The beautiful semi-precious stone Agate is one of mans earliest possessions and we see evidence of this as far back as the Stone Age and it was at this time used to make arrow heads, and spears and pieces of this stone have been unearthed from Stone Age graves.
The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians were the first people to use Agate totally for its aesthetic qualities. This semi-precious stone was used to create pieces of handmade jewellery such as pendants, rings, beads and other ornamental ornaments and bowls and drinking vessels.
The Sumerians are the first people that started to distinguish common minerals found to precious stones and these were the first culture that gave these stones other attributes and was thought that it was worn the wearer would be favoured by the gods so this is why we see lots of evidence of Agate jewellery being worn.
Agate is the term that we give to chalcedony and this is what gives this lovely natural semi-precious stone its characteristics and lovely distinctive layers and curved bands. There are many different types of Agate and it comes in many stunning colours and types like Moss Agate, Blue Lace Agate and landscape agate are just a few.
Because this stone is found in so many natural colours it is a dream for jewellery makers to use to create there unusual pieces of handcrafted jewellery. It is a hard stone so it is easy to cut into beads and pendants and because of the lovely natural markings large pieces that have been polished can look beautiful unset and used as a pendant or set and used as a focal point for unique and unusual jewellery designs.
The Romans believed that anyone that was to wear Agate would be invisible and this is why it was worn by soldiers when they went to war. If the colour of the Agate was the same as a lions skin it had the power to cure scorpion bites and yellow Agate was one of the favourite colours of the Romans as this was said to provide courage and strength and good luck pieces of handmade jewellery were worn by the gladiators and pieces were set in their swords and shields.
This natural stone can be found in many antique and vintage pieces of handmade jewellery and it was a very popular stone placed in Art Deco jewellery. Because this stone is found in abundance it is relatively cheap so you will find many jewellery designs that have been set with this stone and jewellery designers today still use Agate to create their modern and contemporary designs.
The natural banded colours in this stone give the modern jewellery designer inspiration to create unusual designs and many fashion designers use this colourful stone in their latest fashion designs