The word Agate is named after the river Greek Akhates in Sicily, as the Greeks had searched the river for this stone since the fourth century BC. They are most commonly found in this river as early as 3000 BC. It is a variety of Chalcedony, which is a crypto crystalline form of silica. Chalcedony is composed of very fine inter growths of quartz and moganite, both of these are silica minerals but are different in crystal structure.
Agates come in various colors which include brown, yellow, black, white, red, grey and pink. Most Agates are cheap, starting at about $10 but some can be very expensive and can go up to $3000 and above depending on their type, colors and the location where they are found. A good quality dendritic agate, landscape agate or moss agate can cost you from $20 to over $200 depending on how appealing the landscape is. The most expensive among them are the landscape agate and fire agate.
The crucial factors which makes an agate valuable are as follows
1) Weight - A smooth round, rough agate costs more than the uneven/sharp/jagged edges or an agate with a professional cut can add to its value. The tumbled stones cost more than the rough stone.
2) Clarity - Inclusions that appear in stones like moss agate such as landscapes and their interesting patterns,
3) Colors - such as the impression or combination of colors. These can increase the price. Pale and dark colors decrease the price. Brilliant colors increase the price.
4) Rarity - agates that are mined or found in rare locations or are in limited supply such as fire agate or the laguna agate from ojo laguna, chihuahua, Mexico will increase its cost,
5) Finally the overall appearance of the stone can also increase the cost.
In Ancient times, Agate was said to quench thirst if placed in the mouth of a parched sufferer. It was believed to protect against fever. Persian magicians even used agate to ward off storms. In many cultures agate is believed to cure the sting of a scorpion and the bite of a snake, calm the mind, prevent infection and silence thunder and lightning. When placed at the head of the bed, agate was thought to provide happy dreams. Many people today feel agate can cure a poor appetite and protect against negative energy; creating a peaceful, contented aura.As per the Chinese philosophy agate has the power to harmonise the energies of yin and yang. Thus balancing the opposing forces that holds all matter in place. They are also called strength stones by ancient civilizations, it was used secretly by sages a long time ago as a weapon to give them strength and courage to conquer their greatness, personal confident and as a meditation tool.
Moss agates are a gardeners stone often used by fans of gardening by mixing them in the soil to promote growth and plant health. Agates are the most common mineral and it vibrates 60 times in a minute. For Chinese people, agate symbolizes longevity and is said to elevate the mood, giving people confidence. In traditional Chinese medicine it is used to treat eye ailments by placing it on the eye area. Rubbing it on the skin is said to soften the skin
The stone brings its wearer or bearer great strength but works slowly over time. According to Plant Ayurveda a company started my Mr. Vikram Chauhan, the white color agate is used for the preparation of remedies. It provides energy and natural minerals to the body. The stone is also used in the treatment of heart diseases like hyper tension and digestive disorders. It also helps in the rejuvenation of the cells for effective functioning. This mineral stone posses healing and soothing properties and are also used in beauty products for example Ms. Nomi Agrani Masilamani, founder of Agate Ayurvedic makes hair oils and beauty care products.
Some Varieties of Agates are:.
1) Onyx agate
2) Sardonyx agate
3) Iris agate
4) Crazy lace agate
5) Thunder egg agates
6) Enhydro agate
7) Polihedroid agate
8) Moss agate
9) The lake superior agate
10) Condor agate
11) Sagenite agate
12) Fortification Agate
13) Fair burn agate
14) Botswana agate
15) Dendritic agate
16) Coyamito Agate Pseudomorph
17) Blood agate
18) Fire agate
19) Grape agate
20) Laguna agate
21) Snake skin agate
Agate jewellery is very stylish and elegant, that goes well with any outfit. Famous designers like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent have used Agates in their designs. Agates stones can be used in necklaces and pendants, agate beads are used for bracelet, cuffs, earrings and rings. Due to its natural antique looks many jewellers in the past especially Art Nouveau use them for vintage rings. Agate coasters encased in metal such as gold or silver enhanse the beauty of the piece. It gives a stunning look to your home decor, adding a feel of luxury and prestige to your home. There are many imitations and enhancements of agate such as glass being sold as fire agate hence, beware of fake stones. It is advised that you'll from reputed dealers.
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