Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! This week’s topic is all about the Agate.
Found along the Achates River in Sicily, these beautifully banded stones were first given their name by the ancient philosopher Theophrastus. Its meaning differed from civilization to civilization — ancient Islamic cultures and Babylonians believed that agate could ward off the evil eye, tragedies and dispel evil energy. However, the ancient Egyptians and the Persians believed the agate was protection against natural disasters like lightning and other aspects. To the ancient Chinese, the power of the agate was more internal. They believed that the crystal meaning was one of spiritual protection, and could stimulate one’s life force while cleansing their mind to make space for good luck and fortune. By the Medieval times, the belief surrounding agate properties was that it could deliver a plentiful harvest if tied to the horns of an oxen …
Agates are banded types of chalcedony that come in a range of colors including pink, red, brown, white, purple, black, gray and yellow. This palette array comes from the impurities within the groundwater’s composition. Its colorful trademark bands are layers of agate deposits that develop on top of each other — with igneous rock joining the silica deposits in groundwater. [**]
These stones are known to promote inner stability, composure, and maturity. Its warm, protective properties encourage security and self-confidence! [***]
If you thought the list of Jasper stones from Minerals.net was extensive — check out how many varieties of Agate there are!
Agate Geode – Thick layer of Agate surrounding a cavity in a geode that is usually lined with a layer of small Quartz crystals.
Agate Jasper – Opaque multicolored Jasper, or Jasper with banding; may also refer to a single stone with a combination of both Agate and Jasper.
Agatized Wood – Petrified Wood in the form of Agate, with banding patterns.
Agua Nueva Agate – Agate from the Mexican locality of Agua Nueva. Agua Nueva Agate is known for its purple and pink banding formations.
Blue Lace Agate – Agate with light blue bands in a lacy or wavy pattern.
Botswana Agate – Agate from the African country of Botswana banded with fine parallel lines of white, purple, or peach.
Brecciated Agate – Agate with broken fragments naturally cemented together; appears similar to breccia.
Cloud Agate – Grayish Agate with blurry, foggy patches of inclusions.
Condor Agate – Agate from San Rafael, Argentina, often with bright colors.
Coyamito Agate – Agate from Rancho Coyamito, Mexico, that often has reddish banding.
Crazy Lace Agate – Agate with twisting and turning bands of various colors.
Dendritic Agate – Translucent Chalcedony with tree-like or fern-like inclusions. Dendritic Agate is technically not a true Agate, as it lacks the banding patterns exhibited in Agates.
Dryhead Agate – Agate from Montana with orange and brownish banding.
Enhydro Agate – Agate nodule containing trapped water bubbles. The water can be seen from the outside of the nodule when held up to the light. Also known as Enhydritic Agate.
Eye Agate – Agate with banded, concentric rings that are perfectly rounded.
Fairburn Agate – Form of Fortification Agate from Fairburn, South Dakota.
Fire Agate – Form of Agate or Chalcedony that is iridescent with a play of colors or “fire” similar to that of Opal. Fire Agates usually have botryoidal bubbles included in their interior. The play of color is caused by inclusions of Goethite or Limonite.
Fortification Agate – Agate with a pattern in which all bands connect to each other causing it to resemble a medieval fortress (i.e. imaginary moat and walls surrounding the castle).
Fossil Agate – Agate that forms as a replacement of organic material such as wood and shells.
Grape Agate – Spherules of Agate or Chalcedony clustered together in a botryoidal, grape-like habit.
Iris Agate – Rare iridescent Agate that exhibits spectral colors on a translucent colorless or white base.
Laguna Agate – Well known form of colorful Agate with very dense banding from Ojo Laguna, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Lake Superior Agate – Agate from the basalt region of northern Michigan, near the shores of Lake Superior.
Landscape Agate – Agate that resembles a scenic landscape such as mountain formations.
Mexican Lace Agate – Agate consisting of thin bands in a lacy or wavy pattern.
Moctezuma Agate – Agate from Estacion Moctezuma, Mexico, known for pastel colors.
Mojave Blue Agate – Agate with a light pastel blue or blue-gray color from the Mojave Desert in California.
Moss Agate – Chalcedony containing dense inclusions of green Hornblende that cause the pattern to resemble moss. Moss Agate is not true Agate as it lacks the banding patterns of Agate.
Nipomo Agate – Agate with Marcasite inclusions found in Nipomo, San Luis Obispo Co., California.
Onyx – Form of Chalcedony with a solid black color or white and black banding. Occasionally also refers to banded Travertine or Tufa in the mineral form of Calcite or Aragonite with black and white bands. For additional information, see the gemstone page on Onyx.
Oregon Snakeskin Agate – White to cream Agate or Chalcedony with a wrinkled or cracked “skin”, resembling the skin of a snake; found in Oregon.
Plume Agate – Agate with inclusions in feather-like patterns.
Queensland Agate – Distinct form of Agate from Agate Creek in Queensland, Australia. Rainbow Agate – Iridescent Agate that exhibits a multicolored effect thin slabs.
Sagenite Agate – Agate with acicular or or pointed inclusions of various minerals. These hair like formations are often arranged in fans or bursts.
Sardonyx – Form of Agate with parallel bands of brownish to red alternating with white or sometimes black bands.
Scenic Agate – Synonym of Landscape Agate
Snakeskin Agate – Agate with a scale-like layer that resembles the skin of a snake. Also refers to a reddish brown Agate with small black concentric bands.
Sweetwater Agate – Agate with star-shaped patterns of manganese oxide inclusions, found in the Sweetwater River, Wyoming. Sweetwater Agate is not true Agate as it lacks the banding patterns of Agate, but is a form of Moss Agate.
Thunder Egg – Rounded nodule filled with Agate in the center. The term Thunder Egg is usually reserved for such nodules found in Oregon, but the term may also encompass similar nodules from other locations.
Tube Agate – Agate with tube-like formations which are sometimes hollow.
[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].