Feel grounded mentally and emotionally
Understand your past and be at peace
Find practical solutions to any problem
Release bitterness, anger, and worry
Let Gray Agate inspire inner harmony!
Mineralogy of Gray Agate
Mineral Family: Tectosilicate
Chemical Composition: SiO2
Color: Dark grey to soft white
Crystal System: Hexagonal/trigonal
Luminescence: Green (long wave) / Yellowish-white (short wave)
Transparency: Translucent, opaque
Location: Grey Agates are found all over the world. Particularly beautiful specimens have been found in Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Poland, Scotland, United States (California, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Wyoming), and Uruguay.
Mineral Family: Gray Agate is a type of Silicate mineral. Agate is a tiny twig on a far off branch of the crystal family tree. Silicate minerals form the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray, shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. Quartz is a large mineral family in its own right, and has two main subdivisions, macrocrystalline (crystals that are large enough to be seen by the naked eye; for example, Amethyst) and microcrystalline (crystals so small they can only be seen through a microscope; for example, Agate). All microcrystalline Quartzes fall under the subcategory of Chalcedony, which is then further subdivided. One of these categories is Agate. Gray Agate is a relatively common stone and includes the rare Cradle of Humankind stone.
Formation: Agates are created when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rock. During this cooling down period, silica acid bubbles shift from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound. The bubble becomes a hollow space in the igneous rock and the silica acid becomes Quartz crystals. Agates are formed when thin sheets of Quartz are layered with other minerals, creating a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Mining: Agates are the primary product of mines located around the world. Typically Agates are found in their primary deposits and still have their original relationship with the host rock. Agates are usually ball or almond-shaped nodules ranging in size from a fraction of an inch to several yards in diameter. If the Agate fills the entire hollow space left by the gas bubble, it is called an Agate Almond. If a hollow remains in the center, it is called an Agate Geode.
Enhancements: Agates are porous and have been dyed bright colors since the Roman Era. As a general rule, the more vivid the coloring, the more likely that it has been dyed. This is particularly true if the color is vivid while the price is cheap! Most dyed Agates have both bright white “hard” areas which won’t accept dye, and “soft” areas which take dye easily. Currently most of the dyed Agates on the market are actually pale gray and white Agates from Brazil. They are dyed vivid colors like hot pink, deep purple, turquoise green, or bright blue. Gray Agates themselves are fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.
Synonyms: Grey Agate, Gray Chalcedony, Grey Chalcedony
History of Agate
Agate has one of the oldest historical traditions of any healing stone. It is included in virtually every known lapidary, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. Archaeological evidence amply shows that Agates have been treasured since the very earliest times. Agates have been found in many Stone Age graves and appear to have been kept either for their beauty or, perhaps, for their energetic power. Early lapidaries, dating as far back as 3000 BCE, referenced seals, rings, beads, and other ornaments which were carved out of Agate. The Sumerians were the first to describe the power of stones, and their texts state that wearing Agate gave a person special favor with the gods.
The name “Agate” was first used by the Greek writer Theophrastus (372-287 BCE) who suggested that all Agates came from a Sicilian River then called the Achates River, and today known as the Dirillo River. (Agates are still found along this river today.) There are many different kinds of agates. Apricot Agate, Blue Lace Agate, Botswana Agate, Crazy Lace Agate, Dendritic Agate, Fire Agate, Moss Agate, Onyx, Sardonyx, and Tree Agate, are included in this family of stones, along with many others. The most famous of all Agates is bright orange Carnelian.
While rare deposits of agates are occasionally found with naturally bright colors, the majority of agates on the market start out as opaque Gray Agates, with few markings. As early as the Roman era, Gray Agates were artificially dyed. This practice was perfected in the 19th century in the Agate region of Idar-Oberstein, in the Rhineland of southwest Germany. Today, most of the generic Agates on the market were mined in South America and normally appear gray without any markings. It is only once dyed that they get their banded patterns. The exact details about the dying process are closely-held commercial secrets. What is known, however, is that the pigments are certainly inorganic, since organic dyes will fade over time. Since 2007, all dyed Agates are legally required in the US to be labels as “dyed” or “treated.” This law is sometimes followed by wholesale businesses, but is often ignored by stores that sell directly to customers.
Photos: Dyed Agate Windchime
Healing Properties of Gray Agate
Spiritual: Gray Agate has a very calm, gentle and steady presence, which encourages us to be more conscious of our thoughts and feelings and their effect on our long-term well being. Gray Agate stabilizes the aura and balances our yin and yang energies. It also shows us how to be in better balance with the larger world around us. It aids us in seeing the positive and negative forces that exist in the world, and to be both realistic about our limitations and empowered in our possibilities. It helps us to walk through “the real world” with greater ease, neither giving in to despair nor sheltering ourselves from painful realities. Gray Agate invites us to help raise the collective consciousness, starting with ourselves and our loved ones, and then extending steadily outward to eventually embrace the whole world. Gray Agate shows us that we can, in fact, create a better world where all beings are safe and given the means to grow and thrive. But first, we must personally embrace a more mature spiritual path where fear is no longer a driving force in our lives. Gray Agate is also useful tool for remembering past lives and prenatal memories. It is attuned to the Root Chakras and linked to the astrological sign of Gemini. It is connected to the element of Earth and Wind, and vibrates to the numbers 1 and 7.
Emotional: Gray Agate dissolves inner tension and turmoil. It helps us to calmly make good decisions that will best support our Highest Good and the Highest Good of those around us. Gray Agate releases the anger, fear, and bitterness that has gotten trapped in our heart and helps us to better understand the complexity of human emotions and responses. It specifically helps us to correctly identify the forces that are causing the most discomfort in our lives and to find practical solutions for them. It counsels patience too, reminding us that healing and progress sometimes takes considerable time and effort. Gray Agate inspires feelings of emotional safety and security. It is also a fantastic stone for increasing emotional intelligence and maturity.
Mental: Gray Agate encourages analytical thinking and a love of truth. It helps us to see what is truly real, rather than forcing facts to conform to our expectations and desires. Gray Agate counsels us to be cautious about our instinctive emotional reactions, and to not allow them to hijack our sense of reason. It helps us to be more comfortable with complexity. Unsurprisingly, Gray Agate is particularly good at helping us see “the shades of gray” that often exist. It quietly reminds us to avoid dividing the world into overly-simplistic categories of “good” and “bad.” Gray Agate aids mental concentration and encourages us to stay calm even under pressure. It helps us to engage in honest self-analysis when needed and to be precise in our thinking and conclusions. Gray Agate encourages quiet contemplation and a willingness to continually refine our beliefs based on new knowledge and experiences.
Physical: Gray Agate is used by metaphysical healers to stabilize physical health and to encourage healthy digestion and elimination. Gray Agate is believed to support the uterus and is thus considered a valuable pregnancy stone. It is said to protect and encourage the healthy growth of the infant in utero. It is also said to encourage a normal delivery and to help the mother recover swiftly after childbirth. Like other Agates, Gray Agate is said to be extremely good for eye health.
Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.
Ethically Sourced Gray Agate
I first met the owner of the lapidary in 2014 at the Gem and Mineral show in Tucson, Arizona. It was my first buying trip for my own store and I was nervous. Most lapidary owners were brisk and impatient with my questions, especially when I asked about the mines and the supply chains. But one man stood out to me as particularly patient and kind. He had been a wholeseller for over twenty years, yet he was happy to meet someone brand-new to the industry.
He took time to talk to me about the stones. They came from his home country of India and he was able to tell me exactly which state or territory each one came from and some of the conditions at the individual mines. When I told him that I wanted to source ethically, he said that it would be difficult, but that it was a worthwhile challenge. He made me feel like I could succeed, both at ethical sourcing and at being a business woman.
I looked forward to a long business relationship with him. He died a few months later.
I stayed in touch with his family and in 2016 met his wife, teenage daughter, and his father. This three-generation family has picked up the pieces and learned how to run the business. The wife had never worked before, but she has gracefully stepped into her new role as a business owner. Her father-in-law offers practical and moral support, but makes sure that everyone knows that SHE is the boss and that checks should be written directly to her. The family continues to be supportive of my efforts to ethically source. More than any other lapidary, they are willing to speak openly with me about the difficult parts of the industry.
Gray Agate Tumbled Stone
Color: Gray. This is a 100 % natural stone; minor variations are a part of their unique beauty
Size: 1 inch, or a little bit bigger
Weight: 1 oz
Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days, while International First Class averages 2-3 weeks.
Supply Chain: Traveling Earth to Pocket, this stone would have traded hands only four times.
The miners sells directly to the tumbler. The tumbler sells directly to Moonrise Crystals. Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.
Safe Handling of Gray Agate
Cleaning Healing Crystals
There are many ways to cleanse, charge, and set intentions with crystals.
Before cleaning your healing crystals, always consider the geology of each stone. Some stones are sensitive to water and/or sunlight. Best Practice is to keep your stones out of direct sunlight when you’re not working with them, simply because the sunlight will fade the crystal’s color over time. This is especially true for transparent and translucent gems. Remember crystals grow underground where it’s nice and dark! Stones that are formed in dry desert conditions may be harmed by immersion in water. This is especially true for fragile and porous stones.
One of the easiest and most effective way to energetically clean crystals is to smudge them with smoke from plants like sage, juniper, cedar, lavender, tobacco, etc. Each plant has its own unique smell and spiritual property. Moonrise Crystals smudges with white mountain sage (for cleansing) and sweet grass (for kindness) before the crystals are sent to their forever home with you.
Other common ways to energetically clean healing crystals are to set stones near a piece of Carnelian, Citrine, Kyanite, Selenite or other stones that are energy purifiers. Be sure to pamper the purifying stones regularly so that they can continue to do their job properly. Citrine and Kyanite are self-cleansers that don’t “need” extra care. But they will love getting extra attention from you!
If a stone is doing a lot of heavy energetic work, one of the best ways to restore its energy reserves is to allow it to rest on the earth, next to a plant. A potted plant inside the house works just fine. Let the crystal rest overnight or longer, until its energy feels bright and sparkly again.
Charging and Setting Intentions with Healing Crystals
There is no right/wrong way to charge and set intentions. But here are a few ways that it’s done at Moonrise Crystals.
Cleanse the crystals and yourself. It is good to take the time to physically clean stones before doing spiritual work. It sets a tone of purity, respect, and reverence. Hold the crystals or be near them. Sing or talk to the stones. Tell them about yourself and what you are working on. Ask them for their help. You don’t need to use any special words, simply speak from the heart. Treat the crystals like your best friends and closest allies. They want to help you.
If you feel shy or awkward, you can also write your message on a piece of paper and set the stones on top of it. Music, including singing bowls, can also be used. The most important thing is simply to be present with the stones and focused on setting the intention.
This can be done at any time, day or night. However, nighttime is often a particularly good time for setting intentions. Take the crystals outside, if possible. You can talk to your crystals outside, or you may just want to sit near them and meditate or pray.
- During the Full Moon, energy is amplified. It is also a wonderful time to celebrate in the bright light when your intentions are already going well and you want to keep the trend going.
- The New Moon is a time for new beginnings. The darkness is like planting a seed underground. It will grow up into the Light.
- Eclipses, meteorite showers, and other astronomical events will add their own unique energy.
- Knowing where the moon is astrologically can also add a fun element to intention setting. The moon changes signs every 2-3 days.
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