What are agates?
Agates are some of the most popular rocks for collectors, they are highly desirable for their unique ring patterns and variety of colors. These versatile and popular stones are commonly found in modern home décor, jewelry and other crafty goods--just as it was thousands of years ago, when the ancient Egyptians were using it as seal-stones, cooking vessels and talismans for protection!
Geology - How are agates formed?
Agates are a variety of chalcedony, a mineral of the quartz family. They are characterized by their banded patterns.
Agates form in volcanic and sedimentary rocks, typically in cavities also known as vugs. They can also be found in the soils and gravels near ancient volcanic ash deposits. The banded patterns in agates are formed by the gradual deposition of mineral layers, often including silicon dioxide and other minerals such as iron and manganese. The different layers can vary in color and transparency, resulting in the unique patterns found in agates.
There are two types of banding in agates:
- Wall lining banding is where the individual banding runs perpendicular to the orientation and growth direction of the chalcedony.
- Horizontal banding consists of fine, irregular spaced layers of small chalcedony spherulites.
Agates found in volcanic rocks often have a banded pattern with a curved or undulating shape, while agates found in sedimentary rocks tend to have a more straight or parallel banding pattern.
Agates can be found in a variety of colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and black. The most common agates are those with banded patterns in shades of yellow, red, and brown.
Geography - Where do agates come from?
Agates are relatively common, but they can’t be found just anywhere.
In the US:
Agates are routinely found in Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, California, Washington, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, Arkansas, and Nevada, most commonly along the shores of the Great Lakes, the beaches of the Pacific Coast, and in the deserts of the western states.
Agates can be found in over 50 countries, including: Australia, Germany, Brazil, , Mexico, Morocco, Afghanistan, Argentina, Canada, Chile, and India. Much of what is seen in our shop with Agate Druzy Points, Agates in Metal Stand and Rock Candles. In our shop, you’ll also find Rock Candles made from Moss Agate and Spotted Agate which were found in India.
Human history with Agates
Agate derives its name from a river in Sicily, which the Greeks called “Achates”. Vast quantities of agate were discovered in this river as early as 300 B.C.
During the reign of Julius Caesar deposits of agate were discovered along the Nahe River in Germany. The Romans set up sophisticated gem-cutting facilities powered by the river. These lapidaries remained in existence for over 2000 years!
In Egypt, grey agates were often worn around the neck to protect against and heal stiff necks. In ancient Persia and Asia, agates had been used as an antidote to fevers. They were placed in the mouth to relieve thirst and reduce one’s temperature.
During the reign of Queen Victoria, Scottish agate jewelry became the height of fashion.
Metaphysical - The Spiritual and physical implications of geodes
Disclaimer: Crystals can complement other therapies and support overall well-being. However, crystals should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment. The information contained herein is metaphysical in nature and does not claim to heal or cure and should not be considered as a substitute for conventional medicine.
Please note, the following is not intended to provide any specific health or well-being advice and is intended as a guide only. For medical advice please consult a licensed health care professional.
Agate is considered an excellent stone for rebalancing and harmonizing body, mind and spirit. It cleanses and stabilizes the aura, eliminates and transforms negativity. Agate may enhances mental function, improving concentration, perception and analytical abilities. It may soothe and calm, healing inner anger or tension and create a sense of security and safety.
By some, agate is thought to heal the eyes, stomach and uterus; cleanse the lymphatic system and the pancreas; strengthen blood vessels and heal skin disorders.
How we create Home and Office Décor from agates
One of the first items we started making as Roccia Roba is our Rock Candles. We carefully curate our agates from may locales, including Brazil, Mexico, India and the United States. With a water-cooled, diamond crusted bit, we drill a hole in a visually pleasing location on the stone. We then attach a glass reservoir to hold lamp oil to the bottom. Finally, add a fiberglass wick and a glass wick holder, and throw in a small funnel, and an Agate Rock Candle is created!
We also use agates in some other fun products, like our air plant (tillandsia) holders that allow for a great combination of nature’s artwork – beautiful crystals and plants. Our bottle stoppers, tealight candle holders, and tea infusers also have options that include agates.
We’re always cooking up new ideas or open to your suggestions, So if you have some ideas, drop us a line!