Tan Chin Hock
Agate is a beautiful mineral that occurs in an amazing variety of colors, shapes and patterns. Agate is a unique stone that is part of the quartz family, or in scientific terms SiO2 (silicone dioxide), characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks but can be common in certain metamorphic rocks which are the result of the transformation of a pre-existing rock types.
Slide agate pendant, the unique pattern of agate can be clearly detected from this picture.
Red agate is the most commonly found agate.
Red agate set into David Star pendant.
Metamorphic rocks make up a large part of the Earth’s crust and are classified by texture, chemical and mineral assemblage. Chalcedony is more soluble than quartz under low-temperature conditions, despite the two minerals being chemically identical.
Agate is a variety of chalcedony formed from layers of quartz which usually show varicolored bands and multicolored schemes. It usually occurs as rounded nodules or veins. Scientists believe that Agate is created when gas bubbles inside of cooling lava include saline water. These gas bubbles with saline water turn into a gel. Since there is salt in the water, it attacks the surrounding iron in the lava and creates bands. These bands are extremely intricate and beautiful. It should be noted that no two stones are the same, making each agate stone unique and more precious.
Eyed agate pendant.
Black and white banding on Botswana agate bracelet.
Agate can be found all over the world including Africa, Asia, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Nepal, and the USA. Idar- Oberstein district in Germany is well known for the abundance of Agate.
According to Greek legend, agate was found in the river Achates, which is now called the Drillo River, located inSicily. However, there is evidence that stone-age men in Western Europe used agate more than 15,000 years ago.
Some named varieties are: moss agate, eye agate, blue lace agate, Irish agate, rainbow agate, snake skin agate; and plume agate, which look like it's filled with beautiful feather plumes.
The beauty of Botswana agate (red, white, black) in bracelet form.
A very rare type of Botswana agate - Malachite agete (Red, Green, Yellow, White). One of the best quality and hardly found in the market.
The Malachite agate is cut according to the shape of the eye hence produces this unique pendant.
Dendritic agate contains visible impurities in the form of "dendrites", these are branching figures or markings which closely resemble moss, a shrub or form of a tree.
Raw agate is very ugly and dull. It must be polished to give it its beautiful qualities. Raw agate comes in round shape, most craftsmen will find the intricacies of each stone and draw out its true shape and beauty.
The unpolished and uncut rough of blue lace agate.
The beauty of blue lace agate explored after cutting and polishing process.
The unpolished and uncut rough of Botswana agate.
The Botswana agate looks so different after polishing. Amazing!
Agate is usually created into beautiful stones that are then placed on rings, as charms, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, dream catchers etc. Agate is very strong, resists acid and is an excellent stone to work with when it comes to jewelry. Agate is also used in beautiful mosaics and picture frames.
Black agate has it's own name - ONYX. It is often make into elegent jewelry set.
The black and white contrast from the combination of onyx, cubic zirconia and silver enhances the beauty of the stone.
Agate is the mystical birthstone for September and the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of Gemini.
Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect against fever or making one invisible or protecting one from sickness. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms. Today, Agate comes in many different varieties on almost any type of jewelry piece.
Pink agate is also one of the rare agate type.
A famous collection of two to four thousand agate bowls which was accumulated by Mithridates, King of Pontus, shows the enthusiasm with which agate was regarded. Agate bowls were also popular in the Byzantine Empire. Collecting agate bowls became common among European royalty during the Renaissance and many museums inEurope, including the Louvre, have spectacular examples.
Release 1.1 - 18/11/2008 Addded photos and more details
Release 1.0 - 12/06/2008 First writeup