A variety of quartz, agate is a translucent chalcedony that can be beige, brown or black in color. It takes its name from the Sicilian river which the Greeks knew as Achates (now the Drillo), that was rich in agate deposit. Truly beautiful with its multicolored motifs and patterned inclusions, agate has been used as ornamentation for some seven thousand years: beads of agate dating back to the Neolithic era were discovered in what is now Anatolia.
The patterns formed by its inclusions have inspired its different names: moss agate, cloud agate, landscape agate, tree agate, etc. Agate has long been reputed as a talisman and protector. Since the Greeks, it has been a favorite choice when carving intaglios or cameos. Jewelers, including Cartier, have also used agate to fashion dishes, bottles and other decorative objects. Hardness: 6.5 to 7.
Birthstone of Virgo. Brazil, Uruguay, United States, India, Madagascar, Mexico.