Agate derives from ‘Acates’an ancient name for the Drillo River in Sicily, on whose banks the Greeks would search for stones. Agate is also known as chalcedony, from the Chalcedon, an ancient port located in what is today Istanbul, Turkey. The area was both a source of precious jewels as well as a hub for their trade. The stone is formed in volcanoes where silica-rich cave water drips through holes in the rocks, accumulating and eventually creating the bands of agate we know today. The gem’s unique patterns and colors made it highly regarded by the peoples of the ancient world, and it was used for its supposed medicinal properties. Babylonians used it to make jewelry, and in the Arab and Persian worlds agate would be worn on rings with verses from the Koran, believed to protect the user from danger. Centuries later, agate played a significant role in the rise of the German town of Idar-Oberstein as an important gemstone center, after the gem was found nearby. When agate was discovered in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande de Sul, it was shipped over to Germany for cutting and cleaning. Agate can be found throughout the world, and in quite a few states of the US in particular: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.