Green Agate Meaning and Properties

Green Agate History

This beautiful, translucent deep green stone goes back to the Egyptians. At least 3,000 years ago, they were using agate for seals, rings, and decorating vessels. Agate is named after the Achates River (now called the Dirillo) on the island of Sicily, in the Mediterranean, an ancient source of this gemstone. The art of dyeing it into vibrant colors began with the Romans.

Today, not only does it continue to be popular for art objects and jewelry, industry also "loves" agate because of its hardness and resistance to chemicals.

Green Agate Metaphysical Properties

Even before we knew about Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement and color, most of us knew we felt better when we had green plants and trees around us. According to Feng Shui, that's because green is a benevolent, humanistic color. Like all color, it affects us even when we don't know it.

In this stone, the spiritual power of green is combined with that of agate. According to modern healers who use stones in healing, green agate increases compassion, generosity and a keen sense of justice, along with enhancing mental and emotional flexibility, improving decision-making and resolving disputes. It also encourages these traits in others.

Green Agate Geological Properties

Formed from microscopic crystals of quartz, agate is usually a banded stone with a blend of opaque and translucent layers. The banding is what often separates agate from other forms of chalcedony. Deposits containing agate are commercially mined on almost every continent (including Oregon in the United States), making this a highly affordable and beautiful gemstone.

Agate is formed by layers of silica filling voids in other minerals. The layers form in stages, often with high contrast as riverbeds, ashfalls or other environmental elements change over time. Since they are filling in openings in (primarily) volcanic rock, agates are usually formed in rounded nodules or knobs. Each agate is unique, as it is created by filling a different shaped void. When the void fills entirely, a full agate is formed. When it is only partially filled by silica, the hollow center often becomes filled with crystalline quartz (called "druzy") lining the inside--a common component of geodes or "thundereggs."

When found, most agates are visually dull and require cutting or polishing to reveal their inner color banding. Commercial values on natural stones (stones without any enhancements) are frequently determined by the fineness, sharpness and bold color contrasts within the bands.

Agate has historically been carved into cameos, using the natural differences in band colors to create profiles and scenes. Other uses beyond jewelry include handles, boxes and other items for personal care and home d├ęcor.

Mineral Information Microcrystalline quartz, banded chalcedony--often infused with iron and aluminum
Chemical Composition SiO2
Color Deep green
Hardness 6-1/2 to 7 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 2.60 - 2.65
Refractive Index 1.544 - 1.553

Proper Care of Green Agate

Clean agate using warm soapy water and a soft brush. Although it has a high hardness, agate can still be scratched or damaged by gemstones with a higher hardness, as well as other materials. Avoid using household chemicals when cleaning agate beads, components or jewelry. Agates can be sensitive to heat, especially dyed stones, and prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade color-enhanced types. Store agate inside a fabric-lined box or wrapped in a soft cloth.

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

Design with Green Agate

Combine these delicate-looking opulently green beads with small copper beads and brass and/or silver-plated heishi for jewelry people will want to pass on for generations.

View design inspirations featuring green agate in the Gallery of Designs

Shop for Green Agate Items

**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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