Said by the ancients to render the wearer invisible, Agate has been admired by humanity for thousands of years. Its beauty and durability have prompted man to use it in both practical and ornamental forms. Valued by the Ancient Sumerians and Egyptians who used it for amulets, receptacles, and ornamental pieces, Agate is one of the oldest known gems.
The Greeks and Romans carved it into cameos (i.e. a gem carved in relief) and intaglios (i.e. a gem carved in negative relief). In Roman times Agate intaglio signet rings were particularly popular.
Agate is believed to cure insomnia, ensure pleasant dreams, protect from danger, promote strength, healing and a bold heart. Wearers are believed to become temperate, continent and cautious. In antiquity Agate was regarded as cooling gem capable of reducing fever, quenching thirst, quieting the pulse and ensuring good health and a long and prosperous life.
Agate is formed in a unique way and many fossils are actually Agatized material that has replaced the original organic substance. For example, petrified wood is fossilized wood that has had its organic matter replaced by Agate.
Agate comes in many different forms ranging from transparent to opaque. Varieties include Blue Agate, Blue Lace Agate, Crazy Lace Agate, Green Agate, Indian Agate, Moss Agate, Fire Agate, Tree Agate, Onyx, Sardonyx and Wood Agate.
The most popular varieties are: Blue Lace Agate, which has white bands swirling on a blue background; Moss Agate, so named for its moss-like pattern.