White Agate

Meaning and Properties


Agate is a versatile and popular stone in modern jewelry-making--just as it was 3,000 years ago, when the ancient Egyptians were using it as sealstones, cooking vessels and talismans for protection!

These days, it's used in industry and manufacturing because of its toughness and resistance to chemicals. Some common uses are in burnishing tools, precision pendulums, mortar-and-pestle sets and more. But its widest use has always been for jewelry.

Agate is a very common gemstone in the state of Oregon, often found inside the famous Oregonian "thundereggs" found in the eastern parts of the state. The thunderegg is the Oregon state rock, too (different from the state gem)! Other agates are the state stones or gems of Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Tennessee.

Metaphysical Properties

White agate is a stone of balance and release. It is credited with harmonizing an individual's feminine and masculine sides, helping the body release toxins and building the immune system. It is also believed to improve concentration and analytical frames of mind, as well as releasing traumas and providing the courage to trust.

For proponents of energy work and crystal healing, white agate is believed to be beneficial for mental issues, including everyday challenges such as frustration and anxiety. It is believed to stimulate the crown chakra and is often used to make worry stones. This white stone is often attributed with the power to attract angelic helpers and spirit guides.

Geological Properties

Agate is a chalcedony which often includes fine banding. In white agate, the bands can be of varying levels of translucency and opacity. The intricate bands were formed by repeated floods of slow-moving lava waves over lower levels of stone, laying down successive layers of silica/quartz one over the other. The weight and pressure caused tubes, pits and pockets to form in the lower layers, creating places where multiple layers could form in smooth round shapes.

This makes agate a gemstone which not only takes a long time to form but is also remarkably stable. Agates are found around the world, including Brazil, India, Morocco, Africa, Czech Republic and a range of locations in the United States.

Mineral Information Microcrystalline quartz, banded chalcedony
Chemical Composition SiO2
Color White, semi-translucent
Hardness 6-1/2 to 7 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 2.60 - 2.65
Refractive Index 1.544 - 1.553

Proper Care of White Agate

While agate is a strong and resilient stone, it is not invulnerable. It is best cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush or cotton cloth. Do not clean agates using steam as the stone is sensitive to heat.

Cosmetics and perspiration can negatively affect the surface polish of agate gemstones. Be sure to put agate jewelry on after applying make-up and perfumes, as well as removing it before swimming or engaging in sports.

Store agate jewelry in a separate pouch or box to prevent it from damaging other stones. Do not store in direct sunlight or in a warm location.

To learn more about white agate and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of Gemstones of the World.

Designing with White Agate

The greatest value of white agate beads may be that their neutral, semi-translucent quality. It makes them blend almost magically with a wide variety of other gemstones. They soften bold-colored gemstones and brighten darker stones so they don't overpower your jewelry. Sometimes the gemstone a designer needs is one that just quietly complements the beauty of other stones.

White agate does all that--and more. That's the magic of white agate.

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