Cool Information about Agates

by Roger Dougherty on June 23, 2014

I have been gathering information online about one of the many types of stones I work with. I thought I would share with you what I have learned about the Agate, which is one of my favorites
     The mineral class of the agate is Quartz (Chalcedony) & Quartz (Chalcedony). A generally accepted requirement in the definition of Agate is that it has to be banded. This qualification distinguishes it from other forms of Chalcedony which are not banded.
     The agate is a banded form of finely-grained, microcrystalline Quartz. The lovely color patterns and banding make this translucent gemstone very unique. Agates can have many distinctive styles and patterns, but each Agate is unique in its own habit, with no two Agates being the same.
Some of the colors agates come in are; w
hite, Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple, Gray, Black, Banded, Multicolored.
     Agates have an over-abundance and variety of names. Some variety names are generally used by collectors and dealers, but there are many made up by dealers to describe a locality or other habit.To name a few of the more common ones; Blue Lace Agate, Botswana Agate,Fire Agate, Snakeskin Agate, I think you get the idea.
Agate is generally an inexpensive gemstone when used in jewelry. It is cut and polished into cabochons, and used as beads for necklaces and bracelets. It is also carved into cameos which can be worn as pendants. Agate makes an exquisite ornamental stone, and is cut into slabs, animal carvings, ornate book ends, and small statues and figures. Ornaments such as knife handles, pins, snuff boxes and the like are also cut from Agate.    
The history of Agate production is closely tied to German town of Idar-Oberstein, which has evolved as an important gemstone center. Agates and Jasper were historically found in the Idar-Oberstein region, and cut and polished by local craftsman. With the discovery of the enormous Agate deposits in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in the 1800’s, the new material was shipped to Idar-Oberstein for cutting and polishing. The local Agate cutters of Idar-Oberstein were well-suited for this job, having been historically trained in this profession. Idar-Oberstain remains today as an important cutting and polishing center. But enough about the whats and whereas of Agate. You May want to see what I have done with some of the agates I have for sale. Check out our new online store, by clicking  HERE Please visit my Ebay auctions by clicking HERE.

Roger Dougherty

Roger Dougherty

Roger Dougherty

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