ROMANCING THE STONE: AGATE
Stones in your bracelet.
Agate - a semi-precious stone. Its distinguishing feature is its striation. Different in color wavy stripes form incredible pictures, in which sometimes we can see : landscapes, castles, lakes and mountains. Thanks to stone's picture originality, and stone's widespread, agate was one of the first semi-precious stones used for making jewelry and decorative items. The most common hypothesis of the "agate" name appearance - Ahates the name of river in Sicily, where was found the oldest agate mines . Agate Properties Agate was formed in rock lavas with various minerals of silica (SiO2) family, in which the predominant mineral is chalcedony. It usually has a layered structure. Alternating layers come in different colors and can have varying degrees of transparency. This means that agate stone in cross-section has original and non-repeating pictures. The hardness of agate is 6.5-7.0 units on the Mohs scale. After polishing, stone surface acquires a glass shine, on fractures it is more matte and bold. From ancient times, agate was used for the manufacture of stamps, various vessels, decorative and jewelery items, buy agate earrings.
Crafters cut from agate cameos, talented using a layered structure and the difference in stripe colors of agate stone. With agate were decorated altars, countertops, walls. The largest item of agate, made of an integral stone, is stored in Vienna, at the Museum of Art History. This is - a dish with a diameter of 75 cm.
Types of agates and their colors Agate stone differ by location of stripes and their color, presence of inclusions, etc. Thus, there are more than 150 varieties of agate! The most common agates are: stones with concentric stripes - Brazilian style, less - Uruguayan variety of agate stone with rectilinear arrangement of stripes. The most common are light-colored agates with alternating gray-blue, white and colorless layers. Less common are stones with layers of yellow, brown, red, black color, very rare are agates of bright green or blue colors. Some agates have their own names. For example, a stone with a lot of plane-parallel layers is called onyx and agate, with the structure of alternating red and reddish-brown stripes are called sardonyx, buy tanzanite rings.
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