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Portsoy is a small, picturesque, fishing village around 40 miles north of Aberdeen, east of Fraserburgh and part of a series of wonderful locales along the Moray coast, that also includes Macduff, Cullen, Pennan, New Aberdour and more besides.

    Together with my girlfriend at the time, I searched beaches both north and south of the village proper, and north beaches yielded two examples of agate. The coloured stalactitic piece shown below, and a nondescript well- water-worn stone found by my partner, that was a little larger, grey, and could have been from any one of a myriad of Scottish locations.

     So from whence do these agates originate? Personally, I feel that the beaches here have been bolstered for protection from the harsh winter tides with shingle dredged from locations further south, and larger boulders. From the appearance of the specimen I have (jasper can also be found) I would suggest the St. Cyrus or possibly Lunan Bay areas, although Montrose harbour itself would also be a strong possibility.

        Is it possible that the agates found here originate elsewhere? Frankly, I don't know, however, it took around 6 hours of searching to find two small specimens, so agates here are scarce. I do not believe there are agate-bearing rocks in the area.


Portsoy is a place I loved visiting as a child. Over twenty years later little has changed. Although then, it was crabs I sought, and their exoskeletal detritus, not gemstones.


Anyway, forget those bloody rocks for a moment and procure yourself an ice cream, and some hot-smoked mackerel, and kick back with the simmering octogenarians.


"Can you take me back, can you take me back, can you take me back, where I come from?"

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