Sunday’s Gem — Agate

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein

A variety of polished Agates (courtesy of

First found in a river in Sicily between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, Agate is a banded Chalcedony, a mineral of the Quartz family. Known as the “earth rainbow,” it’s found throughout the world, and there are perhaps thousands of types, typically appearing in stripes, “eye” markings, colored specks, fossilized inclusions, or no color at all.

Ancient Islamic and Babylonian peoples thought Agate could ward off evil. Long ago Egyptians and Persians prized it as protection against natural disasters. Ancient Chinese expected it to cleanse their minds, making room for good fortune. Medieval peoples tied it to the horns of oxen to bring about a plentiful harvest. It’s believed to be the middle stone in the third row in the breastplate of the High Priest in early Israel.

Agate is a translucent, semi-precious stone whose color is caused by embedded minerals, typically iron oxides and hydroxides. A seven on the Mohs scale of hardness (ranging from 1-10), Agate is a relatively inexpensive gemstone which, when cut and polished, becomes cabochons, beads, cameos, statuary, knife handles, and other ornaments. Children’s marbles — “aggies” — once were made from polished agate.

The healing properties of Agate are slow, steady, and gentle. Agate fosters self-confidence, helps us multi-task, and lessens our desires for things we don’t need. Agate promotes marital fidelity, protects against traffic accidents, and helps writers espress their ideas in marketable form (okay, I’m convinced — I’ll take a wagon-load!!)

Chinese Rain Flower Agates — thanks to for this photo

The zodiac stone for Gemini (May 22-June 21) and the mystical birthstone for September, Agate’s Chakra healing energy depends upon the color of the stone. For example, Blue Lace Agate clears the throat Chakra; Fire Agate stimulates the base Chakra; green Agate is beneficial for the heart Chakra. Likewise, Feng Shui experts believe the different varieties of Agate resonate to different purposes.

Agate is said to be helpful for digestion, headaches, arthritis, fever reduction, throat conditions, and physical strength. It’s believed to help you overcome addictive behaviors, heal bitterness of the heart, improve communication, banish fear, and improve longevity.

Clean your Agate with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Avoid exposure to heat and harsh chemicals.

Note: The claims here aren’t meant to take the place of medical advice. They’re based on folklore and other sources, and likely “work” best if one’s belief is strong enough!

16 thoughts on “Sunday’s Gem — Agate

  1. I’m glad to see those marbles in the list! Aggies were the “best” marbles when I was a kid — except for the steelie shooter, of course (which was against certain playground rules), cat’s eyes, and those clear, differently-colored “glassies” that were just beautiful when you held them up to the sun.

    I want my marbles back! I don’t even know what happened to them….

    • You got rid of your marbles?? Shocking! I still have mine, and when I hold the “special” ones I loved as a kid, I’m a kid again! I even had names for some of them, ha! Of course, the girls weren’t as “into” marbles as the guys were, but my dad insisted my sister and I learn to play with them (he didn’t have any boys!). By the way, do you see how I naturally assumed your beautiful necklace was made from Agate?!?

  2. As a boy, we would use an agate as a “shooter.” it was big and powerful and would send the glass marbles flying out of the ring. Thanks, Debbie. Brought back some nice memories.

  3. “Agate is a translucent, semi-precious stone whose color is caused by embedded minerals, typically iron oxides and hydroxides.”

    Debbie, you taught me something that I never knew about Agate. And how interesting!

    I love the photographs you shared on this gemstone because you can see the massive variety of colors. Each and everyone is so beautiful!

    “Agate promotes marital fidelity, protects against traffic accidents, and helps writers espress their ideas in marketable form (okay, I’m convinced — I’ll take a wagon-load!!)”

    HA! That made me laugh out loud.

    Once again, my friend, you taught me things I never knew about gemstones, so thank you!

    Have a fantastic week ahead of you!

    • Ron, I’m delighted you found this post interesting and informative. That’s what I was hoping to accomplish by these healing gemstone posts and to hear I’ve succeeded makes my day!

      Aren’t the colors of Agate magnificent? All those swirls and designs are mesmerizing. To think folks used to tie it onto the horns of plow animals in an effort to have a successful harvest goes to show how important a food supply has always been.

      Enjoy your week ahead. I understand we’re supposed to share a cold front mid-week, so maybe some of this heat/humidity can vanish for a few days! xo

    • Really? I had no idea! I saved mine from when I was itty-bitty and my late dad taught my sis and me how to play. Now I don’t want to part with them (nostalgia, you know!)

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