Agate (AG-it) comes in many varieties, each of which will have its own properties beyond this general description. Agate is a form of chalcedony, making it a member of the Quartz family. It is named for the Achates River in Sicily, as this is the place where agates were most commonly found in antiquity. Most varieties occur with bands (also referred to as layers or stripes), but some varieties can have specks of color or rings. This variegated chalcedony is one of the oldest stones in recorded history!
The banding in agate is curved; when the bands are straight and parallel, it is referred to as onyx.
Being a member of the quartz family, agate has a hardness of 7 and a trigonal crystal structure; however, for agate, it is cryptocrystalline, meaning the crystals are so small that you need a polarizing microscope to see them at all.
Location: Given that there are many different types of agate, they are found all over the world.
Properties: The main property of this stone is that it balances energies; it brings yin and yang energies into balance, as well as harmonizing the physical, emotional, and mental levels of being. It is a grounding stone that allows for bursts of energy where needed. In addition, this stone is useful for protection, cleansing, courage, confidence, creativity, inspiration, harmony, and fidelity. In addition, all agates work slowly and steadily; the transitions they facilitate are gradual, but also penetrate deeply.
It may help with detoxification, stomach complaints, and stamina.
- Blue Lace Agate has intricate, delicate patterns of light blue and white which generally resemble lace, lending this variety its name. The blue of this stone often has a very subtle purple undertone.
Location: It is primarily mined in Namibia and South Africa, but can also be found in small quantities in Brazil, India, China, and the United States. The most powerful effect of this stone is on communication.
Additional Properties: It can help those who have difficulty expressing their thoughts, whether that difficulty is in under-expression or over-expression. It has a calming, soothing effect, which not only facilitates communication by alleviating the intense emotions one may feel compelled to express, but also helps to soften old patterns developed from being judged, rejected, or repressed by others or oneself.
It may help with insomnia, thyroid concerns, laryngitis, and other throat concerns.
- Botswana Agate has banding that is generally predominantly grey or purplish-grey with thinner bands of white in between. There can also be pink, red, or brown tones in this stone.
Location: It is named after the African country where it is mined, which is Botswana.
Additional Properties: It is sometimes referred to as the “change stone”. This is because the main attribute of this stone is its supportive qualities which enable one to handle changes and transitions in a positive manner, as it helps us focus on solutions rather than problems. Moreover, it can help with alleviating depression, stress, and grief.
It may also help with nervous system complaints, detoxification, and bone healing. These traits also make it a useful stone when dealing with addictions or self-destructive patterns. If you’re tying to quit smoking, you may want to carry some Botswana agate!
- Moss Agate is generally white or translucent with inclusions ranging from green to brown to black, and some pieces have spots of red. This is a form of
agate which has no banding. It gets its name from the fact that the patterns of these inclusions generally resemble moss, ferns, lichen, or other plant life.
Location: This stone comes primarily from India, Uruguay, central Europe, Brazil, and the western United States.
Additional Properties: Its properties include connecting one to Earth and nature, grounding, connecting with wealth and abundance, and tempering emotional extremes. This stone has been used to promote higher crop yields and healthier plant growth, and as such can be seen as something of a “green thumb” stone.
It may also assist with circulation, digestion, and sensory acuity, as well as potentially improving immune responses to colds and flu.
- White Agate is a subtly banded chalcedony, where the bands are comprised of more and less translucent layers.
Location: White agate can be found in most areas of the world, and is commonly mined in India.
Additional Properties: It is believed to be a grounding, calming stone, as well as a stone of hope. It aids in balancing and centering physical energy, overcoming negativity, a bitter heart, inner anger and any kind of emotional trauma.
It may help with pregnancy and labor as well.