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Home: Gemstone Beads Index: Agate Beads

About Agate

agate beads
Agate composition varies greatly and can be of many colors.

No gemstone is more creatively striped by nature than agate. This distinct and dramatically banded variety of chalcedony is composed of quartz layers. This composition varies greatly and can be of many colors. The other chalcedony family, jasper, has less-regular patterns and is less defined than the agates. Another difference between the two is that agates tend to be translucent (or at least contain translucent bands), while jaspers are generally opaque. This distinction stems from agate being composed of microscopic "fibers" of crystalline quartz while jasper is made of microscopic "grains" of crystalline quartz. Each individual agate forms by filling a cavity in a host rock. As a result, agate often is found as a round nodule with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. It is said to be named for the place it first was found — along the River Achates (now called the River Drillo) in Sicily.

In ancient times, agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet. It was said to quench thirst and protect from fever. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms. Some believe agate renders the wearer invisible, and due to its strength and durability, it is used for making ornaments or for astrological purposes. Agate is a cooling stone and is said to cure insomnia, protect against danger, promote strength and healing, and ensure a healthy life. The major sources of agate are Australia, Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A. The gemstones of Maryland (Patuxent River Stone), Minnesota (Lake Superior agate) and South Dakota (Fairburn agate) are all agates.

Click to Shop All Agate Beads

Types of Agate Beads

Aqua Fired Agate

A dyed stone whose shades are very similar to natural aquamarine: beachy blues and sandy browns. The crackled appearance is created by applying heat, hence the name "fired." This stone does not offer the "fire" (or flash) present in precious opal and precious agate and is not related in any way to true Fire Agate from Mexico.

black banded agate

Black-Banded Agate Beads

A black agate with distinctive white, gray and occasionally brown stripes. Black-banded agate occurs naturally, but is often enhanced to deepen its color.

blue lace agate

Blue Lace Agate Beads

Agate with light blue bands in a lacy or wavy pattern is known by this name. It is said to lighten situations and nurture maternal impulses.

Botswana Agate Beads

This agate hails from the African country Botswana. Banded with fine, parallel lines of tan, mahogany, pink and white, this gemstone may be almost mined out. In recent years, we have seen less rough (uncut) stone, and prices on both the finished beads and rough stone have increased. Beads are often, but not always, paler in color that what we've previously stocked. A redder variety of Botswana agate is sometimes called Laguna Botswana agate.

crazy lace agate

Crazy Lace Agate Beads

This agate is composed of twisting and turning ("crazy") bands of various colors. Our crazy lace agate beads are most commonly yellow and gray, and sometimes are shades of pink, tan, orange or red with gray.

dyed crazy lace agate beads from Rings & Thing Wholesale

Dyed Crazy Lace Agate Beads

The vivid colors of our dyed crazy lace agate beads are sure to get attention! The dye is permanent.

gray agate

Gray Agate Beads

Gray agate is naturally light gray in color, although sometimes it is enhanced with dye to become darker. This stone is believed to reduce negativity and create emotional stability.

Milky Fired Agate beads from Rings & Things Wholesale

Milky Fired Agate Beads

This enhanced gemstone's unique crackled appearance is created by applying heat, hence the name "fired."

moss agate

Moss Agate Beads

This agate has dense inclusions of green hornblende (a basic silicate mineral). Because of its organic appearance, this stone is thought to enhance a love of nature, as well as cleanse the soul and restore wit.

Mustard Fired Agate beads from Rings & Things Wholesale

Mustard Fired Agate Beads

This enhanced gemstone's unique crackled appearance is created by applying heat, hence the name "fired."

fossil agate

Natural Agate Beads

This agate variety incorporates shades of butterscotch, orange, yellow and cream.

For More Types of Agate, see carnelian, onyx, and druzy quartz.

Gemstone Beads Index


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