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Interesting Facts

Agate Gemstones and Jewelry

Find more agate jewelry on our new web site


Find more agate gemstones on our new web site

Agate is named after its ancient source, the Achates River in Sicily, now known as the Drillo River, which remains a major source of this gemstone (though some ancient historians believe that the word agate is derived from the Greek word "Agate??" - meaning happy). Agate was used by Stone Age man in France 20,000-16,000 B.C. The ancient Egyptians used it prior to 3000 B.C., and in the Ptolemaic Period carved agate scarabs. Agate was also extremely popular for us in jewelry in ancient Sumeria. Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in many other ancient cultures. It was said to quench thirst and protect from fevers. Persian magicians were believed to possess the power to divert storms through the use of agate talismans. A famous collection of four thousand agate bowls was accumulated by Mithradates, king of Pontus, is illustrative of the high value the ancient world had for agate. Agate bowls were also popular in the Byzantine Empire. Collecting agate bowls became common among European royalty during the Renaissance and many museums in Europe, including the Louvre, have spectacular examples.