Agate 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 believed that agate would render 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.
Amethyst Sage Agate: (sometimes called Sage Amethyst) is a dendritic agate with a base of lilac purple, cream, white, tan or dusty sage green, with dark dendrites (branching patterns like tree branches or river deltas) and black manganese veining. Some beads are translucent like chalcedony, others are opaque, and others have portions of both.
Banded Agate gemstone beads offer striking stripes and patterns that look great in jewelry applications! The bands found on this semiprecious gemstone tend to be simple and clean, which makes for dramatic statements.
Common colors of banded agate gemstones found in nature are gray, white, and shades of red. Green, yellow, and black also occur naturally, but the majority of our banded agate beads are enhanced with a dye or other color treatment. Choose your favorite banded agate beads from our selection of slabs, cabochons, faceted rounds and more - just keep in mind that gemstones come from nature, and each bead will be unique!
Blue Lace Agate gemstone beads add a soothing baby blue hue to the gemstone palette, displaying subtle light blue bands in lacy and wavy patterns. Just keep in mind that gemstones are made by Mother Nature, and each gemstone bead will be unique. These pastel blue semiprecious beads include beads cut from grade-A blue lace agate, as well as unusual druzy blue lace agate coins and rounded rectangle beads. All grades of this gemstone are said to lighten situations and nurture maternal impulses. In traditional Eastern medicine, blue lace agate is linked to the throat chakra, and can help calm overactive thyroid and parathyroid glands, as well as assist in clear and confident communication.
Botswana Agate may be almost mined out, so don't wait to buy these limited-stock semiprecious gemstone beads! Banded with fine, parallel lines of tan, mahogany, pink and white, Botswana agate beads make a beautiful addition to gemstone jewelry. Unfortunately, in recent years, we've seen less rough (uncut) stone, and newer beads are often (not always) paler in color than what we've previously stocked. As the name suggests, this gemstone is mined in the African country of Botswana.
Crazy Lace Agate gemstone beads (sometimes known as fashion jasper beads) offer dramatic twisting and turning bands of color. The untreated, natural hues of these semiprecious gemstone beads most commonly consist of yellow and gray, sometimes with shades of pink, tan, orange or red intermingling in the "crazy" twists and turns. This variety of semiprecious agate offers some of the most pretty and intricate mineral patterns offered by Mother Nature. Keep in mind that each crazy lace agate bead will display a unique pattern; they will not look identical to the images below.
Dyed Crazy Lace Agate has the same dramatic patterns, with the increased intensity of bright pinks, vivid turquoise blues, unusual purples, and malachite-like greens. We try to make sure our dyed stones are colorfast, but some batches may fade over time, or with exposure to some chemicals. (Hairspray and perfumes often contain harsh solvents.)
Our "Dzi" Agate beads are genuine agate beads that have been heat treated, dyed, sanded, laser etched, and faceted to mimic ancient Dzi stones found in India, Tibet, and other Asian countries between 1000 and 2000 BC. The treatments to these stones should be permanent. Mock Dzi beads are great to mix with trade beads as well as modern beads.
Fired Agate beads (sometimes known as crackled agate beads) have a crazed or crackled surface that is created by applying heat. Heat-treating agate with various colorants is also a common method of enhancing the color of agate, so sometimes the name Fired agate refers to brilliantly multi-hued color-enhanced agate beads.
Fired Agate beads do not offer the "fire" (or flash) seen in precious fire agate or opal, and fired agate is not related in any way to true fire agate from Mexico. Nevertheless, the crackled or vividly colored appearance of these agate beads adds an attractive extra element to handmade jewelry!
Laguna Lace Agate gemstone beads: Laguna Lace Agate is a lacy variety of banded Chalcedony, in the Quartz family. Its layers contain shades of scarlet, deep red, milky white, gray, yellow, gold and brown. Usually banded in layers, or stripes, some beads have specks of color, "eye" markings, or may even be solid. The lace-like patterns often have translucent layers. Laguna Lace Agate is not always available, so order now while supplies last.
Moss Agate: Also known as mocha stone beads, moss agate beads contain dense inclusions of green hornblende, a basic silicate mineral.
These semiprecious gemstone beads and donut pendants provide lush green hues reminiscent of Pacific Northwest rainforests and the Irish countryside. Because of its color, moss agate is said to enhance a love of nature, cleanse the soul, and help restore a sense of wit. Many of these gemstone beads and donuts are limited to stock on hand, so don't wait to buy and be sorry later!
Natural Agate beads add a warm glow to jewelry creations, from the glow of a hearth fire in winter, to the glow of a beach sunset in summer! Also known as Multicolor Carnelian, our Natural Agate beads offer shades ranging from deep orange to bright orange, butterscotch, yellow, and cream. Choose from a wide selection of beautiful Natural Agate semiprecious gemstone beads, plus (occasionally) a few natural agate gemstone donut focals or other pendants.
Other colors of agate beads in our website are also natural and untreated (except when noted), but this particular shade (that's similar to carnelian) is traditionally called Natural Agate.
Rainforest Agate beads feature beautiful natural markings in warm, earthy colors of the forest: various shades of green plus tan, brown, peach, and orange. Sometimes called peacock jasper, these semi precious gemstone beads add a lush feel to bracelets, necklaces, and gemstone jewelry of all types.
Terra Agate, similar to "Dzi" agate, begins with natural agate, which is then enhanced with a combination of heat, permanent dye, sanding and laser etching. The result is a lovely blue-green stone with translucent and opaque swirls, layers of beige and terra cotta, and subtle etched and fired patterns.
Thunder Agate beads (not always available) boast similar properties to Lake Superior agate (the official gemstone of the state of Minnesota). Similarities include rich coloring with tones of tan, gray and brown often highlighted by accents of yellow, orange and red. It is the iron content in these semiprecious beads - and how much that iron has oxidized - that determines the coloring. Please keep in mind that our thunder agate gemstone beads are patterned by Mother Nature and each bead will have its own patterns and color variations.
Our gemstone beads have well drilled holes, so they're easy to use with your favorite stringing and assembly methods for earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Visit our Jewelry Education Station for a variety of tips and techniques for stringing, and for making earrings.
Stringing cable (beading wire) is the most popular stringing material for turning gemstone beads into professional-quality handmade necklaces. It’s easy to use: you don’t need to thread a needle, and crimp beads replace knotting. Clear or colorful stretchy cord is popular for stringing gemstone bracelets, because no clasp is needed.
A more traditional stringing material for necklaces and bracelets, is silk cord (paired with bead tips). Some styles of silk cord even have a needle built right into the end of the cord! With expensive gemstone beads, silk cord is often knotted between each bead, so if the strand breaks after years of loving wear, only a single bead rolls away.
For handmade earrings, add your gemstone beads to head pins or eye pins, and pair with charms or fun links before adding your favorite style of ear wire or other earring finding.