Agate Beads

Agate beads have been admired for thousands of years. Agate beads have been used to make fine jewelry since it was first discovered in southwestern Sicily. Agate is named after the Achates River there. Today, agate is found in Egypt, Africa, Asia, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, India, USA, Italy and Nepal and many other places in the world. When it is found in its raw state agate is rough and dull. These stones can be highly polished and artificially stained so that they are more vivid in color than those found in their natural state since they are of a porous nature. Agate beads are also used as decorative ornaments for homes and offices such as paper weights or bookends.

Agate beads are thought to be a powerful gemstone for emotional healing. They are also said to improve concentration and memory. Wearing agate beads encourages honesty and increases stamina and are thought to raise personal courage levels. Also, it is thought that if you suffer from insomnia you can relieve it by wearing agate beads. These beads are the most widely distributed gemstones in the world. They come in different forms and usually you can see various colored bands or stripes in them.

The hardness of agate is 7 and the stones are classified as cryptocystalline quartz or microcrystalline. Agate is chemically identical to carnelians, amethyst and quartz only the difference is in the way they form, which makes them appear very different than these other gemstones. Agate beads need the presence of silica to form. Silica comes from a mixtures volcanic ash, iron, manganese, mineral oxides and water from rainfall. These substances form the inclusions in the agate bands, making them beautifully intricate. Some stripes or bands seen in them can even resemble the rings of a tree.

The cutting and staining or agate is commercially done in Germany. Dyed agate is often sold as black onyx. Some agate beads are dark green with clear patches and are called moss agate. There are also brown, red and white varieties which can be referred to as petrified wood agate. Also, you can find green and white agate referred to as tree agate. You can also find it in blue and purples. Carnelian agate beads are a deep red color and are usually the most valuable. Pieces of agate used can range from less than 1.3 cm to more than 60 cm across and are then cut into beads.

No two agate beads are alike as the patterns are a diverse as nature itself so you can find it in all the colors of the rainbow. Agates not only look beautiful when polished, but agate beads provide an outlet for those who want to use them for crafting purposes. These are classified as semi-precious stones and as such are not too expensive. Lots of people who are into crafting their own jewelry pieces use agate beads and have made pieces that are quite beautiful and stunning. Finding agates is easy on your own and there are a lot of people who go out looking for it in nature. If you are a rock hunter you know when you find a rough agate you can use a rock tumbler to form a beautifully polished stone or bead. In fact, some rock hunters go out to specifically look for agate stones. Of course, you can always buy agate beads commercially for your projects as well.

Agate cabochons are popular to use to make rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets. They are commonly used to necklaces and earrings. You can find beautiful agate bead jewelry online. There are all kinds of websites that have photos of various pieces of agate beaded jewelry. There are also all kinds of vendors online that sell agate beads for those who are into their own jewelry making.

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