Nothing is hotter this fall (or this whole year) than Dendritic agates in jewelry. Get your fall fashion game on with some of these ideas to incorporate dendritic agate into your wardrobe!
It’s considered one of the more sought after varieties of agate, even though it’s technically not an agate since it’s not banded. The word “Dendrite” comes from a Greek word meaning “Tree-like” due to the plant-like inclusions within the stone. Before I was in the jewelry business, I thought the fern-like/plant-like images WERE plants. Then I learned that it’s actually traces of iron or manganese inclusions within the stone. This is another example of my “inclusions are cool” idea. If you had any doubt of that, you can take a look at this bracelet from MaryAnn-Tiques!
Since the iron/manganese inclusions can grow in agate, quartz, chalcedony or opal, you can also see similar inclusions in all the above materials. (Chalcedony is a member of the quartz family, but since most people think of them as separate stones, they are listed separately.) Here’s a dendritic quartz ring by Sarah Nehama on the left and a dendritic opal ring by Sarah Freedenfeld’s Amali Jewelry on the right.
Agates were used extensively over 3,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt, making them one of the first gemstones used in recorded history. More recently, dendritic agates were prized in Russia as stones of prosperity, good health and longevity. In fact, from 1885-1916 Carl Faberge’ was commissioned to use them in pieces for gifts to the Czar’s family.
You could readily find them in Western countries during the Victorian period. You are probably all familiar with the Ladies of the Wandering Agate (of which I am a member) on Instagram. You can follow the travels of the lovely Denritic agate ring of Reneeink under the hashtag #wanderingagate.
It’s luckily a very durable stone which makes it an acceptable choice for every day wear. It’s about the same hardness as Amethyst and Citrine on the Moh’s scale.
Dendritic agates are easy to clean- just use warm soapy water and an old, soft bristled tooth brush to remove dirt. Rinse, and dry it with a soft towel.
Other stones can scratch your dendritic agates, so when you’re not wearing it, store it in your jewelry box. Be careful to not touch it to other stones in your jewelry box or keep it in a soft cloth pouch.
They are versatile and durable, beautiful and exotic. They are a great choice for something different! They are hot for fall this year, so you can be fashionable and cool at the same time. If you don’t have any antique dendritic agate, don’t worry. There are some great designers using the stone in inspiring ways! Here are some from Judi Powers.
I love how Judi Powers is using dendritic agates. If I could stack all 5 of these around my neck and up my neck game this fall, I’d do it in a heartbeat! The purity of the design really showcases the gemstone, so her pieces are a great choice for that simple elegance that is so “in” right now.
If you want a little more sparkle around your agate, head to Lauren K Fine Jewelry.
Dendritic agates coordinate with so many outfits; they are really perfect to wear all year. They allow that touch of nature to be carried with us no matter where we go. It’s a perfect talisman for the outdoor types or anyone who lives in an asphalt jungle to keep nature close by.