The Demand for Agate Jewelry

Published: 13th May 2009
Views: N/A

Agates are a microcrystalline form of quartz that are commonly used to make jewelry. Since these stones are quite common and relatively inexpensive, they are best suited for fashion jewelry. In this application, the stones are stones are cut and polished and strung together to form necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry. Agate beads are also mounted in metal settings to create pendants and earrings. In many cases, the settings are made of copper or silver-plated copper. This keeps the price of the piece low which happens to be a key criterion for fashion jewelry. Sometimes, when the agate specimen is particularly beautiful, it may be mounted in sterling silver settings to create jewelry of a higher quality and cost. Some contemporary designs combine freshwater pearls with agates to create innovative pieces of jewelry. The most common form of this combination is to have a white pearl necklace with a brightly colored polished agate pendant.

One important but often overlooked reason for the popularity of agate jewelry is the perceived metaphysical and spiritual benefits of agates. This stone is believed to aid in communications not simply with other humans, but with all elements of nature including plant and animal life. Moss Agates in particular are believed to have a close association with the earth. As such, they are credited with being in tune with the fertility of plants, protection of the earth and rain. They are also believed to help with prosperity, general healing, restoration of physical and emotional well being, and creativity. Agates are said to help those with self esteem problems, and with attaining emotional balance. By maintaining emotional balance, one is able to center oneself by releasing anger and frustration. Agates are believed to help those seeking friendship and love.

The low cost and the beauty of agates are other important factors that have made this stone quite popular for fashion jewelry. Agates are found in great abundance in dozens of countries across the world. Their widespread occurrence is not surprising because they are primarily composed of silicon dioxide which is the most abundant mineral on earth. What distinguishes and makes some varieties of agate to stand out compared to others are their particular patterns and colors. For example, during the formation of the stone millions of years ago, the silica solution sometimes snared organic materials such as pieces of deadwood or leaves. Over the years, the organic substances decomposed and were replaced with inorganic minerals of different colors. These agates later formed what we today know as "petrified wood". Cut and polished specimens of petrified wood can make interesting beads to be used in silver pendants, rings, and earrings. Cyclops agates and fire agates are two other noteworthy forms of this stone. Mexico is the primary source of both agates, although smaller deposits have also been found in Central America. Fire agates are best known for the orange to orange-brown color. The presence of ferrous compounds as secondary minerals is responsible for this color. Cyclops agates were formed due to a deposition process that led to dark bands of silica alternating with white or nearly white bands. When cut to expose the concentric circles, this type of agate bears a striking resemblance to the eye; hence its name.

Some of the more exotic varieties of agates are framed in settings of sterling silver to create silver pendants, earrings and necklaces. In most cases however, the common forms of agates are best suited for fashion jewelry where the settings are less expensive than sterling silver. Such less expensive metals include copper, silver plated on copper, pewter, and stainless steel.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore