This website was created in 2005 as a way of showing the range, size and beauty of agates from Scotland. It is a place for the interested collector to visit.

Beautiful agates are found all over the world including Brazil, Argentina, the United States, Australia, Germany, Mexico, Bulgaria, Russia and various countries in Africa. In comparison to these localities the agate bearing rocks in Scotland are very small but the Scottish agates, although fewer in number, are often second to none in their colour, pattern and beauty. For such a small country there is also an amazing variety of different agates many showing very subtle differences from one area to another.

Agates have fascinated man for thousands of years and are now one of the world’s most popular gemstones. Perhaps part of this fascination lies in the fact that no two agate nodules are ever exactly alike. The range of their colours, patterns and shape are almost endless and yet all have thought to be formed by the one natural process. This variety is true of no other gemstone however rare or exclusive it is.  

Montrose Area

Dundee Area
Perth area
Fife
Ayrshire
Cheviots
Scottish Islands
Other Scottish Localities
 
Scottish Jaspers
 
Geology
Agate Formation
Agate Abstracts
Agate Jewellery
Matthew Forster Heddle
"Scottish Agates".....the book!
References
Links
New Scottish Agate Localities

Agates have been collected in Scotland since prehistoric times. Native agate material have been found in a Neolithic cairn near Cairnhill, Monquhitter in Aberdeenshire and some small scraper tools have been found in a middle stone-age occupation site at Morton in Fife, these have been dated at some 7000-9000 years old. More recently a native agate “charm stone” was found in a farm field at Newstead, Roxburghshire that possibly dates back to the Roman occupation of Scotland.

As well as on beaches agates can be found in ploughed fields, cliffs and quarries in Scotland. Some of the localities can be transitory such as quarries only open and producing agates for a short period of time.   One of the greatest Scottish agate collectors was Professor Matthew F. Heddle who amassed a large and impressive agate collection from a variety of localities in Scotland towards the end of the nineteenth century. Most of his collection is now housed in the National Museum of Scotland, Chamber Street in Edinburgh and a visit to see his collection is a must for anybody interested in seeing a world quality collection of agates. His collection of agates is magnificent but the ones from one of the most famous Scottish localities surpasses them all. His specimens from the “Blue Hole” of Usan rank alongside the best in the world. 

This website is therefore dedicated to the beauty and variety of agates found in recent times in Scotland from all the major localities.

Dr David Anderson, Ayrshire, Scotland (November 2022)

email: davidanderson9xk@mac.com

 

Every week now (July 2023) I am getting 2-3 emails from many agate collectors asking where in Scotland visitors can see Scottish agates displayed. These enquiries have come to me through this website from Britain, New Zealand, Australia, America, Germany, Holland and even Argentina!

I have no real answer for them as none of the main Museums in Scotland, including the National Museum of Scotland in Chamber Street in Edinburgh, have collections of Scottish agates on display. Of the tens of thousands of agates from Scotland they have in their possession they are all in storage…..never to see the light of day….and mostly donated in the past by amateur collectors.

I have met up with a fair number of these visiting collectors and managed to show them some beautiful Scottish examples that I and my friends have found over a long number of years……….but here in Ayrshire I do not have the facilities to display much at all.

This is a pretty poor state of affairs for a small country like Scotland with its amazing agate resource and a long tradition of agate collecting…….what is going on?

Where is the Regional Scottish Agate collection display in the NMS?

Even now new localities are being found for agates in Scotland all showing different forms and colour combinations to the well know areas. This is mainly due to the countryside and local geology getting ripped up by the thousands of miles of tracks, borrow pits and quarries going in for windfarms and forestry in all regions of Scotland…….maybe not a bad thing?

[All images © David Anderson]

Plate Tectonic Maps by C. R. Scotese, PALEOMAP Project. These excellent maps have transformed how we understand Earth geologic past by presenting the sometimes dry descriptions from the geologist by a visual illustration easily understood by everyone. It was only when I first saw these maps that I began to understand the story of Scotland journey through Geologic time.