Moss Agate

Moss Agate
Bright colored and fine-grained, moss agate is a chalcedony quartz, that looks like moss or vegetation from a distance. This characteristic feature is due to the presence of dark green colored minerals. This article states the properties and uses of this chalcedony quartz.
Moss agate is a type of mineral, usually found in association with granite and limestone rocks. As the name suggests, it appears mossy in texture. Its major component is silicon dioxide (SiO2) or silica. Like other types of agate, this valuable mineral contains chalcedony. In fact, green colored minerals (manganese or iron oxides) are embedded in between the grains of chalcedony, resembling the growth of moss filaments. It is a hard mineral, but is prone to chips and cracks.
Properties
According to geology data, moss agate stone is found in almost all parts of the world. Major regions from where it is obtained in large amounts are, Brazil, India, central Europe, and western United States. Despite its name, it is truly inorganic in origin. In most cases, it naturally occurs in volcanic rocks, while a few of them are isolated from metamorphic rocks. This is because, they chiefly result from weathered rocks of volcanic origin. Their physical attributes, in terms of texture, hardness, light penetration, etc., are more or less similar to quartz. Classified as microcrystalline quartz, the crystals are so small in size, that they are very difficult to observe under a magnifying glass.
The hardness of moss agate is 6.5 to 7.0, in Mohs scale of hardness. Its background may be transparent or opaque (milky white in color). Whereas, the green colored inclusions are nothing but impurities trapped during the formation of this mineral. Hence, depending upon the type of impurities present in this chalcedony quartz, color and texture, vary from one stone to another. In case of Montana moss agate, multiple shades of red and black specks are present in the mineral. The term 'mocha stone' is used to represent the variety having bands of brown agates. Likewise, several types of this mineral, with different bands of colors, occur in nature.
Uses
Moss agate jewelry were being adorned by the Greeks in as early as 3000 B.C., with the belief that these stones brought luck and provided protection from wickedness. Till date, its demand as a semiprecious stone is very high in the market. This gemstone is often sold in flat or rounded shapes. For increasing their market value, they are sometimes dyed artificially. Being porous, it absorbs dye easily. You can find this jewelry in various patterns and designs. Though most people opt for rings, you can also find earrings, pendants, bracelets, and necklaces. Also, as per personal preferences and budget, gold and silver materials are used for making this jewelry.
Speaking about the uses of moss agate in crystal healing, it is believed to have strong protecting properties. According to experts, it is the most powerful crystal stone of all the other agates. It aids in combating frustrations, stressful situations, fearful moments, and unhealthy lifestyle habits. Wearing its ring or jewelry, brings emotional stability, courage, and strength to the wearer. As far as astrology is concerned, it is most suitable for Capricorns.