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Burn Anne Agate

Found near the source of the Burn Anne just south of the town of Galston in Scotland. The Burn Anne is a small stream running northwest and draining into the River Irvine. The stone was also generally used in Scottish “Pebble” jewellery. In the nineteenth century, the burn was the site of substantial workings that comprised one of the only commercial operations ever set up to extract Scottish agates. Verification of these old excavations can still be seen along the banks of the burn and in the nearby fields. It is also said that the area was extensively “mined” for agate by the local coal miners during the depression in the 1920s. The agate they found would mainly have been sold on to lapidaries in Glasgow and Edinburgh although some was sent as far afield as Cornwall. Burn Anne material mainly occurs as veins or “lenses”. The beautiful vein agate is found as brick-sized blocks of material within the soft, almost clay like, pale-green “rotted” lava. Matthew F. Heddle described the Burn Anne agate as being “altogether unrivalled in beauty”. The colour of the fortification agates includes red, orange, yellow and white and is associated with grey and pale purple chalcedony. Because the agate veins mainly lie several feet below ground level finding any agates at the Burn Anne requires a lot of hard work and is not easy. Only a few dedicated collectors have, in recent years, been lucky enough to find any worthwhile material from this locality.
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