Occurring in nodular masses in rocks such as volcanic lavas. When split open, they reveal an amazing variety of colors, patterns and a distinct banding that is quite striking. Band colors are determined by the differing impurities present. Agate occurs in several distinct forms - fortification agate (has angular arranged bands), moss agate (is translucent, colorless, white or gray, with dark moss/tree like inclusions).
Agates are usually cut into thin slabs or polished as ornaments, brooches, pendants or other jewelry.
Occurrence: Germany is by far the most famous area for agates since 1548. Other sources include - India, Brazil, Uruguay, China & USA.
Zodiac Affinity: sometimes known as a birthstone for Gemini zodiac, Agate stones depending on their color/type are known for stabilizing aura and their cleansing effects.
Sources: Hall C (2002). Gemstones.United States. Smithsonian Handbook