Although moss agate sounds like a variety of agate, the moss agate stone is no true agate, but a separate type of chalcedony. What exactly is this moss agate gemstone? What metaphysical properties are attributed to the stone also known as the mocha stone?
Moss Agate Properties
What is moss agate? Moss agate is a variety of chalcedony, which falls under the group of minerals called quartz. Contrary to what the name suggests, however, the moss agate stone is no true agate, but a separate variety of chalcedony. What makes the moss agate gemstone different from an agate?
Moss agate lacks the concentric banding that characterizes agate. On the contrary, the moss agate gemstone displays green inclusions — brown or red in some parts — that resemble moss, which gave the moss agate stone its name.
The moss-like green inclusions found in moss agate is composed of several possible minerals, but mostly consist of manganese and iron oxides. The white field of the moss agate gemstone is quartz, which can be either milk quartz or clear quartz crystal, the latter giving the moss agate stone transparent or translucent spots.
Mocha Stone History
Having been confused with agate, most of moss agate’s history is lost in the records and lore of the banded chalcedony. There is, however, a piece of history unique to the moss agate gemstone, and that fact is attested to in moss agate’s very name. The moss agate stone was widely used as a luck ring by the late 18th century in Britain. This lucky gem also goes by the name mocha stone, which translates to dePiedra Moca in Spanish, Pierre de Mocka in French, Mokkastein in German. Where does the name mocha stone come from?
Mocha is an Arabian city in Yemen, and it was an ancient source of the moss agate gemstone, hence the alternate name mocha stone. Others now argue that the name mocha stone is reserved for a moss agate stone with brown or red bands, taking into account the other meaning of mocha, “brown coffee,” which was likewise sourced and named after the Arabian city of Mocha.
Moss Agate Meaning
Besides being used as a luck ring, moss agate was valuable to farmers of antiquity. What with the green inclusions in the mocha stone that resemble moss, fern or other forms of vegetation, the moss agate gemstone was deemed the stone of agriculture, as well as the gemstone for gardeners. Farmers in Europe hang the moss agate stone from trees and, when plowing, around their ox’s horn to invite bountiful harvests. People of the occult also believe moss agate to attract nature spirits into gardens and orchards.
The green plant-like inclusions in a moss agate stone are believed to bring tranquility and emotional balance. The mocha stone stabilizes energy, bringing in calm, the kind of calm that one gets from being close to Nature. Along with the calmness that the moss agate gemstone brings is a sense of focus and patience.
Today, moss agate is closely associated with friendship. The mocha stone is worn to win new friends and draw in new contacts. Little wonder indeed how the moss agate stone was assigned as birthstone to Aquarius, the most sociable sign of the zodiac, and one whose strength lies above all in friendship.
Moss Agate As Birthstone
Moss agate is the birthstone of two zodiac signs, namely Aquarius and Virgo.
Aquarius. Besides supporting the Aquarius’ knack for friendship, moss agate also helps to stabilize the often erratic Aquarius nature. The mocha stone makes an excellent charm for Aquarius people indeed, as the moss agate gemstone expands the Aquarius person’s network of friends and at the same time, with the calming and soothing metaphysical properties attached to the moss agate stone, emotionally nurture and stabilize the most intellectual sign of the zodiac. For other birthstones for Aquarius, see also Aquarius Birthstones.
Virgo. Moss agate is deemed helpful as well to the analytical Virgo, who, being a mutable sign, is often nervous and fidgety. In addition, by bringing calm and focus, moss agate helps Virgo people out of getting lost in details and trivialities, which they are prone to delve into. For other birthstones for Virgo, see also Virgo Birthstones.
Moss Agate Jewelry
One unique use of moss agate in jewelry is landscape ornaments, where the mocha stone is cut in a manner that depicts a certain landscape. This is possible due to the irregular green inclusions of the moss agate gemstone that spreads against a white backdrop. For instance, the moss agate stone may be cut to the resemblance of a lush forest that sits against an endless snowfield, or a snowfield against a towering green mountain.
Moss agate is a beautiful piece of gemstone to have in jewelry, indeed. Because the beauty of mocha stone lies in the moss-like green inclusions that blossoms against the white or clear field, the moss agate stone is better cut in big pendants or beads, preferably displaying the landscape-like pattern in full glory.
A large pendant of moss agate is hence suitable to have on a ring or necklace, as well as ear rings and brooches. Of course, beads of mocha stone also look great around the neck and wrists, especially when the moss agate gemstone is the huge centerpiece of the beaded necklace or bracelet.
Moss Agate Price
Valuation of the moss agate stone presents a tough problem to gemologists. A fine piece of polished mocha stone resembling an exquisite landscape may cost as much as a huge rough rock of moss agate a thousand times bigger. The natural pattern present in the moss agate gemstone and how the stone is cut to bring out this pattern are of paramount consideration. Indeed, the fact seems to be that moss agate is more valuable as a piece of art than as a piece of mineral.
Hence, while highly volatile in price as a mineral, the value of the moss agate stone varies with the craftsmanship of the jewelry in which the mocha stone is used. Of course, the bigger the moss agate gemstone, the higher the price that the piece of moss agate generally commands. Still, in the end, the price of moss agate comes down to aesthetics, how beautiful a particular moss agate stone comes across to the human eye.
Do you like the moss agate?
Moss agate is a beautiful white-and-green gemstone, whose ultimate value rests on the craftsmanship of the artist making the mocha stone into jewelry. Do you like the moss agate stone? Do you like green stones in general? See also 50 Types of Green Gemstones for Jewelry.