Agates form Heddle’s greatest and most beautiful collection. As a scientist Heddle studied the processes that formed agates and published two papers on the subject.

About the Collection

Everything about Heddle was huge. He was huge of stature, with an adventurous, inquisitive and pragmatic spirit. Using his huge 28lb sledgehammer, his dynamism enabled him to amass a collection of Scottish minerals, especially agates and rocks, the likes of which has never been bettered.

At National Museums Scotland, we look after 5,700 specimens from his collection. Find out more about Heddle and explore his amazing collection here. You can download our Heddle trail [PDF 83KB] to find specimens from his collection around the National Museum of Scotland.


Hidden Gems: Scotland’s Agates is running at the National Museum of Scotland until 6 January 2019. Discover how and why these beautiful semi-precious Scottish gems have captivated collectors past and present. Admission is free.

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