A sky-blue banded agate wrapped in sterling silver, with 2 decorative spirals.
Agate was given its name by a Greek philosopher (Theophrastus) who first discovered the stone along the shore of the Achates river in Sicily, sometime between the 4th and 3rd century BC. Since then it has been widely used in jewellery , as well as other decorative purposes.
Agate is found in a lot of different colours, with a wide variety of patterns, including bands, swirls, and zig-zags.
The image on the right shows just one example of an early use of agate. The Holy Grail of Valencia, carved out of a deep red banded agate, sometime between the 4th and 1st century BC. It is currently held in the Cathedral of Valencia. The cup, while a popular pilgrimage point, has not been attributed any supernatural powers.