Unique Mississippi Agates
I've been told that the agates I find in South Mississippi are Lake Superior Agates, but they look similar to many agates found all around the world (not just one location). I haven't found too many pictures that resemble the Mississippi agate and its unique, pebble shaped, bands, and crystal formations. I think they are one of a kind.
The Mississippi agate is a banded chalcedony that is infused with colors of creamy browns, blacks, grays, reds, pinks, whites, oranges, and occasionally green. Many of the agate bands are interspersed by quartz. Mississippi agates show many classic features: concentric banding; 'eyes' sliced through hemispherical formations; the ends of hollow tubes that formed around inclusions of other minerals; and areas of crystalline quartz. Most do not weigh more than a few ounces, except for the common “thunder egg” agate (geode like agate) that is common in Mississippi. The typical Mississippi agate ranges in all different shapes, but usually no larger than 2 to 3 inches in length. Some agates are a pebble shaped and some are flat. Some I call "turtle shells" because they are shaped like the shell of a turtle. One characteristic that is the same regarding all Mississippi agates is their beautiful distinctive banding which reminds me of the river frozen in time.
There is an extinct volcano located 2900 feet beneath the city of Jackson, Mississippi under the Mississippi Coliseum. Which leads me to believe Mississippi contains our own kind of “special” agates. This volcano is believed to have been extinct for at least 65 million years, but last erupted about 75 million years ago.
Agates are embedded in a volcanic cavities, then they are set free. Being by their siliceous nature they are extremely resistant to the action of air and water and remain as nodules in the soil and gravel or become rolled as pebbles in the streams. The agates are extremely resistant to weathering and remain as nodules in the soil or are deposited as gravel in streams and shorelines.
Agates are considered to be semi-precious stones and have a hardness of around 7 to 7.5.
History & Myth
Agate comes from the Greek word "Agateeq" which means happy. Agate is one of the oldest stones in recorded history, and no two agates are alike.
The agate is the known to be the mystical birthstone for September. It is also the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of Gemini. Agates are said to be particularly beneficial to people born under the sign of Gemini as it helps them to remain calm and focused. Agates are the accepted gemstone for the 12th and 14th wedding anniversaries.
The agate is believed to discern truth and is a powerful emotional healer. Legend says that the agate improves memory and concentration, increases stamina, and encourages honesty. It is believed to prevent insomnia, insure pleasant dreams, enhance personal courage, and protect one against danger. The agate provides a calming influence, improves perception, and helps to develop and increase one's analytical talents. Legends mention the power of agates to secure the wearer from danger and to protect children from falling. They were believed to endow their owners with strength, courage, security and even healing of fears. The agate aids in making new friends, promotes peace, gardens, money, personal goals, business success, and stability.
The Sumerians are believed to be the first users of agates in seals, beads, and jewelry. The agate is believed to have been discovered by the Stone Age man in France 20,000-16,000 B.C, but scientists believe that some agates in Australia range from 2.72 to 3.50 billion years old!
Agates were highly valued by ancient civilizations, as it was believed to render the wearer invisible. In Islam culture, the agate is believed to protect the wearer from tragedies or evil. In many legends the agate is believed to cure the stings of scorpions and the bites of snakes, soothe the mind, quiet thunder and lightning, secure the favor of the powerful, and bring victory over enemies. The Babylonians used eye agates for protection against evil. The ancient Egyptians believed that agates protected the wearer from lightning, bestowed the power of speech, and quenched thirst if you put it in your mouth. Persian magicians used agates to divert storms. In Greece, the power of the agate was considered so strong that Orpheus is depicted as carrying an agate on his descent into Hades. Ancient Chinese believe wearing agate jewelry would purify one's mind, energize one's chi and bring good luck and great opportunity. The practice in medieval times was to tie them to the horns of your oxen to ensure a good harvest. Agate bowls were also popular in the Byzantine Empire and collecting them became common among European royalty during the Renaissance. Today many museums in Europe have spectacular examples on display. The Persians, the Arabs, and other Oriental people principally used agates for finger rings. Upon these, usually was a carved verse from the Koran, the owner's name, or some magical or symbolic figure to protect the owner from a wide variety of calamities.
The Agate Is Mentioned in the Bible
“And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their enclosing.”
Exodus 28: 15-21
"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not confirmed, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones."
Rev 21:19 ESV & Isaiah 54:12 American KJV
Fulgurite is the name given to quartz which has been fused by the action of lightning striking the Earth and locally melting the sand. Fulgurite is Latin for "lightning stone." Sometimes fulgurites are referred to as petrified lightning. Their color varies depending on the composition of the sand they formed in, ranging from black or tan to green or a translucent white. The interior is normally very smooth or lined with fine bubbles; the exterior is generally coated with rough sand particles and is porous.
The fulgurites I have found came from a gravel pit in Hattiesburg, MS, and I have yet to find any other pictures of fulgurites that exposes the interior of the fulgurite like these do.
© 2010 Karli Christine Duran
Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on April 01, 2010:
This is a very interesting hub. Thanks for sharing the information.
pisethz on March 31, 2010:
Old old stones but I think we like to see these old stone and value it than the new stone
Karli Christine Duran (author) from Texas on March 31, 2010:
Art 4 Life from in the middle of nowhere.... on March 31, 2010:
Wonderful hub, I paint a lot on sliced agate...I see you often on the forums...I dont know a lot about agates, but I do know they are beautiful...I have a few boxes of them, sliced into slabs, of course,...LOL...congrats on being selected as a candidate to the HubNuggets Wannaabe nomination! That is great!
Money Glitch from Texas on March 31, 2010:
Great hub, some of these rocks remind me of my childhood in Tennessee when I had a fascination of rocks. Thanks for sharing your wisdom on this subject and congrats on being selected as a candidate to the HubNuggets Wannabe nomination. Good luck to ya!
Karli Christine Duran (author) from Texas on March 30, 2010:
Get a rock tumbler (a good one), look on internet, start selling! It's a great hobby.
Nick on March 30, 2010:
Hey. I've got a five-gallon bucket full of non-polished lake superior agate. most are 1"-3" diameter. i wanna sell em'? anyone know where to do that???
Karli Christine Duran (author) from Texas on March 29, 2010:
Thank you for all your comments!
wordscribe41 on March 29, 2010:
Superb hub, figment. Wow, what a well researched and written hub. I love agate, too... Congrats on the nomination!
markbennis on March 29, 2010:
Nice One, also Congratulations on your nomination.
Shalini Kagal from India on March 28, 2010:
What a great hub - and being a Gemini, I was very interested. Agates are among my favourite stones and I love the look of these creamy tan and pink ones.
DiAnna on March 28, 2010:
Wonderful story. So glad you shared...Congratulations!
CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on March 28, 2010:
Very interesting Hub on agates and great agate pictures. Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination!
Moesky on March 28, 2010:
Wow, what a history lesson. Great stuff! Congrats on the Hubnugget nomination
Faye Constantino from Florida on March 27, 2010:
Figment, I feel a hub coming on! My son has been collecting stones since he could walk, no lie. He's fifteen now, and still if you are stumped for a gift, give him some stones.
Congratulations on the Hub Nugget Nomination! I definitely see why you were chosen.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 27, 2010:
Very interesting hub. I have used agates in some of my stained glass designs which makes a really pretty effect. Congratualtions on your nomination to Hugnuggets.
Karli Christine Duran (author) from Texas on March 27, 2010:
Thank you for all the comments.
shazwellyn from Great Britain on March 27, 2010:
Fascinating.. this is a brilliant overview! Thanks :)
Karli Christine Duran (author) from Texas on March 26, 2010:
Thank you for all your comments, and I have just found out about my Hubnugget nomination. Thank you so much. I'm honored.
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 26, 2010:
Interesting hub! :) Congratulations to your hubnugget nomination. You can vote and see all the other nominees as well right here: https://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/A-HubNuggets...
tdarby on February 16, 2010:
Loved the stones. Especially the fulgarite. That is absolutely amazing. Thanks for the hub.
Calling Crow on February 15, 2010:
Thank you for some great information about agates! I have been a "rock collector" for quite a few years now and the agate is one of my favorites! Actually, I lie, they are all my favorites, but I do tend to look at my agates more than some of the others. Just so much to see in them.
Here in my desert home, I love rock hunting! I have found some really neat ones in the last couple years, including a thunder egg as well as one that is shaped like a trumpeting elephant, which I currently believe to be a type of iron ore. Need to find out!
Putz Ballard on February 15, 2010:
We have agates here in NC and I once knew where they could be readily found but haven't checked in a long long time , the land is posted.
Beth100 from Canada on February 15, 2010:
Rock hunting and collecting is a favorite past time of ours. Our home is filled with different types of stones, precious and semi-precious. The agate is one of the prettiest stones, as you have depicted in your photos. I enjoyed reading the history of the agate, as I did not know it. The fulgurites are beautiful!
RedElf from Canada on February 14, 2010:
I used to collect agates when I lived on Haida Gwaii. We found some beautiful stones washed up on the beaches, especially after a storm. Some of the agates looked like those in your first two pictures - they were called "lace agate". I expect that is a descriptive name rather than a name that reflected their origin or content, but the lace agates certainly were beautiful.
Thanks for reminding me of happy times! And welcome to Hub Pages!
Karli Christine Duran (author) from Texas on February 06, 2010:
Thanks! I don't know about NY, but there is a website at www.cash-and-treasures-wiki.travelchannel.com that you can check out.
pddm67 from Queens, New York on February 06, 2010:
Nice hub. Some beautiful stones :-) I gotta check out if they have places to search or mine for stones, gems, etc. in NY (or pretty close by). Any suggestions?