Increasingly rare and distinctive, Gobi Agate beads were traditionally gathered from the Gobi Desert by the nomadic peoples of southern Mongolia and northern China. In recent years, Gobi Desert Agate has entered the bead and gemstone market for use in jewelry, being valued for their unique shapes, smooth texture, diverse color range and rarity. These stones are formed from agate and chalcedony deposits near the ground and are shaped gradually by the nearly continual harsh desert winds that can get up to 90 miles per hour in the peak seasons. This process, which takes hundreds of years, gives Gobi Agates their unique shapes and smooth texture.
The Gobi Desert is a diverse biome and not your typical desert. The Gobi has a varied landscape including steppes, flatlands and mountains within it’s ever expanding boundaries and sustains a diverse cast of vegetation and animal life. Not only is the Gobi Desert filled with agate from which these beads are formed but is also the site for many fossil finds from the Cretaceous period.
The native people who still make their way of life in the desert live in a harsh and unpredictable climate with long unforgiving winters and short moderate summers. These people still live off the land, tending to livestock in addition to gathering Agate in order to make their living. In the past, these people were crucial to merchants traveling along the Silk Road. The legendary roads still exist and are traveled by Mongolian Nomads and tourists to this day. Because our stones are always fairly sourced, we can confirm that these beads are helping to support the foreign economies from which they came.
The weathered appearance of Gobi Agates showcases the power and beauty of nature. Some stones we offer have been tumbled into familiar oval shapes to suit beading, but others display the botryoidal shapes they form from. We offer strands of Gobi Desert Agate in several natural, earthy color palettes as well as exclusively purple Agate strands (the rarest of all the Gobi Agates) all of which look great with the rustic threading they are purchased with, or by being incorporated into any project featuring the wide array of colors they represent.
- Dakota Stones