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What is Agate?

Agate is a common semiprecious silica mineral that has long been used as a gem and ornamental. Agate is the most common variety of chalcedony which is a form of quartz. Agate is, in fact, identical with quartz in composition and physical properties. Composed of silicon dioxide (SiO2), it has a hardness of 7, a glassy luster, a conchoidal fracture, and a specific gravity of 2.60. Most agates occur in cavities of eruptive rocks or ancient lavas. These agates have a banded structure, successive layers being approximately parallel to the sides of the cavity. During crystallization, the colored bands are not disturbed. Varieties of agate are characterized by peculiarities in the shape and color of the bands, which are seen in sections cut at right angles to the layers. Believed to aid in deoxygenating of body, regenerates, protects from x-rays, strength, protection, support. Also known to aid in upset stomach, lungs, depression, lethargy, throat, skin, and tumor.


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