Yes, agates can go in salt. But only dry salt. We do not recommend you put agates in salt water.
Some disagree though.
Let us explain.
Why Can Agates Go In Salt? (EXPLAINED)
Why Is Saltwater Bad?
Saltwater is pretty bad for stones, minerals, and crystals, even though many of the rocks and minerals we collect are located on beaches or in salt water.
Water on its own has a negative impact upon rocks.
Water molecules get into microscopic fissures in the stone, and encourage them to get wider.
This can cause physical instability in the material, leading to cracking or cleaving over time.
Widening of those cracks also causes the surface of the stone to appear dull or lackluster.
Sometimes it causes colors to look less brilliant.
When you add salt to the mix, the impacts of the water are worse.
Water carries the salt into the cracks, and then the salt is left behind when the water evaporates.
Additional particles in the cracks and fissures encourages the cracks to widen, and also impairs the look of the stone.
But If Saltwater Is Bad, Why Is Dry Salt Okay?
If the agate is sitting on a bed of ground up salt, salt crystals, or in another dry formation, the salt molecules do not have the water to ferry the salt deep into the cracks and crevices of the stone.
While some salt may end up on the exterior of the stone, the salt itself cannot reach any of the areas it otherwise would if it had water to ferry it along.
The amount of salt that ends up on the exterior of the stone from having contact with dry salt is minimal, and most of it should be able to be cleaned off in the normal course.
Why Do Some People Argue Against Dry Salt?
Some folks think that dry salt is bad for agates and other stones simply because of the salt that is left behind as a result of the contact.
While the salt cannot get into cracks or fissures, there is a possibility that future washings, moisture from the air, or even sweaty hands could encourage the salt up into the recesses of the stone.
We do agree that this is possible, especially if the stone is a crystal cluster that is difficult to clean.
However, we still think that the impact upon the physical integrity or appearance of the stone is minimal.
In fact, between handling the stone with bare hands and letting the stone sit on a bad of salt crystals, handling the stone with bare hands (as they are covered in salty sweat molecules even if they feel dry) is probably worse for the phone.
In any event, neither sweaty hands nor dry salt would have near the impact upon the stone as saltwater soaks would.
But What About Beach Agates? They’ve Been Exposed To Tons Of Salt…?
Absolutely true, yes they have.
And putting a hard material like agate in saltwater won’t result in immediately cleaving or fracturing.
But regardless, the salt water could and would encourage future instability in the stone, as well as damage any efforts you’ve made to make the stone shiny and pretty by tumbling or polishing.
The agate certainly won’t dissolve like selenite.
But repeated exposure to saltwater baths is pretty hard on stones.
Just think about what your agate might have looked like but for all the exposure to saltwater?
Why Do Crystals Practitioners Recommend Saltwater Baths?
We’ll leave the theories about crystals to the experts.
From the science side of things, soaking rocks and minerals and crystals in saltwater can cause physical damage, and people should know this before making the decision to put their stones in saltwater.
There are many effective alternatives to the use or incorporation of salt, especially if you are looking to cleanse or recharge your stone (light, earth, air, breath, sound, meditation, and more).
In general, it’s best to avoid saltwater baths, especially for days or weeks at a time.
We think resting agate in dry salt is fine, though keep in mind the arguments against.
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