Etymology and Formation of Agate
- Agate was named by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and naturalist.
- The stone was discovered along the shore line of the Dirillo River or Achates in Sicily.
- The discovery of agate was made between the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE.
- Agate minerals form on or within pre-existing rocks.
- The formation of agates can be difficult to determine accurately.
- Agates are commonly found as nodules within volcanic rocks.
- Cavities in volcanic rocks are filled with silica-rich fluids, forming agates.
- Banded agate is formed by layers of chalcedony and crystalline quartz.
Types of Agate
- Lace agate exhibits a lace-like pattern.
- Blue lace agate is found in Africa and is hard.
- Crazy lace agate is brightly colored with a complex pattern.
- Moss agate exhibits a moss-like pattern and is greenish in color.
- Dendritic agate displays fern-like patterns due to manganese and iron oxides.
Uses of Agate
- Agate is commonly used in hardstone carving.
- It is used to make ornaments, jewelry, paper knives, and inkstands.
- Agate is used in decorative displays, cabochons, beads, and carvings.
- Industrial uses of agate include knife-edge bearings and mortars and pestles.
- Agate is used in arts and crafts, such as window panes and jewelry.
Characteristics of Agate
- Agate is known for its durability.
- It has a Mohs scale hardness rating of 6.5-7.
- Agate has colorful, banded patterns and a wide range of hues.
- It is found in various colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink.
- Agate is generally more affordable than other gemstones.
Health Impact of Agate
- Workers in the agate industry in India and China have been studied for respiratory diseases.
- Silicosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust, has been found in workers exposed to agate dust.
- There is an increased incidence of accelerated silicosis among workers exposed to agate dust.
- Co-morbidities have been observed among silicotics in the agate industry.
- Exposure to agate dust has been linked to respiratory morbidity in workers of quartz crushing units.
Agate Data Sources