Icons Engraved onto Agate November 15, 2013 00:00

Ortho rock icons are created with agate, a natural stone closely associated with Greek history and culture. When these beautiful stones are combined with detailed engravings of the Panagia, Pantocractor, or His eyes, they become a breathtaking gift and a visual testimony to Greek tradition.

Greek philosopher Theophrastus discovered agate near the Achates River in Sicily in 400 BC. Both the location of the find and the Greek word for happy - agateec - gave the unusual stone its name.

The Greeks quickly found uses for the beautiful rock, and use of the stone spread throughout the region. The Sumerians and Egyptians adopted the stone for decorative and religious purposes while other cultures embraced the stone for jewelry and beads. Objects made from agate have been found by archeologists in a number of locations, including the Knossos site on Crete.

The Achates River has since been renamed the Drillo River, but it still serves as a major source of agate today. Agate can be found in different areas of the world, but Greek agate is one of the most renowned. Greek agate is pale white to tan in color and, like most agates, is closely associated with volcanic rock.

Because agate is hard and resistant to acid, it has been used to make mortar and pestles for centuries. The durability is one of the reasons that Ortho rock icons are a great gift. Their beauty and integrity withstand the test of time.

Though Greek agate has a distinct color, agate throughout the world can be found in a wide range of colors. Agate stones are as different and unique as the locales in which they are found.

The bands within all agates appear delicate but are actually quite strong. For this reason, numerous cultures around the world believe agate to be both magical and mysterious. Some have claimed the magical properties to protect against weakness, evil, and illness.

When the properties of agate are combined with the meaningful etchings of the Holy Greek Orthodox Church, the Ortho rock icons become a powerful gift indeed. Because of the smoothness and semi-transparent nature of cut agate, images engraved on agate seem to transform. For this reason, Ortho rock icons can be used for more than just decoration. The transformative properties of agate lend themselves well to prayer, making Ortho rock icons a powerful piece of religious iconography that can be used by the faithful as they meditate on God's Holy Word.

Ortho rock icons combine the meaningful images of the Greek Orthodox Church with the natural history found these beautiful stones that are native to Greece. These enduring pieces of art are a beautiful addition to any home and are the perfect gift for any occasion.