What is Moss Agate?
Agate is a well-known gemstone that is typically a dark brown colour, close to black. Moss agate, however, takes on greener hues. At a distance, moss agate is similar in appearance to flora like trees or indeed the moss from which it gets its name. There are often many hues of green within the same stone, creating a beautifully multi-tonal aesthetic.
Although moss agate is considered a member of the family of different coloured gemstones referred to as agate, it is technically not a true agate. A trademark of agate is a visible concentric band which is usually white or very light cream in colour. Sometimes, agate is found with brown bands rather than light bands, and in this instance, it is called a mocha agate stone. Usually, this semi-precious gemstone contains moss like inclusions, which certainly have an agricultural feel – hence it’s often referred to as the gardener’s stone.
What is the Meaning of Moss Agate?
Here are a few of the many meanings and uses that have been associated with moss agate:
- When the moss agate is planted in a pot with an unhealthy plant, it will repair the damaged plant and lead to a healthier garden overall. This is another connection to it being considered as the gardener’s stone.
- These stones – like many gemstones it would seem – are useful for dispelling negativity and reducing the stress that may be trapped within your body. Anyone feeling ungrounded or uncertain in their life can benefit from wearing moss agate.
- Moss agate has been considered as a powerful stone among some Native American tribes, used to aid in controlling the weather and reaching a level of balance in the elements.
- It is used as a Feng Shui element by practisers of the Feng Shui movement; it is believed to bring health and prosperity to the home when kept in the southeast and eastern area of your home.
- Moss agate is also believed to be a useful assistant and pain reliever during the process of childbirth, with it being a traditional gemstone for midwives to keep close at hand whilst attending to their patients.
- The key aspect of moss agate, however, is its ability to bring clarity and balance to the wearer’s life. When things are overwhelming and you feel you need to take a step back to reassess your life, moss agate can be a very useful gemstone to have around.
The Moss Agate Form
Moss agate is a member of the quartz family that can be found around the world in Russia, Australia, India, and across North America. If we get really technical, they are actually part of a subsection within the quartz family called chalcedony gemstones. Other stones that are members of the quartz family include: amethyst, citrine and chrysoprase, as well as many others. Quartz is one of the biggest families of gemstones that are used in jewellery.
Moss agate is slightly different from the normal forms of agate, in that it is not banded, and instead displays branching, tree-like inclusions. These inclusions are made up of oxides of iron or magnesium. Despite the name, there are no traces of moss or organic substance within the stone, however your eyes will certainly give you this illusion, and you will find it hard to believe they are simply the natural inclusions within the stone.
Moss agate is a translucent-to-white stone that has green streaks and inclusions. Each moss agate is unique, with many different tones of green, and some with more or fewer inclusions. There are a wide range of different colours and styles to choose from, so there is a moss agate out there to suit everyone.
Moss agate can also be referred to as landscape agate, with some samples offering up picturesque landscape scenes which almost look painted.
You can see some great examples on Pinterest here!
Moss Agate Jewellery
When it comes to its use in jewellery, moss agate is a pleasantly diverse stone that can be found in all sectors of the jewellery world. Both men and women’s jewellery feature this scenic gemstone, and even special occasion jewellery can benefit from the presence of moss agate.
Moss agate engagement rings are a popular choice for a lot of people partially because of their unique beauty and partially because of the symbolism which they represent. They are perfect for any nature lover because of the intricate inclusions which seem to perfectly imitate moss and other greenery. Equally, the link this stone has between balance and new beginnings makes it a great metaphor for the next stage in a serious relationship.
Caring for Moss Agate
Moss agate has a dull-to-waxy lustre, it has hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale; this is a measure of how resistant a material is to scratching. To put this into perspective, diamond has a Mohs hardness of 10, and is a defining material on the scale. Whereas pearls – known for being soft – are generally a 2.5–4 on the scale, indicating their malleability.
Although moss agate is a resilient stone, as with all gemstones, some care should be taken. Moss agate is easily cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft cloth; do not use any house hold cleaning agents as this can damage the stone as well as the metal that the stone is held in. Agates should be stored away from other stones to avoid abrasions, and be careful to avoid prolonged exposure heat and light.
Moss agate is a beautiful stone that makes a great stone to have as part of your jewellery collection. It has many positive meanings behind it, and there are many different styles to choose from, whether you prefer the greener stones, or the ones with clearer inclusions marked in to a white background, like the examples above. We would love to know which type you prefer!