Agate can be found around the world, but notable sources are Germany and Brazil.
Agate, a semi-precious stone, is a form of chalcedony (microcrystalline) quartz, best known for its wide variation in colors and banding. Agate is found in nodular masses associated with volcanic lava, formed by mineral-laden water seeping into its cavities. The moss-like growths in moss agate are actually included minerals of chlorite, manganese oxide, or iron
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Agate is the Ayurvedic, Hebrew, and Roman birthstone for May, the Arabic birthstone for June, the Tibetan birthstone for September. Agate is the zodiac birthstone for Gemini and a talisman stone for Capricorn. Moss agate is a talisman stone for Virgo and Aquarius. Agate is the 14th wedding anniversary gemstone.
The name agate comes from the Latin word achates, the former name of Sicily's river Drillo, along which agate was found in ancient times. Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect from fevers. Some believed it would render them invisible. The practice in Medieval times was to tie them to the horns of your oxen to ensure a good harvest, but the danger was in possibly losing your oxen if they became invisible before you could remove the gems. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms. Legend has it that agate guarded the wearer from all dangers and endowed the wearer with a bold heart. Wearing agate was believed to cure insomnia and thought to insure pleasant dreams. In 1709 a Brazilian priest planned to use agates as antigravity devices on an air ship he had designed.
Moss agate is used as a birthing stone, to reduce the pain of labor. It is valued for speeding up recovery, anti-inflammatory properties, fever reduction, and relieving exhaustion. It is used to boost the immune system, help prevent hypoglycaemia and dehydration, cleanse the circulatory and elimination system, encourage the flow of lymph, and to help with eating disorders.
Sometimes called the ‘gardener’s stone’, moss agate is said to help one get in touch with nature. Some people place them in their gardens or with their plants to encourage growth. It's known to be strong in grounding and enjoyment of the physical world. It is also valued for improving self-esteem, intuition, optimism, and emotional balance. For these reasons, it is used to help fight depression.