Most agates are grounding and protective. They are also calming and harmonising, and as such can be used to balance male and female energy, as well as the physical, emotional, intellectual and etheric or spiritual planes. Agates help with self-confidence issues, improve concentration, instil motivation, and ease emotional trauma. There are many varieties of agate with additional individual properties.
- Chemical Formula: SiO2 – silicon dioxide
- Group: Silicates – tectosilicates
- Crystal System: Trigonal/hexagonal
- Hardness: 7
- Birthstone: Secondary Birthstone for Piscesr
- Chakra: Depends on colour
- Element: Depends on colour
Agates are concentrically banded, shell-like chalcedony. Bands can be multi-coloured, or of the same colour. One of the layered agates most commonly available is blue lace agate, where layers of blue chalcedony are interlayered with colourless or white chalcedony. Most brightly coloured agates are dyed.
History and Tradition:
The name is derived from its occurrence at the Achates River in southwest Sicily – the source mentioned by both Theophrastus and Pliny the Elder – but its history is far older. Worldwide, agate beads, arrowheads and other artefacts have been found in Neolithic sites. The Egyptians mined agate from about 3,500 BC, and they, along with the Mesopotamians and Sumerians, fashioned it into cylinder seals, signet rings, beads and other objects. In Theophrastus’ time (3rd century BC) it was a valuable stone. By the 1st century AD this was no longer the case. Pliny wrote in A Natural History, “The achates was in older times highly valued, but now it is cheap.”
In the 11th century, Marbodus, Bishop of Rennes, declared that agate makes the wearer persuasive, agreeable and gives him (or presumably her) the favour of God; and Camillo Leonardo claimed that agates bestow victory and strength on their owners and can avert tempests and lighting. In the Middle East, up until the middle of the 19th century, agate was carved so the layering resembled an eye, and worn as an amulet to neutralise the power of the ‘evil eye’.