Monday, June 7, 2010

Russian Agate

Russian Agate

Birthstone Month:
Agate is associated with the birthstone month of May.

Agate is associated with the zodiac sign Gemini.

Chemical Symbol:

Chemical Make-up:
Agate is a Silicon Dioxide and is a variety of Chalcedony, which is a member of the Quartz family. It is scientifically classified as either a cryptocystalline, or a microcrystalline variety of Quartz.

History & Lore:
The name Agate is believed to derive from the Greek word given to a stone that was found thousands of years ago in the Achates River in South-western Sicily, now known as Dirillo River.

Some of the earliest primitive tools that were created by man's ancestors 2.5 million years ago were made of various types of Quartz, including Agate. Agate has also been used as a gemstone and for other ornamental objects dating back thousands of years. Early Greeks used Agate in the form of amulets as protection from the dangerous elements of the sea.

In medieval times Agate was worn to bring God's favor and make one agreeable and persuasive. It was also believed to bring protection from all dangers and to be able to bring about victory and strength.

Agate has commonly been used to cure insomnia and to bring about pleasant dreams. It is also said to enhance the wearer's courage, improve perception and concentration, and to provide protection from dangers. Agate is believed to enhance trust and honesty, and to assist with acceptance to circumstances and emotions. In addition to this, Agate is believed to be able to improve memory.

Russian Agate was recently discovered and since has risen to be one of the more desired Agate varieties. As with most Agate's, Russian Agate is relatively inexpensive.

Russia is the sole source of Russian Agate.

Agate is rated at 6.5 to 7 on Moh's Scale of Hardness. There is not any specific care required, but general gemstone precautions are always a good idea so that the original condition of the stone can be retained.
Russian Agate is an opaque to translucent, grey colored gemstone containing small mineral inclusions which create fern-like patterns. Some stones will display white and/or yellow spots that form miniature forest scenes.

The price of Russian Agate will depend on the carat weight, level of translucency, beauty of patternation, and color saturation.

Common Cuts:
Russian Agates are most often found cut into free-form and calibrated cabochons.

Routine Enhancements:
There are no known enhancements for Russian Agate.

Care & Cleaning:
Agate can be cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush. As with most gemstones, Agate should be kept away from household chemicals and from prolonged exposure to extremes of heat that can cause damage to the stone. Agate jewelry should be kept in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items so as to avoid damage / scratching.

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