One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An ornamental stone consisting of a hard variety of chalcedony (quartz), typically banded in appearance.
- ‘My necklaces are made mainly of semiprecious stones, such as agate, quartz, amber, rock crystal and jade.’
- ‘A well-known locality for agate or chalcedony nodules in rhyolite (thunder eggs) is near the Twin Mountains, northwest of Del Norte in Saguache County.’
- ‘The raw materials of these tools were pottery, porcelain, copper, iron, lacquer, wood, bamboo, stone, jade, jadeite, agate and coral.’
- ‘For most large deposits of agate or silicified wood, silica was derived from the decomposition of volcanic rocks.’
- ‘Slowest-forming and most beautiful of all, huge crystals of amethyst, agate, chalcedony and rock crystal grow where condensed water has managed to seep into naturally insulated rock crevices.’
- ‘The set sounds very beautiful, with the board made from ebony that was probably imported from India, and playing pieces made from locally quarried agate and turquoise stone.’
- ‘Fanciful miniature fruits and leaves interpreted in carnelian, agate, onyx and rock crystal are skillfully fashioned into opulent bracelets and chains.’
- ‘To achieve the reflective gleam of solid gold which is the aim of water gilding it needs to be burnished by rubbing the surface with a burnisher, usually a hard polished stone such as haematite or agate mounted in a wooden handle.’
- ‘In fact, seventeen of the fifty-seven sites are specifically listed for agate, chalcedony, chert, jasper, or petrified wood.’
- ‘There are semi-precious stones like jasper and agate, inlaid on the top.’
- ‘Many ideas have been proposed for the development of chalcedony and the banding in agate.’
- ‘Stones and metals fall under the rulership of planets, not signs, but through its association with Mercury, Virgo is often linked with agate, sardonyx and stones of diverse colours.’
- ‘It is also important to consider that at that time there were masters of the technique of working with jasper, agate, and other industrial stones in Russia.’
- ‘As with top-quality Brazilian agate, uncut Botswana agate is difficult to obtain because rough material is sold for the production of beads, jewelry, and souvenirs.’
- ‘Silica precipitated from aqueous solution at low temperatures gives cryptocrystalline varieties such as opal, jasper, chalcedony, agate, carnelian, onyx, flint, and chert.’
- ‘I glanced at my agate stone and then back at the policeman.’
- ‘Attractive gemstone paintings, which use garnet, turquoise, yellow agate and red jasper, from Agra catch the attention of visitors.’
- ‘With a technique called Parchin Kari, inlaid gemstones of lapis lazuli, agate, and garnet were selected for their variations in tone, giving the resulting flowers an illusion of depth.’
- ‘Early cameos are carved from hardstones such as onyx, sardonyx, or agate, while later a number of less expensive substances were used that were also easier to carve.’
- ‘The depictions of birds and flowers were executed in precious materials including lapis lazuli, agate, Sicilian red and green jasper, chalcedony, amethyst and quartz as well as superb hard stones.’
- 1.1count noun A coloured toy marble resembling a banded gemstone.
- ‘I do remember we played for keepsies and I won a nice collection of clearies, cat-eyes (the purple/green combos were my favorites), a few highly prized speckled eggs, aggies (agates), alleys (alabaster/marble), steelies, and even a few boulders.’
- ‘Grab some cat-eyes, agates and steelies, and enjoy this classic game!’
- ‘You have to be on your mettle to snag them agates (especially with some monster thug trying to put a lump on the back of your noggin).’
- ‘Anyone could knock your shooter out of the ring and, guess what?---there goes your treasured Christmas agate.’
- ‘Agates, the gold standard of marbles (called aggies), came in a rainbow of subtle colors with overlaying colored patterns that made them look like beautiful, semi-precious stones.’
Late 15th century: from French, via Latin from Greek akhatēs.
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