Fire Agate Gemstone

Fire Agate Gemstone

Agate is derived from the French word AGATE, from the Latin ACHATES, from the Greek AKHATES which was the name of a river in Sicily where the stones were first found (Pliny).

Fire Agate is phenomenal in its display of rainbow colors. It reflects bright flashes of iridescent yellow, red, orange and green from hemispherical surfaces within the stone. These hemispherical features are a characteristic crystal habit of agate known as a "botryoidal habit" which resembles a small bunch of grapes.

Fire Agate was formed millions of years ago during massive volcanic activity. It is of a silicon dioxide chemical composition and occurs in a hexagonal crystal structure.

Fire Agate is a type of layered microcrystalline chalcedony. It is these layers of limonite or goethite that give its intensely flashy flecks of yellow, red and orange colors. Its base color is similar to that of Chocolate Opal which is brown to almost black. This color is due to iron oxide.

Fire Agate has a hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. It has no cleavage. It occurs naturally translucent to opaque. It is the translucent materials that are the most sought-after. Fire Agate, like all agates, have a slightly waxy to dull luster when cut and polished and it comes with a variable fluorescence.

Fire Agate's value is in its unique iridescence. Thus, it requires a lapidarist's great skills and care in grinding and polishing the stones. The cut must be perfect in order to maximize its fiery colors and reveal its stunning beauty. Typically, Fire Agate is plain-cut into fancy freeform shapes and slabs.

Fire agate is not known to be treated or enhanced in any way.

Fire Agate can only be found in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States such as in Arizona, and also in California and the surrounding areas of the Colorado River.

In Mexico, Fire Agate is found in the Calvillo mines of the states of Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi and Chihuahua. The San Luis Fire Agate is known for its display of golden fire. Rainbow-like colored Fire Agate are extremely rare and thus the most sought-after.

Agate was used by the ancient Egyptians for its metaphysical healing properties 3,000 years ago. It is thus one of the gemstones that has been recorded from ancient history.

Ancient people would place an Agate stone in the stomach region for healing stomach illnesses.

Agate was thought of as a stone for protection even by the Old Testament writers. It was said that it had the power to calm storms. Consequently, it was worn as an amulet and talisman. It was believed that Agate could calm turbulent emotions, and increase stamina and endurance.

Agate is thought to be linked with prosperity, long life and good health. It is a powerful grounding stone and it helps to balance the mind, body and spirit.

Fire Agate, however, is a gemstone that has been commercially available only recently.

Fire Agate's hardness of 7 with no cleavage makes it suitable for all types of everyday wear jewelry which include rings. Its impressive iridescent is the same as fine black opal. However, fire agates are more affordable and durable.

Fire Agate can be cleaned by using warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Remove soapy residue and store away from other gemstones.

Fire Agate is very porous. Thus, it can be easily stained from harsh household chemicals such as Clorox, or hydrofluoric-sulfuric acid and paint. Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can permanently damage the iridescent colors of Fire Agate.