Agate

Other Names: Achates
Origin of Name: Greek Achates, as it was first found along the shore line of that river.
Meaning of the Stone: Providing Balance, (etymologically there is no meaning of the name)
Classification: Semi-Precious
Family: Microcrystaline Silica/ Chalcedony Quartz
Region: All regions, mainly Africa, Asia, South America, Egypt,Germany, India,Italy,Mexico, USA
Color: white, grey, blue orange, red, black and varieties in between
Transparency: Semiopaque
Fracture: Conchoidal, containing sharp edges
Hardness (Gravity): 6.5-7 (2.58-2.64)
Crystal System: Rhombohedral Microcrystaline
Similar minerals: Turritella Agate, Moss Agate,Eye Agate, Chalcedony,Beryl

1. Legend and History

Historical findings have shown that the Agate stone was first discovered around the 4th and 3rd century BC, by a Greek philosopher, Theophrastus, around the shores of the Achates river, thus obtaining it’s name. It’s use was widespread in that period, and it was most commonly used for hardstone carving.
Agate was also believed by Ancient populations to hold certain supernatural powers, such as making the wearer of this stone invisible and discern truth. Legend also has it that Agate prevents insomnia, improves concentration and memory, enhance ones courage, and protect against danger.
In reference to star-signs, it is believed that Agate is extremely advantageous to those born under the sign of the Gemini, as it calms them and keeps them focused.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Agate belongs to the chalcedony family formed through layers of quartz; most agate stones occur from volcanic residue such as rocks, or parts of molten lava. Agate stones are, due to their origin in nature, found in the form of rounded nodules and usually display a central cavity when sliced. Most forms of the stone have natural colors although they can be heated or dyed for an added, decorative, effect. In order for agate to be formed the existence of volcanic ash, water (rainfall or underground) manganese, iron and mineral oxides along with silica is necessary, whilst the various colorations are also dependent of the type of mineral oxides.

3. Interesting Facts:

Agate and Chalcedony share a similarity not only in the gemstone family, but also in reference to their names, as both are used interchangeably, although Agate is the primary name for for those varieties of Chalcedony which are banded. Historically, agate is the oldest stone which has been recorded, and is thought to be the appropriate gift for the 12th and 14th wedding anniversary, in the form of either rings, earrings, or pendants; bracelets and necklaces can also be decorated with agate stones as they may release more of their energy while in contact with the body.

4. Care and Storing:

If the correct care and storing is not provided to an Agate stone, as well as any other precious stone, it may lose it’s shine, and be prone to damages. Frequent cleaning of the stone is recommended by means of a soft cloth and water; furthermore, if the weather allows, Agate stones tend to clear beautifully if left in rain water over night, you must be cautious however that the water is clean, and not acidic. Another fact which the owner if such stones must be aware of, is that chlorine may severely damage agate, thus it is best to remove all agate jewelry prior to entering a swimming pool. Storing of agate, and all precious stones, is best in a cool dry place, in a jewelry box, or soft velvet pouch, so as to mitigate scratches and loss of shine.

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February Birthstones – Amethyst

February Birthstones – Amethyst

February

· Amethyst is the birthstone for February
· Amethyst represents Courage and Inner Strength

The amazingly beautiful purple gemstone Amethyst is revered the world over. Amethyst was once considered a talisman to help prevent drunkenness but also has been a symbol of Royalty by Pharaohs, Kings and Queens as well a leading adornment for many religious sects, as it was thought Amethyst could encourage celibacy. Catholic Bishops still wear Amethyst rings.

Even Leonardo Da Vinci wrote ” Amethyst was able to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence”.

Amethyst is also believed to promote mental and spiritual balance.

Here is a list of the Birthstones, Names and Meanings, month by month to help guide you in understanding the Birthstones of yourself or a loved one, and the significance that these Gemstones can have on our daily lives.

This is an easy guide to which gems are used for which months birthstone.

Each month of the year has been given it’s own gemstone, which many believe if worn by somebody born at that time of year will have greater luck, well being and spiritual enlightenment.

Precious and semi-precious natural gemstones have been used in this fashion for thousands of years by everyone one, from the Egyptians to Native Americans. Turning raw pieces of gemstones, created over millions of years, into polished, beautiful birthstone jewelry to give to the people we love. These have to be one of the most sentimental and perfect gift ideas on the planet.

I hope you find the information provided both useful and interesting.

Feel free to visit the full list – Birthstones By Month

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