Agate is one of the most common gemstones used to make jewelry!
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Agate Facts and Care
Agate can be found in many different colors and types. It is a hard stone, usually opaque, but can contain translucent bands of color. Many agates have enhanced or dyed colors. Agates are microcrystalline quartz, and there are a lot of stones that are members of this family. These are silica minerals; they are very common.
Solid color stones are the ones that are usually dyed or heat treated; these include blue and green agates, and also the very popular red agate (sold as carnelian) and black agate (sold as black onyx) varieties.
Red and black agates usually have bands of clear to white that are dyed to produce stones with uniform color. Most of the banded types are naturally colored, such as blue lace, Botswana, and crazy lace.
Jasper is generally opaque, and can have many natural colors and patterns. From red jasper, a solid color, brick red stone to bumblebee jasper, a gorgeous golden / yellow / brown family stone with amazing patterns, to ocean jasper with brightly colored orbicular markings ... jasper is beautiful!
True black onyx,
carnelian, bloodstone and chrysoprase are chalcedony, a related form of
silica. These colors are the result of chemical impurities; different minerals
cause the varied colors. Chalcedony is a hydrated silica gem; it has water in
it's chemical mix, similar to opal.
Many specimens of petrified wood are agatized. Over millions of years, the molecules of wood have been replaced by agate which was present in the immediate environment. This can result in beautiful banded patterns that correspond to the rings in the original tree parts.
Fossilized coral that
has become agate over millions of years is known as Petosky Stone.
are found in now dry places that were once underwater.
Agates have been traditionally believed to possess healing and supportive qualities. They also have been believed to enhance intuitiveness and insight.
Agates are very common in jewelry. They can be found as cabochons, beads or carvings and take a very good polish.
Agate is very easy to care for. It can withstand many types of cleaning compounds, but a good commercially available jewelry polish will keep your sterling or gold jewelry with agate looking beautiful. Agate beads or cabochons will usually polish up nicely when rubbed with a soft cloth.
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