Agate beads can add an excellent addition to a lamp, light, or even a decorative element on a box or tray. This look goes right with some trending looks for natural products and natural materials.
Agate is a natural rock formation that has been used as a decorative element for centuries. It can be found in many parts of the world, and there are many different kinds and colors of agate stone. In the Asia practice of Feng Shui, it can be used to help us strike a balance in life and for good luck.
China produces a lot of agate beads and other stones. And there are many ways that Agate can be used for home decor and home furniture product development.
What is Agate?
Using Agate in decoration and jewelry dates back to the time of Ancient Greece. Agate is a relatively common rock formation that consists of chalcedony and some quartz as its primary components.
Sometimes Agate can be referred to as banded chalcedony stone. In referring to Agate as a chalcedony stone. They are referring to the different colors or layers that the agate stones have. Having different colors or layers is one of the characteristics of agate stones.
Agate is mainly formed from volcanic and metamorphic rocks. It does not have a homogeneous structure like a crystal would have. And a lot of Agate is not even a single type or kind of mineral.
This can get confusing because not all agates have different colors or layers. For some, the predominant color is grey, greyish-blue, or shades of brown. Add to the confusion that some commercially sold agates are enhanced or changed through a dyeing or heating process.
Because agates and quartz can be so similar, it can be difficult to tell them apart. But one way to know is by looking at the Agate’s translucency, banding, and if there are any natural marks such as irregular fractures on the surface.
Types of Agates
There are many different types of agates. And generally speaking, Agate is found all over the world.
Here are some of the basic types of agates that are found:
|Agate Type||Color/ Property||Found Primarily In:|
|Blue Lace Agate||Lace-like pattern||Africa|
|Crazy Lace Agate||Bright lace-like pattern||Mexico|
|Lace Agate||Lace Pattern||All over the world|
|Moss Agate||Moss like pattern||Many parts of the world|
|Turritella Agate||Elongated spiral shells||Green River, Wyoming|
|Cold water Agates||Usually less colorful||Lake Michigan|
|Greek Agates||Tan colored agates||Sicily|
|Brazilian Agates||Brown, white and grey||Brazil|
|Polyhedriod Agates||Green and blue stripes||Brazil|
|Honey Blue Agates||Dark blue ribbon agate||Holley, Oregon|
|Fire Agate||Red with Yellow Inside||China|
|Botswana Agate||Pink and grey color||Botswana|
|Patuxent River Stone||Red and yellow||Maryland USA|
|Binghamite||Red and brown colors||Minnesota USA|
|Coral Agate||Variety Colors||World’s Oceans|
|Onyx Agate||Mainly black with some blue tones||Worldwide|
|Sardonyx Agate||Brown tones||Many parts of the world|
|Iris Agate||Rainbow colors||Wyoming USA|
|Thunder Egg Agate||Blues and Brown Tones||Oregon USA|
|Enhydro Agate||One primary color on Agate is formed by water.||Found in volcanic rocks around the world|
|Lake Superior Agate||Bright red colors with white||Lake Superior, the USA|
|Condor Agate||Brown, yellow and red||Argentina|
|Sagenite Agate||Golden hair-like points||Mongolia|
|Fortification Agates||Multicolored Banded Agate||South Dakota, the USA|
|Fairburn Agate||Bright reds, white and orange||South Dakota, USA|
|Dendritic Agate||Yellow, brown, and black||Many parts of the world|
|Coyamito Agate Pseudomorph||Purple, brown, and some green||Mexico|
This list is by no means complete as there are so many kinds of Agate worldwide, and colors and types can vary around the world. But agates are found all over the world.
Feng Shiu and Agate
Agates are very important in the Chinese and Asian practice of Feng Shiu. Feng Shiu is the practice of looking at our living space and working environment while learning to strike a balance with the natural world.
The Chinese words Feng (meaning wind) and Shiu (meaning water), so both of the words make up the term Feng Shiu. Feng Shiu is about finding the “Qi,” or the energies of life. It is about looking at the Taoist five elements of water, fire, metal, wood, and earth considered the five interrelated aspects of life.
In Feng Shui, for certain people, having stones like an agate in your home is considered good luck and an essential part of finding balance in your life. This is why you may see some Asian people wearing a stone agate bracelet, as they believe the agate stone will help them balance their “Qi” or balance in life.
Come with us on a tour of a Chinese Bead market to see the wide selection of beads and other things. Click on the video link below.
China As A Major Agate Bead Manufacturer
What may surprise many people is that China is one of the world’s major bead manufacturers and suppliers of agate beads. There are many reasons for this.
Here is some reason why we feel China continues to be a major supplier for agate beads:
- Natural Resources – China has natural resources within China to be able to cut stones and string and make the beads.
- Importation of Raw Materials – China also imports a lot of agate stones. In particular, I have seen quite a few beads produced from Agate imported from places like Brazil.
- Technology – The factories in China are set up with the latest technology to be able to cut and shape these agate beads into a variety of shapes and sizes. They cut them with precision so there is very little waste and the beads are very uninformed. This helps to give them a competitive advantage to produce these beads cheaper than anywhere else.
- Competitive – China has mastered what is known in the business as the economies of scale in the mass production of beads. The economies of scale are when the more you produce the more efficient you become and the cheaper it comes to produce the item. There are literally thousands of small factories that seem to be producing huge volumes of these agate beads in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is a very competitive market in China.
- Local market needs – Not all these beads will be exported or even be sent to factories that want to export them to another country. Many of the beads will go for local Chinese use and consumption. For centuries China has valued real natural stone both for decoration and to use for jewelry.
- Export market – There is also a very good export market in China for the beads and items made by using these beads.
- Major bead markets – China has some major bead markets that will sell these beads as retail and wholesale. I have been in many of these markets,s and many are vast. I have met people from all over the world who were there buying beads to bring back to either manufacture with them or wholesale them in their own country.
Ways to Use Agate Beads for Home Decor Product Development
We love the look of the agate beads and agate stones. We feel this is a great way to add a natural trend and look to your home decor products and development.
Here are some ways that we use agate beads for the home decor accessories and furniture market:
- Lamps – We have put a few agate beads on a lamp base as part of a decorative tassel or even part of the shade. This can be a very inexpensive way to add a bit of the natural agate bead without raising the cost too high on the end product. We have used sliced Agate for the finial on a lamp base.
- Lighting – One of the major ways that Agate beads are used is with lighting fixtures. Some lighting fixtures can use 1,000’s of agate beads, so the beads can end to be the major cost of the fixture. But using agate beads on a fixture can be a wonderful way to update a lighting fixture from crystal to agate beads.
- Furniture hardware – Agate can be used on the hardware of a piece of furniture to give it a natural look and feel.
- Boxes and Trays – We have used agates as decorative elements on boxes and trays.
- Decoration – Agates can be used as a decorative element on a stand or simply by themselves as being placed on a coffee table or desk.
We love the agate stones and agate beads and find them to be a great addition for any home decor and home furniture collection. If you are looking to develop some home decor and home furniture products with agate beads or you just want to buy some beads, please feel free to contact Mondoro. You can find out contact information by clicking here.
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You can discover more about PVD by reading our blog on What is the PVD Stainless Steel Coating Used On Home Decor Products? by clicking here.