AGATES Presented by STRATAGEMS, this site is an invitation to share their fascination.

 

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What's New

 

Please click on the pictures to enlarge.

 

Newburgh

Newburgh

Ferryden

Usan

Usan

     
  Ferryden  
 

As the winter of 2015-16 wended its wet and weary way and the depressing flooding chaos caused by Storm Desmond surrounded us we began to have serious misgivings as to the success of our coming Spring collecting trip. And we were not wrong to be apprehensive. On arrival in Fife we found that several of our favourite fields were still unploughed and those that had been, had obviously been ploughed in very wet conditions and were extremely raw and unpromising. Any agates present were keeping a very low profile. Beaches were no better: a favourite beach on the Tay was covered with silt and reeds debris and the four of us could only manage one decent agate between us.

However, it was not all the proverbial ‘doom and gloom’; we managed to find two profitable fields and one near Newburgh produced some very interesting and unusual stones (see above).

North of the Tay things were a little more encouraging. We did well at Ferryden and also a very large field on the Usan Estate produced many fine onyxes (see above), though the area of the field nearest the road resembled a World War 1 battlefield: great slabs of solid impenetrable clods which were very difficult to walk over. However, after a laborious trek across this no-man’s-land we reached the far side of the field which had evidently been ploughed considerably earlier; conditions were much less challenging and many excellent onyxes were lying around.

One thing we couldn’t grumble about: the weather. Beautiful quiet and sunny days with several welcome showers which were kind enough to confine themselves to the night hours.

Our Spring Ayrshire trip was quite successful. We managed to find some nice agates in spite of the fact that other collectors had obviously been there before us; it was a case of searching carefully for what other folk had missed. Fortunately, the farmer had deflected another collector from a field on the slopes of the hills, knowing that we were coming, and we were able to give it a thorough search and managed to locate several fine and often very unusual stones.

A remarkable feature of the trip was the weather. After a cold and wet afternoon on our arrival, the next day summer suddenly arrived and having usually associated field collecting with gloves, scarves and industrial-grade anoraks we found ourselves in shirt-sleeves and sun hats! Even so we finished up with quite serious sunburn; not usually a hazard while agate collecting!

This is onyx country --- can you spot one?”

We can supply standard or custom size cabochons of Scottish agates and other British stones, also some lovely Australian opal; we can also supply finished jewellery items. Ask us for details.

We also have available a large stock of Northern English and Scottish mineral specimens for sale, some from sites where mineral collecting is no longer possible. Please enquire.

 

Cabachons For Jewellery

Cabochons For Jewellery

 

We cut many hundreds of agate nodules during the year. Many of them finish up on the garden path as scrap, while the best are polished and are sold to collectors. The really ‘un-partable-with’ go into our own collection!

Occasionally we come across agates which display strange and curious features reminiscent of birds, insects or surreal landscapes. To illustrate, here is an example showing a stone featuring a ghostly image with scriptural overtones:

Dunure Reflections

“The Burning Bush” , a Biblical illustration from Binn Hill”

 

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