Variational principles of anisotropic elasticity have been applied to aggregates of randomly oriented pure-phase polycrystals having hexagonal symmetry and trigonal symmetry. The bounds of the effective elastic moduli obtained in this way show a considerable improvement over the bounds obtained by means of the Voigt and Reuss assumptions. The Hill average is found to be in most cases a good approximation when compared to the bounds found from the variational method. The new bounds reduce in their limits to the Voigt and Reuss values. ?? 1965 The American Institute of Physics.