Moss Agate

The semi-precious Moss Agate looks as if moss of green shades ranging from sea green to dark forest green float in the translucent stone.  Despite not being technically an Agate and not being banded, it is still considered part of the Agate family. Most high quality Moss Agates come from India. They are also found in Brazil, Uruguay, Central Europe and Western US.

Formation

Moss Agate is formed from silicon dioxide. It is a chalcedony, and the chemical structure of chalcedony is silicon dioxide. There is very fine intergrowth of quartz and moganite in it. They are both silica minerals. Quartz, however, has a trigonal crystal structure, moganite is monoclinic. 

Properties

With a waxy lustre and a hardness of 6.5-7 on Mohs scale, this dendritic agate has a unique aspect of moss growing in a rock. It is a beautiful stone featuring clear to milky white colors and stunning dendritic inclusions of chrome and iron in very accurate mossy and lichen-like images. It is hard to believe that Moss Agate has no moss in it, but it doesn’t. It is formed from weathered volcanic rocks. The very detailed patterns inside the stone are formed only by trace amounts of metal as an impurity.  Moss Agate is often confused with Tree Agate. Both are in Agate family, both have a light color with moss like patterns. The easiest way to tell them apart it this: Tree Agate is opaque, while Moss Agate is translucent.

Symbolism

Growth, stability. Element: Earth

Legends

As the inclusions resemble moss or ferns, moss agate was highly regarded as a stone for agriculture by farmers and gardeners in the past. European farmers encouraged successful harvests by hanging it from trees during plowing. Native Americans believed it could change the weather. They would also use it in rain rituals. Midwives are also associated with this stone. It was believed that wearing a moss agate would give courage to the woman giving birth and help relieve her pain during birth.


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