The mining of agate in the Nahe River valley gave rise to the cutting center of Idar-Oberstein, Germany.
Originally, the river was used to power the grinding wheels. When in the nineteenth century the Nahe agate deposit was exhausted, Idar cutters started to develop the agate deposits of Brazil, which sparked the discovery of Brazil's rich deposits of other gemstones, in particular amethyst, citrine, tourmaline, and topaz.
The small town of Idar-Oberstein is still the main source for the finest agate carving work in the world. Brazil, India, China, Iceland, United States are the main producers today.
Moss agate is found mainly in India and the United States.