The Benefits of High-Quality Agate Mortars / Care of Agate Mortars
by Christoph Schumacher on Apr 01, 2023
Agate is a microcrystalline quartz mineral with a banded or striped texture, formed by the layering of different mineral deposits. Agate comes in a variety of colors and patterns, ranging from white and gray to green, brown, and red. Only a few forms are suitable as material for agate mortars. A sufficiently large piece must be found that does not contain air inclusions, cracks, or other impairing defects. Only pieces with the highest hardness levels are suitable, so that the resulting mortars can meet the highest demands. This is primarily the case with gray and gray-white modifications of the achat mineral. The larger the mortar should be, the more difficult it is to find a flawless piece of achat for it. As the material is extremely hard, the elaborate processing of larger specimens sometimes takes very long periods of time. Therefore, the purchase of agate mortars is associated with higher costs than mortars made from other materials.
Agate is often referred to as a semi-precious stone and is used in various applications because of its beauty and versatility, such as in jewelry making. Agate mortars also stand out for their very beautiful appearance, which is always unique due to its natural origin. Due to its hardness and microporosity, achat is also used in industry and laboratories, including for agate mortars. These are highly resistant to scratches and abrasion, making them much more durable than mortars made from other materials. In normal use, there is hardly any risk of particles of the mortar material coming off during grinding, unless working with very abrasive and extremely hard materials.
Our agate mortars are ground and polished in the grinding bowl area, as well as the accompanying and always included pestles (stamps). On the underside, however, the material is left in its cut, rough state to prevent slipping on surfaces during use. This also makes the mortars easier to hold in hand during use.
If the mortars show small scratches or impurities (discolorations and deposits) in the grinding bowl area after prolonged use, they can be restored to their best condition as follows. Use a mild scouring cream (e.g., with talc or other active minerals like Sigolin or similar) and rub it into the grinding bowl with a cloth. You can also use some water with soap for assistance. Once the impurities are removed, you can further polish the mortar to a high gloss using some car polish, the finest minerals contained in it will give the surface the best possible shine. Afterwards, you should clean the mortar with some soapy water to remove the waxes contained in the polish, as these can be a source of contamination depending on the application.
We carry achat mortars in various sizes directly in stock. The pestle (stamp) is always included. You can find the selection here.