Gemstones and Rocks

BANDED BOTSWANA AGATE

Mohs Hardness Scale: 6-7

Cleavage: Indiscernible

Luster: Vitreous

There are many forms of Agate, and Banded Botswana is one, known for its pink, gray and brown bands that loop in on themselves within the stone. Sometimes known as the ‘Sunset Stone’ for its metaphysical properties of capturing sunlight, it was also often used as a fertility stone in African cultures. It can also be referred to as the ‘Stone of Change’. The stone I have is about 2 cm by 2cm and the layers are clearly defined on one side of the stone, with brown and gray dominating.

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Characteristics

The stone bands are predominantly comprised of Chalcedony, a member of the Quartz family. The stone obviously gets its name from the place it originated, Botswana, Africa. The deposits date back to the late 180 million years ago. While created from volcanic activity, the deposits formed when liquid lava streams flowed through long faults and deposited layer on layer of silica and quartz.

The stone is comprised of silica (SiO2), and has a cryptocrystalline structure, meaning the crystalline structure is only visible under a magnifying glass. Onyx is a similar stone with this structure.

Popularity

Botswana Agate is a relatively common stone, and agates have been extensively used in hardstone carvings. They are also commonly used for ornaments and jewelry. While sourced from one region, it is widely available and easy to come across. The tightness, and colouring of the bands impacts the quality, and cost.

Healing/Powers

Botswana Agates are seen to help those with repressed issues, is seen as a stone of resolution and problem solving and can begin the healing process. This stone has also been seen to ward off spiders and fix skin issues.

Sources:

 

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