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Home > Beads > Gemstone Beads > Agate

Agate Beads

Agate is a type of chalcedony quartz that forms by filling a cavity in a rock. When extracted, the layers that have formed resemble that of tree rings. Varieties of agate are formed by the differences in shape and color of these bands. The varieties in color can be anywhere in the color spectrum, with blue and green specimens showing up from time to time, albeit rare.
Categories
Brown
Brown
Druzy Agate
Druzy Agate
Brazil Agate
Brazil Agate
Dyed Agate
Dyed Agate
Flower
Flower
Black Zebra
Black Zebra
Wood
Wood
Black Crazy Lace
Black Crazy Lace
Two Tone Agate
Two Tone Agate
Tree
Tree
Moss
Moss
Crazy Lace
Crazy Lace
Blue Lace
Blue Lace
Botswana
Botswana
Mixed Agate
Mixed Agate
Turritella
Turritella
  


Agate, while physically identical to quartz, is also chemically identical to jasper, petrified wood and tiger’s eye. Petrified (agatized) wood is actually agate that has replaced the organic matter of the tree slowly over a long span of time. The structure of the tree remains, but the tree itself is a fossil. Agate is also commonly found in geodes.

There are many diverse types of agate beads found all over the world. In North America the majority of agate produced comes from the western states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and California. Lace agate has been found in southern California, Mexico and Texas, and is translucent blue and white. Some moss agate is found Yellowstone National Park and the Yellowstone River of Montana, and can be anywhere from white to green agate with green to brown to red with black inclusions that resemble moss or landscapes dotted with trees.

For centuries, agate has been used as a valuable talisman that was said to quench thirst, protect from fevers and make the wearer agreeable. Eye amulets are used to cure skin disease and ward off the “evil eye”. White forms of agate were used to cure bouts of insomnia. Moss agate has been worn to help the health of one’s eyes and mouth. Agate is also used to make mortars and pestles as well as the fulcrum for balances. Shooting marbles were commonly made of agate as well.
Agate can be chemically and/or heat treated to almost any color. Many of the color banded agates on the market have been altered in some way or another.