Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran is a little more cultivated, and tamed in general appearance, than other agate-bearing islands of the Inner Hebrides. However, its mountainous heart remains steadfastly wild. Its easy accessibility from Ardrossan probably accounts for that apparent docility, at least on the surface, however it is undoubtedly a beautiful place. Despite what I have just noted too, certain coastal localities are not easily explored, particularly the area south of Lamlash, and so here too, surprises can be found.

            I don't pretend to have any profound knowledge of Arran at all, as I have visited but once. I do have my appreciation intact however. It has been noted elsewhere that supplies of easily accessible agates have been exhausted, presumably by local collectors. However, few photographs of such specimens exist. This is a sad fact.

            I did not have a bountiful trip, although several small and largely colourful specimens were eventually procured, yet again, the coveted Clyde Coast Agatized Coral eluded me. 

       As you might expect, fortification agates are the most common type here, from what I gather, and I have yet to see any Arran agate displaying Onyx banding. More unusual agates such as that initial specimen shown below occur occasionally. Colours tend to appear frequently, and blue-greys, pinks, oranges, reds browns and their intermediate shades are all to be seen in stones from this area.

        Of course, weathered sections of Clyde Agatized Coral can be anything up to (or beyond?) 20cm in diameter. Agates here tend to be under 4cm, and rarely larger. 

        If anyone reading this is in possession of any fine Arran agates, I would be very happy to see them, so please get in touch.