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Botswana Agate Stone: Meaning, History, Properties, and Value

botswana agate gemstoneBotswana agate is a variety of agate most commonly sold as “Banded Agate,” thanks to its tranquil cool color bands seen in white, grey, black, and soft hues of blue, pink, apricot, and light brown. As you’ll soon discover, this type of agate has a story to tell, threaded into its origins of native Botswana. If mystique and intrigue are what you love about gemstones, get ready to fall down the beautifully banded rabbit hole of Botswana agate!

About Botswana Agate

A variety of chalcedony (a quartz mineral) Botswana agate is a specific type of banded agate with color bands and stripes inside a geode rock. From the outside, geode rocks look no more special than any common rock specimen. But don’t let the humble exterior fool you; inside exists a world of beauty.

While banded agate is a term used to describe any type of agate stone exhibiting colorful striped bands, Botswana agate has a signature color combination evoking calmness and tranquility. 

While there are several types of agate stones, including fire agate, dendritic agate, and scenic agate, to name a few, Botswana agate is regarded as superior to all the rest, thanks to its striking color bands. 

Like all gemstones with limited supply, Botswana agate commands higher prices than more commercially available agate types. As you guessed, Botswana agate comes exclusively from Botswana, Africa. 

How did it get there in the first place? Glad you asked!

Botswana Agate Formation

The earliest traces of Botswana agate began to form over 187 million years ago in African volcanoes. However, these volcanoes weren’t mountainous, but the volcanic flow seeped through the faults and cracks to disperse the chalcedony crystals along the lower ground.

Banded agate formed when lava waves slowly overflowed over millions of years onto lower agate stone, creating layers of quartz and silica. Under pressure, weight, and immense heat, Botswana agate veins formed in varying layers, creating ultra-unique color bands and pattern formations.

botswana agate cabochon

Botswana Agate Specifications

  • Agate chemical formula: SiO2

  • Mineral Class: Chalcedony

  • Crystal structure: Hexagonal, cryptocrystalline

  • Colors: Grey, brown, light grey, with white, pink, and blue bands

  • Luster: Waxy to greasy to vitreous

  • Transparency: Opaque to translucent

  • Hardness on Mohs scale: 6.5-7

  • Specific Gravity: 2.60-2.65

  • Treatments: Heat treatment and dyeing

So, what is the spiritual meaning of Botswana agate, and how can we use the stone today? Let’s take a look!

Botswana Agate Meaning and Uses

Over centuries, Botswana agate has held ceremonial and spiritual significance, beginning from its origins in Africa and eventually expanding to global use.

As a healing stone, Botswana agate vibrates at a lower frequency, taking longer to emit energies, ultimately providing immense stabilizing and fortifying healing properties. 

Botswana agate spiritual meaning and the original name of the stone traces back to its Botswana roots. Because of its soothing properties and calming colors, Botswana agate means “Sunset Stone.”

In Africa, the stone was first used in fertility ceremonies that encouraged healthy conception and a strong child. 

What is Botswana agate good for? The stone’s protective healing properties absorb negative energy and toxic influences, making room for healthy, uplifting vibes to flow in place. Meditating with Botswana agate is a great way to foster grounding, maturity, and stability both emotionally and mentally.

botswana agate cabochon pear shape

If you have an upcoming trip planned, consider bringing the stone along, as Botswana agate healing properties will guard you on your travels and protect you from unfortunate events and mishaps. One of the unique Botswana agate properties is its ability to protect you against spiders!

So, if eight-legged things make your skin tingle, use Botswana agate to ward off these unwelcome critters. 

Beyond being an arachnophobia aid, Botswana agate and banded agate ignite your inner sense of exploration and adventure! In ancient times, people used the stone to protect themselves against storms and fires, and you can still benefit from these protective properties today!

And on the note of fire, Botswana agate is said to protect people from fire and smoke. Additionally, what are the healing properties of agate for the mind-body connection?

Botswana Agate Healing Properties

Here, we’ll look at how Botswana agate healing properties and why it makes for a powerful healing crystal.

Physical Healing

Physically, Botswana agate is known to help alleviate symptoms associated with depression. The stone’s healing properties purify toxins in the body while stimulating good immunity and nervous system function. You may find yourself thinking clearer, too, as keeping Botswana agate nearby can flow more oxygen to the brain and circulatory system. This invites more mental clarity, forethought, intuition, and analysis.

Emotional Healing

We mentioned that Botswana agate is a helpful aid for soothing depressive thoughts, and that’s because this stone’s tranquilizing properties calm an overactive or worrisome mind. If destructive or overly analytical thoughts cloud your thought patterns, the stone soothes you with its calming properties. Meditating with Botswana agate can minimize stress triggers, taking you out of all the little things in life that clutter the mind so that you can see your greater vision and purpose. 

With this newfound clarity and peace, you’ll find yourself more driven to create and exercise your artistic abilities. 

botswana agate tusk cabochon

Botswana Agate Chakra and Spiritual Healing

There are seven chakras in the body that serve as energy centers for healing and health. When blocked, the chakras fall out of alignment, and all sorts of symptoms ensue. Botswana agate ties to the Base Chakra, or Root Chakra, which is located at the base of the spine. The Root Chakra is responsible for grounding, stabilizing, and foundation. When it falls out of alignment and balance, you may find yourself feeling sluggish, uninspired, and wayward. Botswana agate grounds you in your foundation so that you can feel secure and steady. 

There are healing properties associated with specific Botswana agate colors, too. For instance, pink Botswana agate chakra healing differs from the Root Chakra. What chakra is pink Botswana agate associated with? None other than the Heart Chakra! The Heart Chakra is the source of love and compassion in the body, strengthening your emotional connections and promoting love in all forms, including self-love and compassion.

And that covers all the Botswana agate healing properties! What’s next? 

Buying Properties of Botswana Agate

Ready to buy this beautiful gemstone? Great! First, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the most common buying factors.

Color

Botswana agate colors vary, but the most common have a gray, white, or brown body tone splashed with stripes of soft blues, pinks, and greens. 

  • Orange Botswana agate features parallel banding with soft apricot hues.

  • Pink Botswana agate has beautiful and feminine bands in baby pink and pinkish-orange.

  • Green Botswana agate is predominantly green with white color bands.

With Botswana agate, the color value is mainly subjective and depends on which hues you gravitate to most. So, what else should you consider?

Cut

Botswana agate stones are most commonly cut into the cabochon (or cab for short) style. This is the best way to display the stone’s striking color bands. Lapidaries (gem cutters) use a smoothing and polishing technique that leaves no hard edges on the stone, creating a smooth, polished effect. 

Botswana agate stones are popularly seen in oval, round, and pear-shaped cabs. Often, you’ll come across Botswana agate cabochon pairs, and these are perfect for making into jewelry design pairs like agate earrings!

botswana agate cabochon pair

Clarity

Unlike faceted gemstones like emeralds, tanzanites, or fluorites, Botswana agates aren’t transparent but opaque. Instead of immense clarity seen in these transparent gemstones, Botswana agate is valued for its opaqueness, which poses as the backdrop for the beautiful color bandings. 

In fact, the color bands are actually inclusions (trace elements of other minerals absorbed during formation). The white, pink, blue, and apricot-orange inclusions are what give Botswana agate their distinctive banding! In this regard, inclusions are a welcome asset to agate gems, especially banded varieties like Botswana agate stones.

Treatments

Agate stones of all varieties are most often exposed to heat treatments. The heating process enhances the color banding in Botswana agate, allowing the gemstone to reach a desired color saturation in the bands. However, some agate stones are dyed to achieve the same result. 

Dyes are generally only used to change the entire color of an agate stone, so they don’t lend themselves as well to banded agate, as the variety of colors is what sets the stone apart from other agate types. Whenever you’re shopping for gemstones, you should always ask if the stone has been treated, and if so, what types of treatments were used.

Before we wrap up, let’s take a brief tour through time to learn about Botswana agates presence in the past.

Botswana Agate History and Origins

While there are several types of agate in the world, Botswana agate wears its uniqueness with regality and prestige. Perhaps it’s the stone's scarcity that makes it so rare and alluring, or maybe it’s the striking colors, or perhaps a blend of both! 

Botswana agate comes from the Bobonong district in Botswana, Africa. Here, the geological climate lends itself to form fine white, black, and gray bands accentuated by soft salmon and apricot hues. Because of these striking color combinations, Botswana agate has become a highly-desired collector’s item for rockhounds. 

For generations, people have used the gorgeous material to craft beautiful Botswana agate intaglios and cameos. Early tribespeople wore banded agate as protective amulets during battle and conflict. Over in ancient Greece, warriors wore agate jewelry as far back as 1500 BC. Presently, you may not need Botswana agate for protection during battle, but you can still benefit from the stone’s earthy protective properties!

In jewelry, Botswana agate pairs beautifully with warm stones that contrast its cool colors, such as black onyx or red jasper. 

botswana agate cabochon

Botswana Agate Prices

While it’s true that Botswana agate is rare, it doesn’t climb up to prestigious price points reserved for precious gemstones like diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. That said, Botswana agate is in a category all its own compared to more common agate types. 

Don’t be surprised if you see Botswana agate selling for anywhere between a couple hundred to several thousand dollars apiece. Generally, though, you can find affordable banded agate stones for under $50, making it an easily accessible stone for everyone!

Care and Maintenance

Banded Botswana agate is a durable gem, ranking between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Based on this ranking, the stone will serve as a strong and resilient addition to your collection. Still, you should always be aware of the best cleaning practices for your gemstones. 

For Botswana agate, you should only clean the stone with warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush or microfiber cloth. However, you should take care not to expose the stone to hot water, as Botswana agate is sensitive to hot temperatures.

Because the stone is opaque, you should remove it before applying cosmetics and perfumes, as the emissions can dim the stone’s polish. For storage, place your agate jewelry in a separate box away from sunlight and soft gemstones or metals. And as with all of your gems and fine jewelry, remove Botswana agate stones before exercising or participating in sports activities to avoid damaging your gemstone.

Ready to Buy Botswana Agate?

Are you intrigued by the allure and tranquility of this earthy gemstone? We don’t blame you! Botswana agates are ancient amulets that have found modern use in holistic healing and jewelry designs. While you might easily overlook the hidden beauty of this stone from the outside, you have only but to look deeper to be mesmerized. 

Similarly, Botswana agate compels you to turn inward and draw your strength, bravery, and beauty outward.

As Helen J. Russel said, “Outer beauty turns the head, but inner beauty turns the heart.”

Turn your heart to Botswana Agate from Gem Rock Auctions!

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