AGATE

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Holly Blue Agate from Sweet Home, Oregon (rare)

agate.jpg - 2706 BytesNo gemstone is more creatively striped by nature than agate, chalecedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in a wide variety of colours and textures. Each individual agate forms by filling a cavity in host rock. As a result, agate often is found as a round nodule, with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. The bands sometimes look like eyes, sometimes fanciful scallops, or even a landscape with dendrite trees.

Hardness: 7 Other characteristics

Aids competitors in all sporting events, particularly athletes. Also assists eloquence and writing. Ancient legend says it could make the wearer invisible. Stimulates analytical capabilities and preciseness. It stabilizes the aura, eliminating negativity and provides vitality to the vital organs. It brings a high energy to the physical form and is helpful in renewing the body's bio-rhythmic lows. It adds vitality to the heart and works on disorders of the skin.

Used by healers to cure: fevers, gums, circulation. Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect from fevers. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms.


FIRE AGATE

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A picture of *my* actual stone is not yet available. Soon!

Fire agate are either solid-coloured stones, or have bands or moss-like or dendritic inclusions. The distinctive iridescent coloours of fire agate are caused by layers of iron oxide within the quartz. It is found in Arizona and Mexico.
Represents spiritual flame of absolute perfection; dispels fear; provides protective shield which reflects threats of harm back to source so that source may understand the act; dispels undesirable desires; encourages one to be the best possible, stimulates progression and advancement; provides energy for initiating introspection and inspiration; treatment of circulatory and central nervous system disorders; enhances night vision, brings clarity to sight.


AGATE GEODE

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What Is A Geode?

The mysterious earth-shaped geodes have long challenged geologist to explain how they are formed. Geodes are a variable phenomenon and, therefore, many theories exists to explain how they are created. The term geode is derived from the Greek word Geoides which means "earthlike." A geode is a sphere shaped rock which contains a hollow cavity lined with crystals. A geode which is completely filled with small compact crystal formations such as agate, jasper or chalcedony is called a nodule. The only difference between a geode and a nodule is that a geode has a hollow cavity, and a nodule is solid.

How Geodes Are Created

Geodes begin as bubbles in volcanic rock or as animal burrows, tree roots or mud balls in sedimentary rock. Over time, the outer shell of the spherical shape hardens, and water containing silica precipitation forms on the inside walls of the hollow cavity within the geode. The silica precipitation can contain any variety of dissolved minerals, the most common being quartz, but amethyst and calcite are also found. Over a period of thousands of years, layers of silica cool, forming crystals of different minerals within the cavity. Different types of silica cool at varying temperatures, thus creating layers of different types of mineral crystals. Each geode is unique in composition and can only be truly discovered when cracked open or cut with a rock saw. The size and formation of crystals and different shades of color within the crystals make each geode special. The rough exterior of the geode gives no indication of the secrets held within its core.

(Thanks to dusa.gif - 1181 Bytes for this information.)

My geode is actually much redder than the photograph can tell you. (It is also MUCH larger!). The quartz crystals inside are very pink. However, it is likely that this geode has been dyed as this is a common practice to enhance the natural colour. Agate is extremely porous.

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Agate slices can be very attractive. This one is actually a natural one; undyed.

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These are "break your own geodes"! They are pretty thin skinned, so quite easy to break with a hammer. You are "almost" guaranteed to get something pretty inside each geode. Agate and crystal. Below are two efforts of mine. The first one was beautiful, but splintered into too many pieces - and the second one was just about solid - only a little crystal in one half.

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fluorescent geode from Mexico

See also Thunder Eggs and Agatised Coral