Ardownie is a large quarry just north of Dundee in Tayside, which has been worked for the last 15 years. I have decided to list them on its own page, as it used to be the locality where the largest of all Scottish agates could be found.
Ten years ago when the quarry was being worked, they discovered a huge agate and quartz crystal abundant vein through the quarry, and very big agates of up to 25cm were found. Huge amethyst geodes to match Brazilian standards were also found, making this a very important locality. Over the years, the agate vein has been worked to the point that there is little or no material left of any size or quality. Fortification agate of colours ranging from pale grey through to superb dark carnelians are found here, and lovely large examples of the best agates can be seen today at the natural history museum in Edinburgh.
Below are some examples of agates that have been found there.
The largest agate we have even found at Ardownie was 16cm across before any cutting. It has beautiful pale blue fortification banding right through the stone. The agate weighs 3 pounds.
Incredible carnelian agate is often found at Ardownie, and this agate is a lovely example of this. The deep red carnelian is combined with some pale blue banding which works as a striking pair.
This is a ‘one’ off agate from Ardwonie, which has white plumes falling like snow on the pale purple fortification agate in the stone centre. The fortification agate then sits high above a layer of red speckled agate matrix. An amazing combination of agate types!
Ardownie has produced the largest examples of Scottish quartz, including smokey, snow white and amethyst, of which the above is a great example. These huge crystals were 2cm across in the centre!