Wow! It's been a busy year becoming a new mom and keeping up with customers. I'm excited to pick up the blog where we left off...The alternative birthstone for the month of October is agate, a member of the quartz family. Agate is a variety of the chalcedony quartz, which forms in concentric layers in a wide variety of colors, textures and patterns. Because of that vast variety in colors and patterns, many agates have their own specific trade names such as carnelian or sardonyx, as with in our Large Suspended Lightyear Pendant. Agate forms by filling a cavity in a so called "host" rock, which is why agates often end up as a round nodule, with concentric bands all around them.
Agate was first discovered around the 3rd or 4th century BC, by a Greek philosopher called Theophrastus. He found the stones by the Achates River in Sicily, Italy and named them after the river. The river still exists today, however it has been renamed the Dirillo River. Nowadays agate can be found in many places all around the world, often close by volcanic rocks. As mentioned above, agate can come in many colors and patterns. In general, the stones with banding are called agate, while the ones with a more uniform color have specific names such as chalcedony, carnelian etc. Because of the banding, most agates will be multicolored, however uniform colored stones do occur. Often times the stones get dyed to create a more uniform color as well. Because Agates are often times found in very large sizes, they tend to be cut en cabochon to showcase their beauty and unique patterns.
Agates have been used for their healing properties for many centuries. People used to wear the stones close to them to protect themselves from nightmares, stress and fevers. Agate has also been said to give you strength and the will power to work through harder times and Persian magicians even believed that agates could help divert storms. We're excited to be introducing more agates and rough cut geodes into our collection this holiday season. Let us know if you want to stop by to see what we've been working on!