Agate is a variety of chalcedony formed from layers of quartz which usually show varicolored bands. It usually occurs as rounded nodules or veins. Often tiny quartz crystals form within the stone and add to the beauty and uniqueness of individual stones. These crystals are called drusy (sometimes spelled as druzy). Lapidaries often cut just the drusy from an agate and jewelers use these drusy cabochons as the main stone or as an accent stone in their jewelry designs.
Some named varieties are: moss agate, eye agate, and plume agate, which looks like it's filled with beautiful feather plumes. Agate is a relatively inexpensive stone except for some varieties with unusual banded or scenic markings. In recent years, Montana agate has gained wide acceptance in jewelry and well cut stones with nicely defined patterns often exceed the price of some of the more well known gemstones. Plume agate is another that often brings high dollar.
Agate is found all over the world including: the Africa, Asia, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Nepal, and the USA.
Agate is believed to discern truth, accept circumstances, and is a powerful emotional healer. Legend says that Agate improves memory and concentration, increases stamina and encourages honesty. Agate is said to be particularly beneficial to people born under the sign of Gemini as it helps them to remain calm and focused It is believed to prevent insomnia and insure pleasant dreams, to enhance personal courage and protect one against danger. Agate provides a calming influence, improves perception, concentration and helps to develop and increase one's analytical talents.