Banded Agate

Agates are created in cavities formed in cooled volcanic rock.  Silica rich volcanic fluid deposits layers of minerals, usually chalcedony and alternating layers of crystalline quartz along the walls of the cavity.  Over millions of years, the layers crystalize and grow layer by layer in towards the centre.  Crystal points form as the silica cools.

Small Blue Lace Agate forming in Small Cavity
Close up to show the Quartz points

There are two main kinds of banded agate which develop this way.  One is horizontal banded agate where the layers of chalcedony and quartz grow  fairly evenly along the inner perimeter of the cavity.

Blue Lace agate with Layers of Chalcedony and Quartz
Polished Blue Lace Agate Point
Botswana Agate pendant, a gift from my Shiatsu Students

The other is called wall-lining banding where chalcedony fibers form from the walls to the interior and the agate bands grow around these protrusions

Orange Agate

This one amazes me. It’s an ugly piece from a distance but full of stories when looked at up close.

You can clearly see the bands and the quartz points then it’s as if the cavity was bombarded with muddy sludge which filled it up.

From a TCM point of view, agates are transformative stones, with a strong affinity to digestion and the Spleen’s role in transformation and transportation, and separating the clear from the turbid.  Agates with a beautiful centre of quartz points have great impact on the Spirit or Shen.

Agates deal with issues of pathogenic factors from the interior which manifest on the exterior, like a skin rash or headache resulting from Heat in the Blood. Reference Leslie J Franks, Stone Medicine. 

Published by shiatsugems

I have a passion for Chinese Medicine, nutrition, crystals, essential oils and most things holistic.

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