MONTANA MOSS AGATE
Montana Moss Agate is one of the alluvial agates. Found not in-site, but in the Flaxville gravel deposits scattered over a large area encompassing hundreds of square miles. The beauty of this is that they cannot be claimed, mined and dug-out by a few enterprises but will be available, in smaller numbers, to public and collectors for tens and hundreds of years to come. The fresh exposures do get hunted quite diligently each year, but new agates are always found by the persistent collectors.
Montana Moss Agate, a name given to the beautiful chalcedony found, most abundantly, in the alluvial gravels of the Yellowstone River, would probably be better named Yellowstone Agate, because its genesis was centered in the Yellowstone Park area. The actual tremendous volcanic activity that produced the conditions necessary for the formation of agate, spanned hundreds of miles and millions of years.
Although it’s genesis centered in the Yellowstone park area of Montana and Wyoming, this volcanic activity ranged from the eastern Rocky Mountain front in south-central Wyoming to the western front of the Black Hills and north across eastern Montana and into Saskatchewan and Manitoba Canada.
Eastern Montana was mostly a shallow inland ocean, almost a swamp with huge forests lining it’s shores and islands of volcanoes spewing forth lava to entomb parts of the forest in lava and ash. The bowels of the Yellowstone bulged and roared and flowed mountains of lava that decimated thousands of acres of mighty redwoods and sequoias for hundreds of miles around. This decimation continued for hundreds of years with layer upon layer of forests growing up and then being driven down under the ponderous weight of all the mega-tons of lava and ash. The hot lava devoured most of the wood in its rush to cover the trees, but some of the shape and ingredients of the limbs remained trapped in the cooling lava. When the time of volcanoes and lava was subdued and the rains came, mineral laden silica-water flowed into the cavities and pockets left by the dying trees and bubbling lava. As flow after flow slowly filled the pockets with liquefied silica, Montana Agate was born.
Agate has been known to have many positive and healing aspects. Healing, self confidence, and increased memory are just some of the claims to this gem that has been very consistent throughout history, even encasing ancient times. Although some of the claims are far-fetched, such as invisibility and fortune-telling, others are reported constantly enough to be credible to some degree.
Among the mystical powers attributed to Agate are the ability to guard against danger, cure insomnia, ensure pleasant dreams and enable you to see the world with greater clarity. It is also said to increase concentration and promote good fortune. One legend tells of how a person who looks upon an agate is obligated to be truthful. Another tells of Agate ending bad luck, enhancing strength and creativity.
Artists and Students may benefit from Agate by improving their memory and creativity.Public Speakers may benefit from Agate by an increase in their self confidence, vitality, and reduced stress.
Agate amulets and bracelets have been used to promote longevity, protect one from falling, and keep marital and romantic fidelity.
Said to aid in digestion, help with arthritis and headaches, improve hearing, heal ulcers, reduce inflammation and fever, stimulate fertility, increase circulation, improve tooth and gum health, reduce stomach problems, increase physical endurance, and lesson insomnia.
protect from falling, balance yin and yang, calm, increase good fortune, remove negative energy, keep one in touch with reality, and incorporate one’s life purpose and spirituality into everyday action.
Whether carrying an Agate in your pocket, handling an Agate Carving on a frequent basis, or wearing a piece of Agate Jewelry – Montana Agate is said to have very high physical and spiritual benefits.
About Agate in General
- Agate is one of the most varied and desired forms of “chalcedony” (pronounced Kal-SED-ney) which is one of the many varieties of quartz. Scientifically classified as a cryptocystalline or microcrystalline quartz, it has a hardness of 7.
- Quartz, in all its forms, is the single most abundant mineral on earth, making up almost 12% of the earth’s crust.
- Quartz varieties are separated into two basic groups, macrocrystalline and microcrystalline. In macrocrystalline quartz the individual quartz crystals can be seen with the naked eye. In microcrystalline, sometimes called cryptocrystallline, the individual crystals are too small to be seen even under slight magnification. Agates and chalcedony in other forms, like chrysoprase and carnelian, jaspers and flints, are some of the cryptocrystalline forms of quartz.
- Some examples of the macrocrystalline forms of quartz are amethyst, ametrine, citrine, rose quartz, rutilated and smoky quartz.
- Agates in many different varieties are distributed worldwide but localities of agate beds of major significance only number less than a hundred.
- Humanity has admired agates for thousands of years. In ancient times the beauty and durability of agate prompted them to use it in both practical and ornamental forms. It was believed that agate has unique properties that protected the wearer from dangers and promoted strength and healing.
- Agates in general come in many different forms and are formed in at least five different ways. The main conditions necessary for agate formation, are the presence of silica from devitrified volcanic ash, water from rainfall or ground sources, and manganese, iron and other mineral oxides that form bands and inclusions.
- A large portion of the agates found around the world are found “in-site” where they were formed. The main problem with this is that once the deposit is dug out, they are gone. Unless a new deposit of a particular agate is found in the area, they are gone forever.