Dendritic Agate or Tree Agate

Dendritic Agate or Tree Agate

The Dendritic Agate, also commonly known as Tree Agate, comes from the Greek meaning "tree-like" in reference to the inclusions that look similar to a tree-like structure. This phenomenon is due to the presence of iron and manganese in Dendritic Agates.

Some Dendritic Agate come with inclusions that are spotted clusters. These are generally referred to as "mosquito stones".

Dendritic Agate is a variety of chalcedony quartz with a silicon dioxide chemical composition. It has a hexagonal crystal structure and comes in colorless to whitish-gray colors.

Dendritic Agate is very easily identified by its unique tree or fern-like markings known as 'dendrites' which are usually brown to black.

Dendritic Agate has a hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. It has a translucent to opaque transparency with a waxy to dull luster.

Dendritic Agate is not technically an agate as it lacks the usual banding that is typical of Agate gemstones; nonetheless, it is referred to it as such.

Dendritic Agate is one of the rarer of the Agate gemstones.

Dendritic Agate is often confused with Moss Opal, and Moss Agate. Whereas Dendritic Agate has a hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale; Moss Opal has a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. The dendritic inclusions found in Dendritic Agate are due to the presence of iron and manganese impurities and are usually brown or black in color; moss agate, on the other hand, owes its dendritic traces to green hornblende and has a moss-like patterns.

Dendritic Agate can be found in Brazil, China, India, Australia, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Uruguay and in the United States.

Dendritic Agate mined in India has a trade name of "Mocha stone" in reference to its former route via the Arabian Harbor of Mocha.

Dendritic agate is typically translucent to opaque. Translucent specimens are the most sought after and those that exhibit landscapes which are rare are highly desirable by mineral collectors.

Dendritic Agate was used as a stone of fertility. In Europe, farmers tied Dendritic Agate to their fruit trees, to the horns of their cattle, in the harness of their horses in the hope of making them more fertile. The ploughman, too, would wear a Dendritic Agate in the hope of receiving divine abundance.

The Greek Orpheus said that to wear moss agate was to receive divine favour and aid.

Back in the early 19th century in England, Dendritic Agate was perceived as a good luck gemstone and thus were worn as rings or made into amulets. They also put Dendritic Agate next to rubies (which were considered the Gemstones of the Sun).

Dendritic Agate was loved by Russians who believed that it was a gemstone that brings prosperity, good health and long life.

Agate have been used since ancient times. It is one of the oldest gemstones mentioned in the literature of the ancient Egyptians.

The ancient Egyptians believed that agates protected the wearer from lightning, bestowed the power of speech, and quenched thirst if you put it in your mouth.

Because of its tree-like inclusions, Dendritic Agate is believed to help the wearer communicate with nature. It is associated with the protection and healing of Mother Earth.