Agates, the beautiful multi-colored and unique form of chalcedony, are found in various parts of the world. This gemstone has been used since the ancient ages. Agates naturally develop in the cavities of ancient volcanic rocks. Vesicles, the hollow cavities are formed when the trapped gases inside lava gets away through cracks. Owing to geological changes, these cracks develop as cavities in which molecules and layers fill in resulting in the formation of agates. These gemstones are found in stunning patterns of colors and no other form of chalcedony shares this character. In short, agate is called banded chalcedony.
Agates are found in various parts of the world and are available in various types. One of the unique features of agate is that you can never spot two agates to be alike. The combination of colors and patterns are unimaginable when you consider that the gemstones are abundantly available. Let us have a look at the types of agates available in the world.
1) Moss Agate
Moss agate is otherwise known as dendritic agate. It does not contain organic material. The green and black patterns present in moss agate are caused by chrome while red color is caused by the presence of iron in the gemstone. The presence of iron and manganese causes dendritic plumes in this type of agate.
2) Greek Agate
The land of Greece had known agates for long. Documented evidences point out that agates were used by ancient Greeks in 400 BC. Agates were sourced in Sicily in the ancient times when it was used in the making of beads and in artworks. Antique agates from Greece ranged from tan brown color to white color. We find various colors of agate from the land of Sicily being found now.
3) Fire Agate
Fire agates originated in California in USA. It rightly deserves the name as it is of fire color. Though fire agates were discovered in recent history, 1945 to be precise, they shot into fame owing to the colors of the gemstone. Fire agate of superior quality is rare and hence it is valuable. These thin-layered agates look stunningly radiant and they are considered the finest specimen, as they break light into color spectrum.
4) Brazilian Agate
Mostly found in shades of brown, Brazilian agates are generally dyed to obtain different colors to be used in the making of jewelry. These medium sized gemstones from Brazil are attractive and popular.
5) Lake Superior Agate
Lake Superior agates are in traces of red owing to the presence of iron oxide in it. These agates are found on Lake Superior’s shores. They are available in orange and yellow colors too and this again is due to iron oxide content in them.
6) Fossil Agate
These agates are found in petrified wood. The organic materials in the fossilized woods are replaced by this gemstone and hence these are called fossil agates.
7) Blue Lace Agate
The major sources of blue lace agates are Kenya and Namibia. The agates found here are light blue in color and this blue color forms lacy pattern and hence the name. The presence of dolomite causes the agate to be in blue color.