Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gemstone Information - Agates

Want to know about gemstones?  I am going to introduce some common gemstones and tell about their properties, care and use, and beliefs.

Agate brings stability to your life.

Agate comes in most colors, ranging from transparent to opaque in a variety of beautiful colors. It presents various tints in the same specimen. The stones can be artificially stained to produce combinations of color more vivid than those found in the natural state.

Agate is a semi-translucent crystallized quartz, consisting of banded or with branching inclusions chalcedony . Physical properties of agate are the same as those of quartz. Agate has irregular, sometimes circular bands of color and often replaces fossil wood. The colorful, banded rocks are used as a semiprecious gemstone and for making mortars and pestles. One will often see these in beads, agate pendants and necklaces.

The name "agate" comes from the Greek "Agate" - happy.
According to another theory the word Agate comes from the Greek name of a stone found in the Achates River in Sicily, now known as the Drillo River, which still remains a major source of this stone.

Agate is the birthstone of Taurus (Bull): April 20 - May 20 and the anniversary gemstone for the 12th year of marriage. Moss Agate is the anniversary gemstone for the 14th year of marriage.

There are several types of agate. Varieties include Blue, Blue Lace, Crazy Lace, Green, Indian, Moss, Tree and Wood. The Moss agate or mocha stone contains visible impurities in the form that resemble moss.

Agate will chip and crack rather easily though it has a hardness rating of 7. As with all gems, protect agate from scratches and sharp blows. Avoid sudden temperature changes and household chemicals.

Agate guards against danger. Wearers become temperate, continent and cautious. It helps one view themselves with more clarity and see the world through a broader viewpoint. Wearing Agate is believed to cure insomnia and to insure pleasant dreams.
Important sources of agate are Russia (Ural mountains), Brazil, Eygpt, Germany, India, Italy, Madagascar, Mexico, Uruguay and the USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana ).

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