Monday, 23 December 2013

The Gemstone Series: Collecting AGATE

The Agate is a semi precious gemstone that was discovered over 3000 years ago by greek philosopher and naturalist Theophrastus, on the shore of the river Achates. It belongs to the mineral family of the Chalcedonies, a type of quartz like Aventurine, Carnelian and Onix. Agate when cut exhibits a series of lines and different colours that make it strikingly attractive. This gemstone has been used in art objects and jewellery for centuries. It was very popular in traditional Scottish silver and gold jewellery, specially used in brooches and buckles combining different colour agate. Black and botswana agate was priced in Victorian jewellery and almost any single colour variety was used during the Art Deco period, from green, black and white to auburn jasper agate. In contemporary jewellery Agate has experienced a huge revival and it is used in almost every costume collection as well as by fine jewellery makers like Kimberly McDonald to masters like JAR.

Antique Victorian Banded Agate & Pearl Bangle Bracelet in 18k Gold 

Gold tiara by Carlo Guiliano supporting a stylized wreath of banded agate laurel leaves and pearl berries; the front takes the form of a rosette of similarly carved petals centring on a single pearl. London, c. 1860
Art Deco Jasper Agate & Diamond Pin / c. 1920
JAR, Agate and diamond brooch