12 interesting Agate facts

  1. The term agate refers only to the translucent type of chalcedony in which the color is distributed in curved bands or layers.plume agate ring
  2. A Mexican agate, showing only a single eye, has received the name of cyclops agate.
  3. Agate was also said to cure insomnia and give to its owner pleasant dreams.
  4. The name agate comes to us through Latin from the Greek word for the river Achates, in Sicily, where this material was first found in significant quantities.
  5. Greek agate is a name given to pale white to tan colored agate found in Sicily back to 400 B.C. The Greeks used it for making jewelry and beads.
  6. Because of its rather porous nature, gray and white agate is particularly susceptible to be dyed in various colors.
  7. Many agates are hollow, since deposition has not proceeded far enough to fill the cavity, and in such cases the last deposit commonly consists of quartz, often amethyst, having the apices of the crystals directed towards the free space so as to form a crystal-lined cavity, or geode.
  8. Agate is one of the first materials known to man. According to legends it makes the wearer agreeable and persuasive.
  9. The Sumerians seem to have been the first to use agate for seals, signet rings, beads and other articles of jewelry.
  10. The agates are extremely resistant to weathering and remain as nodules in the soil or are deposited as gravel in streams and shorelines.
  11. Agate bowls were also popular in the Byzantine Empire and collecting them became common among European royalty during the Renaissance. Today many museums in Europe have spectacular examples on display.
  12. The Persians, the Arabs and other Oriental people principally used agate for finger rings. Upon these, usually figure a carved verse from the Koran, the owner's name, or some magical or symbolic figure to protect the owner from a wide variety of calamities.