decorative displays, carvings, and in other arts and crafts. And they make beautifully unique bookends.

Getting to Know Agate

Agate gained its name from the river Achates where the Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophrastus, first discovered the stone sometime between the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE in Sicily. He found the stone along the shoreline of the river which is now called Dirillo.

Many agate carvings were uncovered in ancient sites where agate was used in the art of hardstone carving. They were used as bases and handles on things such as gold goblets. In the mid-1800’s, agate cutters in Germany were so preoccupied with cutting eye agate for amulets that they had no time to cut anything else!

The reason it was so highly regarded in ancient times? Agate’s markings and unusual colors is the reason why agate is so revered. For instance, eye agate is a brown or black agate with a white ring in the center; this white ring in the center was believed to be the watchful eye of one’s guardian spirit and thought to protect the wearer from the evil eye.

Agate has many subspecies. The bloodstone is probably one of better known forms of agate. Other forms of agate are the yellow-orange to orangey red Carnelian, the yellowish-green Chrysoprase, and the vibrant light blue or blue-green Chrysocolla.

However, most agate is actually translucent and have rather unimpressive colors like shades of browns and greens. But what makes agate so interesting are their patterns. Lace agate, for example, has lace-like patterns that swirls and zigzags.

The Powers of Agate

To this day, agate is considered to protect its wearer and give them courage as it strengthens their spirit. Do you suffer from bad dreams or restless sleep? Agate is believed to battle against insomnia and troubled sleep. It’s even thought to help in the treatment of skin irritations and ailments.

Want to feel empowered to reach your financial goals? Agate is believed to bring abundance and will help you feel enriched. Work with its energies to unlock your potential. Because it helps you find your confidence and strengthens your spirit, you take action towards your goals.

With the many subspecies and color variations of agate, they make a beautiful stone to collect. Do you have a favorite in mind? 

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