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magazine - sitewide activity

  • Blog entry
    George has been working with us for nearly 6 months and the mess in the shed is beginning to get organised - it is a very big shed! Recently pulled out of a box of dealer stock I bought from Liz and Dave Hacker over 10 years ago is this Florence Mine...
  • Blog entry
    The mines at Merelani in Tanzania are not only already famous for the gemstones tanzanite, tsavorite, scapolite etc. but also for the superbly well crystallised sulphide minerals namely pyrite, wurtzite and of course alabandite, all coming to prominence...
  • Blog entry
    Calamaite is the third natural Ti dominant sulfate mineral known yet. Russian scientists recognized this phase, occuring as filigrane colourless sprays, while doing some analytical investigations in a matrix of coquimbite / römerite. Type locality is...
  • Blog entry
    Ha Ha, here is a specimen of well crystallised hemimorphite from Bage Mine, Cromford, Derbyshire. According to the label the specimen was collected on 21 November, 1999 by George Fletcher. Bage mine is well known for such UK classics such as matlockite...
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    Last weekend I was reading on the BBC website about the discovery of a "lost" portrait painting by Rubens of George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham (d.1628). It turned out the painting was lost in plain view hanging and on public display in Glasgow'...
  • Blog entry
    This fine red vanadinite TN didn't make the buyer's cut in last night's auction and remained unsold. Look out for it in our next TVM Mixed auction later in April for a second chance - it will be reduced to $5 start...
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    We are really pleased to announce the arrival of David Eicher's book The New Cosmos coming out in November. David is the editor in chief of the Astronomy magazine and has been associated with e-Rocks as both a buyer and seller almost since we started...
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    Before we say good bye to our old website we have just passed invoice #350000. From our count start at 175762, we have raised a total of 174238 orders since we started in January 2006. By the time we leave we should reach 175,000 completed sales. Our old...
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    It hardly seems a week since Bakewell show last Saturday, where does the time go! We had a great time and despite the intention of not picking up too much stuff, it would be rude not to take part in the now ritual hunt for interesting and unusual things...
  • Blog entry
    The Hampshire Mineral & Fossil show is on Saturday 3rd September this being the first anniversary of the current e-Rocks site launch! I am sure we will conjure up something to mark the event... ....meanwhile the mineral show is at its usual venue in...
  • Blog entry
    I found this petrified “hamburger” among the landscaping cobbles at my old house. It is a water-worn limestone rock that has a layer of fossilized creatures. We keep it on display in a McDonald’s container and bring it out for show and tell regularly....
  • Blog entry
    Here is a tremendous specimen recently posted by Facebook friend and fellow collector Yasuichi Okazaki in Japan. The specimen 37mm X 26mm X 46mm is primarily sphalerite crystals but intergrown with bright gold wires. In his post Yasuichi goes on to...
  • Blog entry
    This super quality pure blue Lapis polished freeform 77cm tall and weighing over 48Kg is going under the hammer next month at an auction in Billingshurst, Kent, UK. The auctioneers estimate is £5,000 - £7,000 - see link below. Looks a really good one,...
  • Blog entry
    These amazing images recently appeared in the Journal of American Chemistry Society. The picture shows individual molecules obtained by microscopy - the scale is mindblowing - 1 Angstrom length is 1 X 10-10m. Amazing to see how the structures that have...
  • Blog entry
    I have had this little box of granular and crystalline gold on my desk since 2007. It originates from Pilgrims Rest, Witwatersrand in South Africa. It belonged to the Warren Taylor collection part of which will be making a splash later on in the year....
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    Topical with some work we have been doing on locality database this newslink has been circulating the web mineral chat areas recently. The content of the article is about the intention to re-open Tsumeb again for specimen (crystal) mining and as an...
  • Blog entry
    e-Rocks seller and well traveled field collector Tasos Tsinidis from Greece, has some wonderful minerals and stories to tell about his exploits. He is knowledge of all things mineralogical and Greek is immense, he also is excellent at preparing and...
  • Blog entry
    March Oxford show is the first of the 2016 series of Oxford shows. A small show but quite well attended this time was no different; it is a good opportunity to meet up with people after the winter months and Tucson. Personally suffering from "Manflu" I...
  • Blog entry
    Not really a new year's resolution as such, but to make space for new projects, it is time to sell my old collection/hoard of Romanian minerals. Back in the day, before 2002 I put together quite a large selection of Romanian pieces, traveling there when...
  • Blog entry
    GPSmineral, located mineralogy, is a new project that wants to share mineralogy passion all around the world, we have started with a few articles about spanish, italian and USA mineralogy. We have a map to locate. For the moment we only have one...
  • Blog entry
    Mining areas above Niaslo village (courtesy Ikram Minerology)                              Recently reading about a new discovery of hematite from Morocco seen at Denver Show reminded me of the locality Niaslo, Basha Valley, Skardu, Pakistan. The...
  • Blog entry
    New book announced - Genesis & Classifying Agates & Jaspers: A New Theory, By Marco Campos-Venuti In English As described, Cracked one of the greatest mysteries of the geology! A Guide for the collector. A Bible for a geologist. This book shows...
  • Blog entry
    It has now been 3 years since George joined us at TVM and a week since joining e-Rocks ltd! To celebrate he went off on his own this week to appraise and buy a mineral collection down in the West Country. We received a lead about the collection a few...
  • Blog entry
    Belgian collector Jean Dehaye has recently been showing pictures of his recently collected specimen from Beez, Naumur, Belgium. A little over 2cm across comprising a hollow fossil cast with calcified internal ribs covered with micro honey coloured...
  • Blog entry
    As they say "you live and learn" and in the interest of mineralogy this is nearly a daily experience. The photograph above shows some little grain-like crystals of native sulphur set on scorodite from Hemerdon Bal in Devon, UK. I have never seen these...
  • Blog entry
    Here is some information about an article published on the BBC website yesterday concerning a paper shortly to appear in the American Mineralogist. Authored by Dr Robert Hazen, from the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, and Prof Jesse Ausubel of The...
  • Blog entry
    A feature of the new website is the ability of our Database and your catalogue to hold and display items by Provenance. Behind the scenes we provide a whole inventory system that connects minerals to people, collectors, historic dealers and institutions...
  • Blog entry
    Facebook friend and collector Michael Pfeil posted a gallery of fine micro photos of specimens collected in the Bergischen Land area of North Rhine - Westphalia. Here is a translation of his album introduction and a few of his 165 photos. "In this album...
  • Blog entry
    Was happy to see a nice post from Marc Allen Fleischer of the Fleischer Museum on Facebook the other day. Mark had recently purchased and received the above Megiliggar apatite from TVM. This is his post, "You don’t expect to find a Pegmatite in England...
  • Blog entry
      Today we saw our e-Rocks User registration count reach 7500; this means that barring the odd D.Duck and K.Kong we are connected to 7500 mineral collectors worldwide. Great news if you are prospective seller, re-assuring if you have not already signed...
  • Blog entry
    The other day we picked out a specimen from the Ted Smithson collection, namely a witherite labelled as from the Joycey Shaft at Langley Barony Mine near Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, UK. It is the first time we have seen anything from this locality so...
  • Blog entry
    Our man of action George (and partner Sam) have had a busy few months getting themselves organised for a house move. Today finally it is the big day and everything is set to move into the new place. Of course we are all happy; with new house comes a...
  • Blog entry
    James Tennant (1808-1881) was in his time one of the UK's most notable mineralogists and dealers in minerals, fossils and shells. His specimens can be found in many museums around the globe, and in many notable historic collections. In his heyday he...
  • Blog entry
    Here we have yet another recently discovered mineral added to our database. "Jinan Stone" was first collected in 2015 by Daisuke Nishio-Hamane of Tokyo University. It was referred to by this name prior to identification/classification  as Jinan is the...
  • Blog entry
    We came across this specimen in material from the Alex Franz collection, formerly belonging Hans-Peter Schroder and dated 1972. The piece is a flat backed sandstone matrix covered in pyromorphite but also small octahedral crystals of galena replaced by...
  • Blog entry
    In under 2 weeks it will be time for this year's Munich Show. Mineralientage München will be open from 27th - 29th October and George and I will be there from 25th October. As usual we will be based with Christian Rewitzer in Hall A6.271. Mineralientage...
  • Blog entry
    The Christmas Holidays are nearly upon us and it is time to launch "Mark & Christian's Christmas Cracker 2015". This is the 9th annual cracker auction and this year Christian Rewitzer and I have filled it with some diverse and interesting minerals....
  • Blog entry
    Hi everybody! Next December 16, 17 and 18 there will be celebrate MinerELX MineralShow in Elche (Alicante) Spain. We have opened a Mineral Photo Contest and we would like to invite you to participate. Mineral Contest with 3 categoies: - Alicante mineral...
  • Blog entry
    Coming up to completion in today's Cartils minerals auction this specimen of obsidian from Douglas, Idaho, USA was designated item number 220000 in our catalogue when uploaded. Our catalogue started back in January 2006, and has grown with some...
  • Blog entry
    Back in November 2011 I offered this specimen in my birthday auction. It is still one of my favourite Weardale specimens ever. Here is its listing Fluorite Heights Quarry, County Durham, United Kingdom Miniature (4.5-7 cm) Size: H:4.8cm x W:4.8cm x D:4....
  • Blog entry
    What a great start to Munich Show 2015 it has been. We arrived at the Show at around 1400Hrs local time and things were already buzzing. Almost immediately we were directed to the booth of Wendell Minerals to look three! cabinet sized fluorite specimens...
  • Blog entry
    e-Rocks seller and Austrian collector Andreas Wallisch has been showing off a new addition to his collection. A fine specimen of a variety of Lumachelle, called Bleiberg Shell Marble (Muschelmarmor)from Bleiberg in Carinthia in Austria. This particular...
  • Blog entry
    Another nice day out in Cornwall for Mike Berry & Mike Merry. On this trip they visited Perran St George Mine, Perranporth, Cornwall during a Spring tide, when the entrance is better exposed. Spectacular scenery and a couple of nice micros of...
  • Blog entry
    Whilst sorting through some Tsumeb minerals recently we came across this label, with the dealer information cut off. All we had to go on was the hand writing and a "crossed hammers" symbol on the left. With a little help and research we have traced this...
  • Blog entry
    A Sunday lay-in follows the early Saturday start at Bakewell. The show does not open until 9am. This allows the dealers to get back or recover from various excesses of the previous night. Last night in addition to the Dealers' dinner there were at least...
  • Blog entry
    Recently reported the Michigan Tech website - Two leading Michigan universities have joined up to preserve a historic mineral collection. The University of Michigan Collection, including the collection of Douglass Houghton will be located and displayed...
  • Blog entry
    Having recently changed over from bridge photography to DSLR and discovered the joys of stacking and rotational presentations, photography here has changed a lot in the last few months. Previously seeing other people's macro photos has always left me...
  • Blog entry
    We all have them, but in the mineral world the continual exchange of specimens between collections, dealers and other collectors means that provenance and history can play an important part in the interest in a particular specimen. When we were recently...
  • Blog entry
    EDS confirmed galloplumbogummite spheres (pictures 1-5; picture no. can be seen by mouse overlay on the pictures below) in germanite renierite ore, accompanied by otjisumeite needles (pictures 8-10), unknown bright phase (lead phospate without Cl,...
  • Blog entry
    Mike Merry, Cornish Collector and Dealer of Minerals and Bottles took some spectacular photos of the the Cligga cliffs in Cornwall whilst out collecting. Captured on a sunny June day (15 June 2015) the weather and sea were just about perfect. To crown it...
  • Blog entry
    It has already been a week since Oxford show and we are heavily into our pre-Christmas preparations. Last week we had a visit from Ed Loye, who stopped by to take a look at the TV Towers operation. We have known Ed since both his and our early days, and...
  • Blog entry
    Not well known for its mineral collecting Albania seldom figures as a source in many collections or available minerals. In 9 years of e-Rocks we have only ever seen 2 specimens and localities. The current specimen is a newly "discovered" combination of...
  • Blog entry
    Back on the old e-Rocks, in January we introduced our first "spin presentation" for minerals displayed online. The concept is quite simple - you set up a camera and synchronise the stepped revolution of a turntable with the camera shutter to take a...
  • Blog entry
    There are not that many UK minerals to be found with a species name beginning X. Here is one classic example recently listed on e-Rocks by Mike Brooke, Broadstone Minerals. Classic and interesting locality specimen from Wheal Maudlin, Lanlivery, Cornwall...
  • Blog entry
    As it is 31st December no auctions will be closing today on e-Rocks, however the holiday program continues tomorrow with the first auctions in 2016. Many thanks to all our customers, sellers and buyers for all your contributions and our success in 2015...
  • Blog entry
    Marc Allen Fleischer owner of the Fleischer Museum has been showing of this interesting specimen from Tsumeb. One of the main directions of the Fleischer collection is "Rough and Cut" where a mineral is displayed side by side as natural mineral with a...
  • Blog entry
    This really odd habit of cuprite has just come to light from the copper mines at Rudabanya, Hungary. Not seen before from here, the habit appears to be octahedral modified by cubic faces - FOV 1.5mm. The specimen is in the collection of e-Rocks seller...
  • Blog entry
    This excellent shared photo from e-Rocks seller Edward Coghlan sort of sets the mood for the day at e-Rocks. The photo shows a group of explorers at Twll in Rhosydd Slate Mine, Wales standing in a large damp cavern with the light streaming in. We are up...
  • Blog entry
    George turned up today with a little collection of mainly Scottish Minerals. This is some native silver from Alva Mine, Central Scotland. 8mm across - rare stuff! The discovery of a native silver deposit in 1715 also coincided with the Jacobite rebellion...
  • Blog entry
    At Oxford show last weekend Geologist Nick Eastwood was selling a small batch of fluorite specimens he has collected in the 1970s when he was working in the Dale. The specimens are from the Red Vein Lead Mine (or Level) a separate portal onto the Red...
  • Blog entry
    Another feature we have put in place for the new website is a table of most popular searches on the site within the last 7 days.  A search counter increments each time during a session, a search term is entered. The table is displayed under "Searches" in...
  • Blog entry
    The Nick Bartlet collection, we purchased in 2004 still continues to provide interesting and uncommon items from its boxes. This most recent discovery is a specimen of schröckingerite from the Peath Lode on the 17th Level at Geevor, Cornwall. The find...
  • Blog entry
    Last Thursday we had a visit from Aamir Khan our good friend and supplier of all things from Pakistan/Afghanistan. Aamir is based in the UK and Pakistan and spends his equally between the 2 places. As usual he arrived with all kinds of minerals from his...
  • Blog entry
    Wishing all our visitors, sellers and buyers a very Happy New Year and great things from 2017. Thinking things over this morning I had a sobering thought; there are now 357 days left before Christmas 2017 and the next planned "dark day" with no auctions...
  • Blog entry
    Now veteran e-Rocks seller Ikram Muhammad of Pakistan Minerals celebrates his birthday today. Marking the occasion is the finale of his birthday auction, featuring this cracking specimen of beryl var vorobyevite from Afghanistan. Vorobyevite is a...
  • Blog entry
    Greenockite from Tsumeb forms beautiful hexagonal orange crystals in cavities of Cd rich galena. Often the specimens host brownish Cd rich smithsonite. Crystal size is usually around 50-100µm. Studies under the electron beam reveal the details of the...
  • Blog entry
    George and I have just picked up the collection of Dr Ernst Peter Uerpmann from deepest Spain. The collection of over 3,000 pieces has been in storage since 2002 when Peter moved from Germany to Alicante on his retirement; there are several interesting...
  • Blog entry
    We get to hear anecdotal stories about Grandad's collection getting thrown in a the landfill, or even more substantively a part of the Camborne School of Mines inventory going in a skip a few years back It is alarming to see to see this is continuing to...
  • Blog entry
    On 1st October 2017 there will be some changes to the e-Rocks.com business plus the Terms & Conditions. The e-Rocks.com business will be transferring from our current Thames Valley Minerals ownership to a new company registered in the UK, e-Rocks Ltd...
  • Blog entry
    Recently I have been enjoying the micro photos of Yaiba Sakaguchi from Wakayama, Japan posted on Facebook. Yaiba has kindly let me share some of these on e-Rocks. I am sure you will agree these shine a new perspective on the minerals/localities. Well...
  • Blog entry
    Here is an interesting ovoid form embedded in obisidian from Coso Range, Inyo County, California. But what is inside? Answer - cristobalite tridymite & fayalite (brown crystals) Happy Easter
  • Blog entry
    Here is a "lucky shot" of small inclusions of pyrite floating within a clear crystal of fluorite from Heights Quarry, Weardale. The crystal is 13mm across and was spotted by George at Bakewell last weekend. (click to enlarge) Below might be the actual...
  • Blog entry
    There has been a sensational recent find of fluorite in Connemara, County Galway, in the Republic of Ireland. TVM has been given exclusive access to the locality and has been given first refusal to the material released by the owners. Map of Connemara,...
  • Blog entry
    Always good to see people help each other out, as promoted by e-Rocks seller Carsten Slotta (MinTreasure) today. Joy Desor is an excellent photographer and also a seller here, took these great shots for Carsten of his specimens.
  • Blog entry
    Here are a group of Pentire Glaze pyromorphite crystals just sold by Mike Merry of Cornwall & Devon Minerals. Recently collected and by no means tiny these crystals are typically 1cm tall. Mike has done a super job with the photography and the...
  • Blog entry
    Dont forget as of 1st October 2017, the e-Rocks.com website will be transferring to ownership by e-Rocks Ltd. Please refer to our previous notice, linked below. Looking forward to our new jobs on Monday: as rock group the Who said back in 1971 in the...
  • Blog entry
    This week it was George's birthday but unfortunately work as usual in the TVM office. As it happened plans were afoot to make some homemade cupcakes and sing happy birthday. Not much chance of blowing the candle out though. All video evidence/sound...
  • Blog entry
    Weishanite is a very rare gold-silver amalgam, which had two localities. Recent investigations of a unknown metallic hexagonal phase on an old sample hosting verified magnolite showed that this is Weishanite in beautiful hexagonal crystals. I have not...
  • Blog entry
      Flicking through the auctions yesterday I spotted a specimen of Mineevite-(Y) - always inquisitive to see the composition of these more obscure minerals I looked at the mineral data. I was even more curious to discover that in the formula, was the...
  • Blog entry
    The other week I was experimenting with lighting and rotation using tanzanite. I managed to take these photographs - not much dichroism seen in the "rock tack"!
  • Blog entry
    Coming up to the end of May and we are pleased to announce the return of two favourite e-Rocks sellers, Rocks of Africa and Kalahari Classics.   Both sellers are based in South Africa and specialise in a very fine range of minerals from this part of...
  • Blog entry
    The new e-Rocks has an archive of approximately 180,000 specimens accrued over 9 years of listing. We have now made these available to registered users of our site with further mineral and location details tied in. Here is a rather good specimen of...
  • Blog entry
    Our visit to Bakewell Show for another year is sadly over; but what an eventful couple of days it has been. We arrived on the Friday night and after getting e-Rocks organised we headed off for the first meal out of the weekend. The Friday night "Curry...
  • Blog entry
    Yesterday our friend Aamir Shah came calling as he has been doing since 2007. We first met Aamir in the car park at Bakewell Show in October 2006 and ever since he has been a regular visitor to TV Towers 3 or 4 times a year. Aamir spends 2-3 months in...
  • Blog entry
    Here is a great picture of Australian collector/miner Dehne MacLaughlin, taken in 1966 at Allies Mine, Deepwater, NSW, Australia. Dehne is showing off some quartz crystals recently collected. I have known Dehne since 2001 and since 2009 he has been...
  • Blog entry
    Peshawar based Imran Bangash of Spin Ghar Minerals has just returned from an exciting trip to the mining locality at Marki Khel in Khogyani, Afghanistan. The locality is well reknowned for its wonderful specimens of andradite, epidote, diopside, and...
  • Blog entry
    This really "unique" specimen of fluorite from Cavnic, Romania sold on e-Rocks a few hours ago for €805 (c$900). Not only is the specimen pretty exceptional but also I believe it holds the site record for bidding extension. As the bidding rules go, an...
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    Our e-Rocks database is continuously growing and flexing as our sellers add new mineral types, varieties and of course the odd thing that we think is relevant to the naming of items on the site. Recently I was adding a group of related "new" minerals,...
  • Blog entry
    Until I researched it I would never have thought vanadinite likely to occur at Ilfeld in Harz, Germany. The specimen we discovered is a manganite matrix with tiny pockets of braunite, and with one solitary yellow (part) crystal within. Being solitary and...
  • Blog entry
    I collected the fluorite specimen above back in April 1996. I remember it well from the events of the day before! In those days I used to travel up from the South of England for weekend mooching trips in and around Weardale, usually arriving at the...
  • Blog entry
    Coming up on 18th May 2016 is a huge auction of antique books at the German Auction house Reis & Sohn, Königstein, Germany. Within the "Manuscript & Geography" section there are a number of fascinating early books (18th to 20th century) on...
  • Blog entry
    This discovery in the Ted Smithson Collection and a previous entry by Mike Brooke led me to look into the background of these microscopic grains of gold from Sutherland in Scotland. The sheer amount of time - 24 hours - required to pan 100 or so flakes...
  • Blog entry
    Back in February 2003 Pezzottaite was big news at Tucson show. At the time it was a hot new discovery, still an unnamed mineral and the sort of new thing Tucson show thrives on. These were originally brought to Tucson by Madagascan mineral specialist,...
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    In late 2014 we started adding daily updates for closing e-Rocks auctions to Facebook. Basically this is a selection of photos from items in closing auctions to let our Facebook fans see what is happening on the site each day. As a consequence we have...
  • Blog entry
    This leiteite specimen from the Uerpmann collection recently posted on Facebook brought back fond memories of the man who's name was given to the mineral back in 1977. Leiteite was named to honour Luis Antonio Bravo Teixeira-Leite (1942–1999), Portuguese...
  • Blog entry
    A month ago we replaced our photography system from a very old but very fast and reliable bridge camera to DSLR. We also started using LED lighting - we have a unit with 7 dimmable and programmable panels all around. This is great for flooding the image...
  • Blog entry
    2 weeks to go until this year's Rock Exchange - AKA Bakewell Show. Always great to attend for 2 show days of minerals and catch-up with people from all over the UK and further afield. 10th and 11th October, 2015 Lady Manners School, Bakewell,...
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    This last weekend George has been away at a friend's wedding in York. In addition to the planned festivities we also scheduled him a visit to look at some minerals whilst he was in the area! Arrived back here at TV Towers today is George with 22 flats...
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    This weekend three of my friends visited me for some analytical work on their self collected and collection material. One of them had an old Tsumeb sample hosting filigrane silky masses on germanite renierite matrix. Not very beautiful, but obviously...
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    It is always interesting when a seller messages me because a mineral isn't listed on our main database. Jason Boyd Smith, AKA Bucket of Holes made such a request for the mineral "Schmidite" yesterday. Sure enough it was not listed with us, and further...