is the name given to a wide selection of Chalcedony, a form of
microcrystalline Quartz (SiO2 - Silicon Dioxide) which is a cryptocrystalline. It is a hard
stone, usually within the range of 7-9 on the Moh's scale. It is characterized by its
fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although the same mineral compound as
Jasper, Agate is usually more translucent while Jasper refers to its opaque relative. It
should also be noted that the names for Chalcedony and Agate are often used
interchangeably, although the term "Agate" is typically used to describe the banded
varieties of Chalcedony.