Botswana Agate Properties

Botswana agate is said to help the wearer focus on solutions instead of problems. It is believed to relieve depression and ease stress. It derives its name from Botswana, a country in Southern Africa, where it is mined. Agate is believed to bring protection to its wearer, increase courage and strength, relieve stress, balance emotions, alleviate insomnia, and bring about pleasant dreams. It is said to increase self-confidence, enhance concentration, improve memory, help with communication and public speaking, and fight addictions. It is reputed to foster honesty and trust. Agate is associated with the Zodiac signs of Capricorn, Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. It is the mystical birthstone for the month of September, and one of the birthstones for the months of May and June. Agate is also given as a gift for the 12th wedding anniversary.

The following article about Botswana agate was written by Stephanie Pflumm.

ORE'S FEATURED GEMSTONE: Botswana Agates


by Stephanie Pflumm

Some collectors consider the Botswana Agate royalty among Agates. Its intricate bands and warm colors make it uniquely beautiful. It is a delightful Agate to engage and observe. The area of Botswana where these little beauties are found is rich with human and geological history. One of Earth's earliest human settlements is believed to be in the Tsodilo Hills (locals call the hills Male, Female and Child) in the Mashatu Reserve in Botswana. The area contains over 3500 rock paintings that date from 1000 BC to around the 1800s (the oldest painting is 4000 years old). The individuals responsible for the artwork are probably the ancestors of the Basarwa and Bantu tribes that still inhabit the region.

Geologically, Botswana's history is even more intriguing. While the Igneous stones in this region began as volcanic flow, it did not come from normal, mountainous volcanos. Instead the lava flowed in waves from long faults along the lower rock layers. Some of these lava waves would be miles long.

As this molten liquid stone rolled across the landscape it created pipes, pockets and lenses; perfect breeding grounds for the many crystals and Agates now found in the area. The pressure from the faults forcing out lava also formed a number of natural dikes which eventually stopped the flow of three major rivers, creating a vast lake and marshlands.

One of these dikes, called Solomon's Wall has a rather nightmarish legend. In the Spring when the Motloutse is full and running hard, water swirls around the base of the wall creating a massive whirlpool. The pool can be up to a mile deep and it is said that a huge serpent lives at the bottom of the pool. If you get too close to the edge, the serpent will rise up, grab you by the eyes, hypnotizes you, then drags you to the bottom of the pool. You are unable to resist your fate.

The volcanic activity dates back almost 187 million years ago. Approximately 37 million years later, erosion began working some magic of its own on the area's geography. Around Limpopo, an area known as the Cave Sandstones boasts some awesome formations carved by wind, rain and even ice.

The sedimentary material that makes up these legendary Sandstone formations is believed to be as much as 3.7 billion years old. These more ancient stones came from a region Southwest of Botswana, known as Waterberg and were transported by the elements mentioned above as they eroded and broke down. Eventually they landed in the Limpopo valley and with the help of Quartz and Calcite began reforming as Sandstone.

Beautiful intricately banded Agates are not the only prized gemstones found in Botswana. Prospectors working the Motloutse River (the region is famed for some of the finest Botswana Agate specimens) found traces of Diamonds. Over the next 10 years, they tediously traced the course of the river back upstream trying to locate the kimberlite pipeline (a pipe formed by volcanic activity) that would be the source of the Diamonds. It is called the Orapa Diamond Mine today.

Agates form slowly (wonderful companion for impatient types) as one layer of Silica/Quartz is deposited upon another. In fact, banding is not unusual in Agates, but the degree of banding and the extra fine patterns make the Botswana Agates highly unique and desirable. Those famous fine lines were probably aided by the nature of the volcanic flow, which rolled in waves across the flat landscape.

References and resources are rich with historic legends, myths and lore on Agate; very few sources take the time to distinguish the ancient traditions for specific Agate types. Perhaps those little details have been lost in the transformation of our societies from verbal to written histories. Perhaps the size of the Agate family makes the task too tedious to trace traditions back to their specific origins.

You don't need old stories and legends to recognize what a powerful gem friend Botswana Agates can make. Their warm pink, apricot and gray colors instantly draw you to them and a simple meditation on their layered bands can help you unravel the complexities of modern life. If you are setting out on a new adventure, new job, new companion, new life, take along one of these Agates. It will arouse your sense of exploration, help keep you focused on your path while gently guiding you to higher enlightenment.

Do you have to perform complex tasks that require your complete attention to detail? Carry one of the Botswana gems with you at work. It will keep you on task, ever vigilant and patiently deliberate in your actions. One of this Agate's mottos would be "No accident is no accident".

Use an Agate to release harmful emotions that are creeping into your actions and attitude. Plus it will aid you in filling the empty spaces left by your pain with joy instead of more pain. The gemstone will help you see solutions not just problems, allowing you to become proactive instead of reactive.

Healers may want to use the Botswana Agate to magnify the benefits of oxygen therapy. Apricot and Pink Botswanas are excellent heart healers, both for emotional and physical ailments. The stone may be beneficial in aiding the body to get rid of poisons and ease the physical symptoms of stress and depression.

Healing and power energies for the Agate family also apply to the Botswana Agate.

This information was taken from ORE Features, a publication written by Stephanie Pflumm, reprinted with permission.

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