Agates are known to occur in virtually all countries across the globe. In fact, it would be virtually impossible to name a single country on the globe that does not have at least one identified source of this common stone. The global abundance of agate can be explained by its mineral content. It primarily is made from silica.


Due to the fact that silica is the most commonly occurring mineral on the surface of the earth, the common occurrence of agates is no surprise. In the formative years of the earths crust, i.e. more than fifty million years ago, water dissolved silica in rock formations and volcanic eruptions on the surface of the earth. When the water gradually evaporated with time the silicon dioxide was left behind. Under the forces of nature the solid residue became hard and was modified to agates that are discovered today. The chief reason that gives agates their vivid patterns is that the silica was deposited in definite layers. Each layer included a unique set of secondary minerals, many of which altered the patterns of the basic mineral silica.


Devotees of metaphysics say that agates enhance a wide range of positive attributes. Most commonly, agates can assist in balancing energy, provide courage to the wearer, calm the emotions, help a person in quick healing and aid with the overall health and protection of the person. Pre-teens usually are said to benefit from its powers. It is for this reason that agates are is said to be the stone of choice for ornaments. In the past, this stone has symbolized courage. Warriors going into battle adorned their armor with agates for they believed that agate made them strong. There are those who also have faith in the power of agates because they are supposed to get the juices of creativity flowing and enhance intelligence. These stones are thought to cleanse the aura by mitigating undesirable thoughts. Agates may help friends, and aiding being faithful. So fans will often put on a sterling pendant or some other item containing agate to benefit from its energy.

There are dozens of types of agates found on the face of the earth. In this range of stones, certain species of agates require special mention. Botswana agates often display striking colors and gorgeous concentric patterns. Botswana agates are very popular in fashion jewellery. Fire agates from Central America are also used to make jewellery. Fire agates are brownish-orange in color as a consequence of the presence of ferric minerals within the silica matrix. These patterns provide their own charm to gemstone jewellery.


Within the realm of jewellery design, agates have inspired a wide range of designs due to the dazzling array of patterns and colors in which they can be found, and because they are affordable. Because of their high hardness, most agates can be smooth cut and polished relatively easily. Colorful agates are mounted in silver settings to create beautiful silver pendants. Agate beads are often cut as cabochons. Individual beads can be spherical, depending on the preference of the designer.


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