Montrose Area

The agate-bearing locations along the eastern side of Scotland lie within the old counties of Kincardine, Angus, Perth and Fife. These comprise the eastern end of the Midland Valley, which bisects Scotland along a north east, south west line. This region provides a number of productive areas for the collector and is also of more general geological interest, due to the wide variety of rock types and structures it comprises.

Agate-bearing basalt and andesite rocks outcrop periodically along the coast from near Stonehaven in the north to well south of the City of Dundee as well as trending inland in a southwesterly direction and finally linking with further deposits in Ayrshire. Longshore drift has also carried material along the coast. Away from the cities and towns the shoreline is comprised of generally unspoilt beaches and estuaries, which are a haven for wildlife. Inland, rich farmland provides the setting for beautiful walking country and the area attracts many tourists. Sites both on the coast and inland are generally accessible.

The most important agate-bearing lavas of the East of Scotland are of Old Red Sandstone age, about 380 million years old and contemporaneous with those of Ayrshire. As in the west these comprise a large number of gently extruded flows varying from a few to several hundred feet thick. It is often the smaller flows that seem to contain the most interesting stones and hence there is a large number of locations where agates can be found in a highly localised manner, eg. Ardownie Quarry.

Some sites have been well known to collectors for many years, others are known to only a few. Because of the number of locations it would be impracticable to describe all possible collecting areas. The keen individual with judicious use of geological and ordnance survey maps and utilising previously published information will, in time, identify his or her own favourite sites in Eastern Scotland. Within this area the following sites have produced some exceptional specimens:

Barras Quarry Ferryden and Scurdie Ness
St Cyrus Usan and Lunan Bay


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