68mm x 34mm

In the October of 2015 I had been caching a beach location in the St Cyrus area since high summer, and had found little evidence to show that the area was particularly productive. It was a blustery autumn day, and the sea was throwing spray at me with what seemed at the time like viciousness.

 

                                    I had just cleared a shinglebank of large slippery cobbles when I noticed a jaspy-looking stone at my feet, with high contrast as regards the deep orange inclusions. Clearly, when I picked it up, I could see it had fortification banding. It was only upon cutting the stone later that day that I could see that the orange inclusions were of zeolitic material, and highly intricate. It is not immediately obvious, but the stone is finely banded right to its centre. The fortification pattern is grey against grey, so it is difficult to discern.

                                   

                                   As soon as I could that autumn, I had my good friend David Hudson polish the piece, and I think you will agree, even with the fractures it IS a highly unusual stone. I have never encountered a similar specimen at the location. Almost immediately after finding this piece I found a very similarly coloured agate close by. It has very little classical fortification banding, but in the abstract persuasion of its markings it resembles a Kintyre stone. It will be polished and photographed at some point in the future.

Photograph by David Dorman.