Agate

There is an ancient legend about creation of agate. A divine white eagle died fighting a black witch. He fell on the ground and turned into agate. Since then the eyes of this heavenly eagle continue to look at people separating their good and evil actions.

agate rough

Agate is one of the oldest jewelry and decorative stones. It is assumed that its comes from the name of the river Ahates the island of Sicily, where this mineral is common. Translated from Greek “ahates” means happy. That’s why it is believed that wearing this stone we wear a peace of happiness which this wonderful mineral bears within and gifts it to us.

The first written mention of this mineral dated III century. BC. Ancient sculptors gave the stones eye shape and inserted them into the eye orbit of statues. Since that times it was used for making seals, bowls, and most importantly - fantastic cameos. Masters of Hellas used the mineral to create amazing three-dimensional images.

agate round
agate landscape

It was one of the favorite stones of the famous Faberge. The great German jeweler made seals, buckles, perfume bottles and other small and beautiful items of this mineral.

One of the most famous objects created with agates is the Mirror of Marie de Medici. It is inlaid with agate, onyx, jasper, sardonyx and emeralds. Despite the fact that its dimensions are only 14x16 cm, it is considered the most expensive mirror in the world. According to some sources, it will cost about 10 million Euro.

Agate is one of the gemstones used in the Florentine mosaics, also called commesso. This is a technique of creating pictures by adding specially cut pieces of colorful semiprecious stones. It was invented in Florence in the late 16th century. Most often it used quartz, chalcedony, jasper, granite, porphyry. Paintings commesso mainly decorate tabletops and small wall panels, they depict various scenes from the symbols and flowers to landscapes.

agate blue druse
agate polished

Agate is a variety of quartz -banded chalcedony with very diverse appearance. There are more than 35 types of varieties depending on the color and pattern of the layers. Between the more popular ones are classic - with concentric circles; landscape - with figures of various impurities, mossy – with moss-like inclusions.

Very often agate is dyed to make it look more impressive. Due to the different structure and composition of the individual layers the stoner can absorb different pigments. The art of painting agate was known to the Romans, and reaches its peak in Idar-Obershteyn in Germany - a center of mining and processing of agate from the mid-15th century to the present day. Painting the agate is permanent and irrevocable. It is accepted by the jewel industry as a normal practice to improve its characteristics.

Agate stone is not expensive but some particular specimens can be assessed decent enough. And this is not surprising - it is not only highly decorative but ingratiating with its unexpected and fantastic designs. Sometimes it seems that its only purpose is to enjoy us with its beauty.

agate moss

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