Agate comes in a variety of colors, often striped, or banded.
It is a variety of Chalcedony, which is a member of the quartz family of minerals.
Agate is thought to derive its name from the Achates River in present-day Sicily after having been noticed by the Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophrastus, somewhere around the third to fourth centuries BC, about 2300 to 2400 years ago.
Agate is composed of silicon and oxygen in various molecular and crystalline forms and arrangements, and has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, hard enough to retain a high shine polish.
Agate is found all over the world, so it's not what you would call rare.
Agate represents Balance, Harmonizing, and Longevity, and is a birthstone for those born in the month of May.
Agate is one of the gemstones in the breastplate of the high priests of the Old Testament. Several ancient peoples - Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Ancient Egyptian, and Chinese cultures - felt that agate was protective. Its perceived benefits ranged from warding off the evil eye, dispelling evil energy, protection from natural disasters and storms, protection from thirst, spiritual protection, and enhancing one's life or fortune, to name a few.
Nowadays we consider Agate to represent a gentle healing frequency. If you would like to feel an enhanced sense of peace, balance, and ease of mind, meditate on Agate.