The deceptively simple exteriors of agates conceal an enormous spectrum of colour and texture. Discover how and why these beautiful semi-precious Scottish gems have captivated collectors past and present.

#ScottishAgates

  • Quartz, variety agate - polished slab - dark blue-grey and pale grey fortification banded with a flash of reddish-brown and dark green moss surround - Ardownie Quarry, Monifieth, Angus

    Quartz, variety agate - polished slab - dark blue-grey and pale grey fortification banded with a flash of reddish-brown and dark green moss surround - Ardownie Quarry, Monifieth, Angus
  • Quartz, variety agate. A reddish brown carnelian with banding and a crystalline quartz centre. Towards the end of the formation process, quartz crystals may form instead of chalcedony. Blue Hole, Usan, Montrose, Angus.

    Quartz, variety agate. A reddish brown carnelian with banding and a crystalline quartz centre. Towards the end of the formation process, quartz crystals may form instead of chalcedony. Blue Hole, Usan, Montrose, Angus.
  • Quartz, variety agate - a slice - blue-grey, grey and white banded and zoned with a common quartz infill and a tube of escape - one face polished - from Blue Hole, Usan, Scurdie Ness, Montrose, Angus

    Quartz, variety agate - a slice - blue-grey, grey and white banded and zoned with a common quartz infill and a tube of escape - one face polished - from Blue Hole, Usan, Scurdie Ness, Montrose, Angus
  • Quartz, variety agate - dark grey and pale blue-grey fortification banded - one face polished - from Blue Hole, Usan, near Montrose, Angus

    Quartz, variety agate - dark grey and pale blue-grey fortification banded - one face polished - from Blue Hole, Usan, near Montrose, Angus
  • Quartz, variety agate - pale blue-grey banded with reddish-brown zones and common quartz infill - two faces polished - from Path of Condie, Perthshire

    Quartz, variety agate - pale blue-grey banded with reddish-brown zones and common quartz infill - two faces polished - from Path of Condie, Perthshire
  • Quartz, variety agate - a slice - grey, white and reddish-brown banded, with onyx - associated with common quartz and edged with rock matrix - polished on one face - from Dunure, Ayrshire

    Quartz, variety agate - a slice - grey, white and reddish-brown banded, with onyx - associated with common quartz and edged with rock matrix - polished on one face - from Dunure, Ayrshire
  • Quartz, variety agate - pinkish-brown to brown with a common quartz infill - one face polished - from Path of Condie, Perthshire

    Quartz, variety agate - pinkish-brown to brown with a common quartz infill - one face polished - from Path of Condie, Perthshire
  • Quartz, variety agate - a slice - pink, pale pink, blue-grey banded and zoned with green celadonite forced in - from Blue Hole, Usan, Montrose, Angus

    Quartz, variety agate - a slice - pink, pale pink, blue-grey banded and zoned with green celadonite forced in - from Blue Hole, Usan, Montrose, Angus
  • Quartz, variety agate - pinkish-brown, brown, blue-grey, cream and white onyx fortification banded and zoned - Agate book, F.24b, p.12 - one face polished - from Blue Hole, Usan, near Montrose, Angus

    Quartz, variety agate - pinkish-brown, brown, blue-grey, cream and white onyx fortification banded and zoned - Agate book, F.24b, p.12 - one face polished - from Blue Hole, Usan, near Montrose, Angus

Header image: Quartz, variety agate.  Pale grey-blue & reddish-brown "eyed" agate with a common quartz infill. Eye agates show concentric growth rings from multiple centres. Burn Anne, Galston, Ayrshire.

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The Heddle collection

Professor Matthew Forster Heddle (1828-1897) was Scotland's most famous mineralogist. At National Museums Scotland, we look after 5,700 specimens from his collection.
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Natural World galleries

A giant T.rex guards our Natural World galleries, where we ask the big questions: how does the world work? What do we know about it?
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Plan your visit

Find out how to make the most of your visit to National Museum of Scotland.
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Display information

When

4 May 2018 - 6 Jan 2019
10:00 - 17:00

Where

National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh - Exhibition Gallery 3, Level 1

How much

Admission free

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