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- Dendritic agate is a variety of chalcedony, a type of quartz.
- It has a chemical composition of SiO2, a hardness of 6½ - 7, and a trigonal crystal system.
- They have a distinct branch or fern like patterns called dendrite, a very common natural phenomenon where iron and manganese ions seep into fine stone fractures.
- Sometimes, these inclusions can form into spotted clusters instead, referred to as “mosquito stones”.
- Dendritic agates are usually colorless, white, and grey.
- The iron ions will often result in reddish or brown colors.
- Although dendritic agate lacks an agate's banding, which is a definitive feature for agates, it's still classified as one.
- Dendritic agates are often confused with moss opal and moss agate, due to similar inclusion patterns.
- Agates are formed in fissures or nodules in volcanic vesicles or other cavities. Layers of silica fill in the void and then become a solid mass, creating an agate.
- Most notable dendritic agate deposits are found in Brazil, China, India, Australia, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Uruguay and the United States.
- Dendrites comes from the Greek word “dendron”, meaning “tree” or “tree-like”.
- Agate's name was derived from its occurrence at the Achates River in southwestern Sicily.
- Metaphysically, dendritic agates are called the stones of plenitude. It brings abundance and fullness in all areas of life. It improves self-worth as well as destroying self-imposed limitations and patterns that make up one's life experiences.
- Dendritic agate also promotes perseverance and patience.
- In Russia, it's believed the stone represents long life, good health, and prosperity.
- Like all agates, dendritic agate is a stone of protection and strength.