agate buying - dendritic agate bracelet with pearlsagate buying - dendritic agate bracelet with pearls

Agate Buying Guide

Decorative, patterned forms of agate are excellent natural gems. Learn more about agate's mesmerizing patterns in our agate buying guide.

2 Minute Read

Agate Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS agate value listing has price guidelines for agate, fire agate, and blue chalcedony cabochons.


Agates form in a wide variety of colors due to trace metals in the mineral’s chemical makeup. Vivid natural colors in agate will have a higher value than colors that are less intense or artificially dyed. Blue and green hues are the least common. They will command somewhat higher prices than red and yellow colors.


Most agate is translucent, with a few transparent or opaque specimens.  Still, the gem should be eye-clean, without large inclusions or fractures.

Moss, dendritic, and plume agates are the exception. Here, the inclusions create beautiful natural patterns, the hallmark features of these stones.


Agate cabochons or slices should attractively showcase the stone’s patterns. A proper cut will enhance the banding or inclusions to create a beautiful and appealing piece.

For carved or sculpted pieces, creative use of the natural patterns is most important. Accordingly, the artistic use of agate will add a premium to this gem’s cost. (Most of the expense is due to artistry and skill rather than the stone itself).


Found in all sizes,…

Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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