Gemstone of the Month: Agate

September 07, 2016 Allison Bray

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Agates are a type of quartz typically found in volcanic rock. They were first discovered by a Greek philosopher on the shore of the river Achates (found in modern day Sicily) between the third and fourth centuries.

These beautiful rocks come in all manner of shapes, sizes, styles and colour combinations. They can be found in all colours of the rainbow, though blue and green agates are relatively rare. These gems are so eye-catching that they’ve been used throughout history, particularly for jewellery, hardstone carving and decoration at ancient sites and monuments.

Agates aren’t just popular thanks to the way they look. The way these rocks are formed means that they are incredibly strong. This makes them a popular natural material to use in industry, especially as their strength and unique composition makes them resistant to chemical attacks!

Worn best with… 

Nothing says ‘look at me’ quite like a bold piece of agate! Contemporary jewellery made from this type of quartz is designed to take centre stage, so you may want to keep the rest of your jewellery very low key. We love it with simple silver jewellery and a monochrome outfit. 

Best suited to… 

Agates make very eye-catching jewellery. We particularly love them for brooches, pendants and beads. Wear them for date night, a big day in the office or even just a girly day out shopping. Just be prepared for your jewellery to start conversations!

Famous Agates… 

The Rubens Vase is a stunning vase dating back to the Byzantine Empire. This piece was hand-carved from a single piece of agate, probably for the emperor himself. 

The largest agate ever discovered weighs over 61,000kgs and is over 5m long, almost 3m high and almost 5m deep.

More inspiration… 

Flame Stone Set Linked Black Agate and Silver Bracelet | Black Agate and Silver Beads | Monochrome Quartz and Onyx Necklace | Large Agate Silk Scarf | Medium Agate Silk Scarf

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