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82mm x 60mm

Large subtly coloured and exquisitely marked onyx agates are a speciality of the St Cyrus area. Onyx is unfairly maligned by some, being seen as a less interesting pattern than is found in fortification stones in particular. I have grown to disagree over the years, and now, vehemently so. Especially as regards onyx stones from Kincardine. I believe these to be amongst the best in Scotland.

      This was found in the shingle close to the waterfall at St Cyrus beach, together with another stone photographed here. The top was found separately in the same area, but I did not realise what it was till later. It slips on and clicks into place beautifully, and to cut it so it would be flush with the face of the rest of the piece would be foolish as it does not protrude far towards the viewer. In any case, it is a fine indication as to the appearance of the outside of the nodule.

           The discovery at a later date, of the corresponding parts of previously collected agates at certain locations is a phenomena I have encountered a few times now during the last four years. I have even found four sections of one nodule that have clearly weathered in isolation from one another. The chances of this happening must be slim. In particular I can remember two instances, once at Scurdie Ness and once in the Usan area where the "missing" half of an agate discovered several months earlier was "mated" with its "twin" in my hands at home. It was a highly satisfying feeling.

       I have a few other large onyx stones from just the same spot, but these so far remain uncut. This "picture" stone reminds me of the approach of rain-heavy clouds across a calm summer sea. Yet I know no place as yet with the islands seen here, or indeed with the bizarre stone monolith in the upper right middle of the face. This stone was photographed unpolished and underwater.

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