Agate is a precious stone belonging to the quartz family. Having the chemical formula SiO2, agate belongs to the same group of stones as jasper, heliotrope or onyx. It is recognizable by the formation of successive deposits that give it different shades and uniform colors in the same stone. Agate has a trigonal crystal system. From transparent to translucent, it has a vitreous luster and a hardness of approximately 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
The most notable agate deposits are found today in Brazil and Uruguay around the Rio Grande do Sul. Canada is also a major agate producer thanks to its deposits in Mount Lyall in Quebec. Very beautiful stones have been found in other volcanic regions of the world in Iceland, Russia, China, India, etc ...
Agate can take on many colors. Green, blue, yellow, red and even black are natural colors of the stone. However, the porous properties of agate make it an easy stone to artificially dye. Archaeologists have found evidence that the Romans already knew how to dye the agate.
History of the agate
Etymologically, the word agate, derived from the ancient Greek akhatês, is a term that derives from the name of a Sicilian river: the Achates. It is there that an abundant deposit of this stone was discovered in ancient times, which has seduced man since ancient times.
All the refined civilizations of Europe, the Middle East and Asia have used agate for various purposes. The stone has been used both in the making of jewelry and in the creation of ornamental artifacts. Agate was often used as a raw material for vases, vases and other cult objects. This is thought to be due to the esoteric and supernatural power attributed to the stone. Pliny the Elder mentions the Pyrrhic agate, describing it with a natural design representing the god Apollo and the muses. For the Celts, agate is attributed to a great goddess of their pantheon: Ceridwen, goddess of birth and death.
The modern use of agate makes it a very useful stone for making jewelry, ornaments and art objects. The high abrasion resistance of stone makes it a raw material for the chemical industry and for the production of certain mortars and ceramics.
Virtue of agate
Since the dawn of time, man has attributed virtues to agate that can act on nature. The power of the agate was believed to promote plant growth and ensure good harvests. Some believed that agate kept storms at bay. For others, like some African tribes, it was the rain stone that guaranteed a generous year of water and harvests.
The therapeutic uses of agate are numerous, some see it as a good remedy against insect and animal bites. With its reputation as a protective stone, it is credited with some virtues against pain, but also benefits against respiratory problems and blood circulation disorders. Agate is also said to be a good remedy for skin problems and a good stimulant for sexual disorders.
On a spiritual level, agate acts as a balance stone between body and mind, eliminating energy blocks. By ensuring harmony between the physical and the emotional, it stabilizes the aura and calms the agitation and torment. The calming virtues of agate make it a good stone for those who practice meditation. Promoting clairvoyance is a stone for peaceful contemplation and harmonious assimilation of the experiences of being. It dispels both internal and physical tensions and helps to overcome trauma and heal emotional and sentimental wounds. Lithotherapy recommends using agate to harmonize energies in living and professional spaces. Stone of luck and tranquility, it is recommended to place it in a convalescent's room to ensure optimal recovery of both body and mind.
To purify the agate it is necessary to immerse it in demineralized water and expose it to the light of the rising sun to recharge it.