Agate gets its name from the Achates River in present Sicily. It was where the stone was discovered by a Greek naturalist sometime between 400 and 300 B.C. In its natural form, agate--especially South American agate--is often grey. Like many other variations of agate, the color in blue agate is most often achieved through dyeing, although some blue agate, such as "Holley blue agate" and blue lace agate occur naturally (see our Gem Note for blue lace agate). The art of dyeing was known to the Romans; however, dying agate has been a closely guarded secret that has been perfected in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, one of the most important centers for cutting and dyeing since the early 16th century.
Blue Agate Metaphysical Properties
Agate is the birthstone for the zodiac sign of Gemini, but is not a traditional birthstone for a birth month. Blue is associated with truth, loyalty and reliability. Its importance for healing has been recognized since the Golden Age of Greece. It was revered in ancient Indian and Chinese civilizations. Today, healers who work with color use blue stones for diagnosing and treating throat-related problems. And, poise and serenity have always been associated with blue light. Even the expression "feeling blue" comes from blue's cool, sedative effect. No wonder even people who don't "love blue" are drawn to people who do.
Blue Agate Geological Properties
Like most other agates, blue agate is a chalcedony, a member of the quartz family of minerals. Agate is formed as a nodule in volcanic rocks, lava or from filled veins or cracks in the volcanic rock. To achieve blue from other agates, iron pigment is used in the dye process. Agate is found in deposits all over the world, including Myanmar (Burma), Brazil, Uruguay, Botswana, India, Australia and the United States.
Microcrystalline quartz, banded chalcedony, infused with iron
6-1/2 to 7 (Mohs)
2.60 - 2.65
1.544 - 1.553
Proper Care of Blue Agate
Like other agates, blue agate can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Avoid exposure to household chemicals and extreme heat. Because of the hardness and durability of agate, it should be kept away from other gemstone and jewelry to prevent scratching softer materials.
To learn more about blue agate and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of Gemstones of the World.
Designing with Blue Agate
If blue is your color (it is "the color" for millions), the jewelry you create with this vibrant sky blue agate will be a "must-have." If you're creating jewelry for "blue purists," try combining this semitranslucent stone with a variety of other blue beads--pale blue lace agate, blue fossil beads or various shapes and shades of Austrian crystal. Enhance it by mixing it with complementary cool colors such as greens and lavenders. Or, cool down warm yellows by using blue agate as an accent. Set the cabochons in open-backed pendants so their blue glow shines through. People who love blue will just naturally gravitate toward you. Other people will know you have some magic that they want for themselves. They just won't know that it's all in the color!
**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.
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