Agate is a banded form of Chalcedony and is a member of the Quartz family. Agate normally forms in round nodules and, once they have been cut open and polished, pretty patterns are revealed. These patterns, or banding, is what distinguishes Agate from other forms of Chalcedony.
Agates come in many different colours ... Blue Lace Agate will catch your eye with its white lace and powder blue patterns. Crazy Lace Agate's colours are earthy whites, yellows, browns, greys, reds or pinks in lovely swirling patterns. Agates from Agate Creek in Australia are full of vibrant colours such as red and yellow. Then there are paler Agates, usually grey to brown in colour, which are often dyed to enhance their banding.
Crazy Lace Agate
There are a couple of Agates that do not display any banding (such as Moss Agate and Dendritic Agate) and these are not considered to be true Agates, instead they are actually a variety of Chalcedony. Moss Agate looks like it has tiny little gardens inside when you hold it up to a light and Dendritic Agate has a fern-like pattern. Despite this, the name has stuck and these crystals are still traditionally known as Agate.
On the Mohs' scale Agate is rated as a 6½ - 7, which means it is a fairly hard crystal. Agate gets its name from a Greek philosopher called Theophrastus who found the crystal beside the river Achates in Sicily (which is now called the river Drillo).
Agate from Agate Creek Australia
A little bit of history and lore
An anagram for Agate is 'a gate', meaning a gateway or door into another time or dimension.
The Idar-Oberstein/Rhineland-Palatinate region in Germany was the site of a major Agate cutting and polishing industry in the 19th century. The Agate deposits found in this area were highly prized and the local stone workers in the area were renown for their excellent craftsmanship and skills. The Agate in this area is now mined out.
Fire Agate was believed in medieval times to protect sailors against gigantic waves and swells.
Moss Agate was a favourite of witches and seers in ancient Europe. They used this crystal to help their crops grow.
Blue Lace Agate was only recently discovered in the 1960s by a farmer (George Swanson) on his farm in Namibia, southern Africa.
It is said that the Native American Indians thought that Thundereggs fell out of the sky during thunderstorms, and this is how these crystals came to be called a ‘Thunderegg’.
Agate, or Shebo in Hebrew, appears in the Bible and is considered to be the eighth stone used in Aaron's breastplate.
The Ancient Romans used to ground Agate with water as they believed it would neutralise venom from snakes.
Metaphysical properties of Agate
Agate is a crystal that grounds and balances on an emotional, physical and intellectual level. Agate works in a slow and steady manner however don't underestimate its strength … it is a great crystal to work with and is very soothing and calming. Agate can help you overcome anger and encourage love to grow in its place. If you have suffered any emotional trauma, Agate will help you feel safe and secure.
Crazy Lace Agate, which is also known as Mexican Agate, is known as the 'Laughter Stone'. This Agate is said to bring happiness, laughter and joy into your life!
Blue Lace Agate helps with self-expression and thinking before you speak. It will also assist with throat and thyroid issues as it relates to the Throat Chakra. You can use Blue Lace Agate for relaxation as it is a very calming and nurturing crystal. It is an ideal crystal to calm children who are over stimulated.
Thundereggs, another form of Agate, are said to protect the holder from negative energy and relieve anxiety and fear. They can also be used for good luck and overcome jet lag!
Tree Agate is great to bury in your garden with your plants and trees to help them grow! You could also build crystal grids around your trees and plants that need a bit of extra love and support. In addition, use Tree Agate if you are feeling the need to connect to nature. It will also help you to feel safe and protected from negative energy.
Other blogs to read
If you'd like to find out more about crystals then have a look at some of our other blogs such as Mineral, Rock, Crystal or What? A Crystal Guide for Beginners or The History of Crystals - Part 2: Australian Rocks.