Moss Agate

Can you tell us a little about the source of this material?

Sourced from Aurangabad, a city in Maharashtra, India, our Moss Agate is mined by one miner who works closely with local farmers to create a mutually gainful use of farming land. After the annual harvest, the mining takes place just before replanting for the next growing season. This collaboration helps identify the best mining spots during cultivation and ends with a collective effort in replacing topsoil when the time comes to plant.

As the farmers plow their fields before planting, they often find pieces of moss agate (as well as bloodstone). These discoveries indicate potential mining areas after harvest and are noted to come back to. The miner then uses an excavator to expose the seams of agate below the topsoil and breaks the solid pieces up in order to be extracted. After this process is completed, the miner refills with the topsoil to prepare for the next season of agricultural planting.

Moss agate is found in a few other areas, but India is the largest producer and has some of the best material.

What kinds of sizes, shapes and cutting styles can be found?

We cut a very wide range of shapes and sizes in both faceted and cabochon styles. Generally, we will cut stones up to 5 carats in size as the rough offers larger pieces to cut from. While it is possible to cut stones larger than 5 carats, we typically choose not to. What many do not know is that the ‘moss’ inclusions are very heavily visible in this rough, which means larger stones have a larger portion taken up with these inclusions. At times, this can make it nearly impossible to distinguish individual moss-patterned inclusions. The delicate patterns created by these inclusions are what makes this material so sought after and we find that cutting 5 carats or smaller tends to highlight this feature best.

While this is still a newer variety for us, introduced in January of 2023, we have a variety of shapes and sizes including hex tablets, emerald cuts, faceted rounds, sugarloaf cabs, baguettes, small pears, and more. As always we continue to experiment with different shapes and love receiving feedback on what our customers would like to see more of.

Is this material typically enhanced in any way?

Our Moss Agate is never treated. This material is rarely treated as it is, but we certainly see no reason to treat it!

Are there any unique characteristics you can share about this material?

Known for its unique veining, Moss Agate is not actually moss, nor is it even a pure agate. It is a cryptocrystalline quartz, otherwise known as a chalcedony, that simply encapsulates opaque green veins. The patterns created resemble moss-like vegetation, as though part of the Earth is forever captured within the gem. It is these dendritic patterns that act as an agate would, and part of why it is referred to as Moss Agate.

You will find green, brown, or sometimes even red inclusions due to various mineral impurities. The ‘moss’ is made up of inorganic traces of iron or manganese, which crystalize inside the fractures and cracks of the body of the gem.

What are the gem specs of this material? How do we know if it is authentic?

The material we source at Columbia Gem House is backed with our Gem Trust guarantee. This means you know it’s an authentic gemstone and that we will share all available information with you. You can find additional gem specifications below:

Gem Type
Moss Agate
Fair Trade Level
Aurangabad City
Translucent stormy whites with deep green inclusions
Not Treated
Hardness (Mohs Scale)
6.5 - 7
Refractive Index
1.53 – 1.539
Specific Gravity
2.58 – 2.62
Translucent to heavily veined
Crystal Structure
Trigonal or monoclinic

How do I care for my gemstone?

While there is no special care or treatment for your moss agate, it is still recommended to treat it as any other piece of fine jewelry. We recommend using warm water, a mild detergent, and a soft brush to clean at home.

What can you tell us beyond the facets? I want to know more…

Moss Agate has been known for hundreds of years, but only recently has it become an important fixture in fine jewelry. It is one of the more rare chalcedony varieties and may be moderately high in value. It’s become a popular alternative for engagement rings and is also believed to have healing characteristics that appeal to those who believe in the power of crystals. But what made it so popular? Many attribute it to the desire for customized or individualized jewelry today. Each piece of Moss Agate is inherently individualized, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking for a unique or custom piece of jewelry.