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  • Blog entry
    In 1985 I had acquired some palladium metal, as a by-product of some illicit platinum reclamation I was undertaking. I made the above quarter-ounce "nugget" with it, drilled to be worn as a pendant. Natural Pd specimens below, from the type locality, ...
  • Blog entry
    As we push back on May and head into June a final quick blog with 2 bits of new information.   Nollmotzite (Mg[U5+(U6+O2)2O4F3]·4H2O) A new mineral, IMA approved pending publication due. Nollmotzite is the first naturally occurring uranium, uranyl...
  • 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
    Back in 1979 at a place called Tomahawk Creek near to Rubyvale in Central Queensland, Australia, a 2020 carat (404gr) yellow gem sapphire was discovered. The story alleges that a local boy, on his way home from school, spotted the gem exposed in loose...
  • Blog entry
    Stanhope Silver Band - Weardale Show 2017   It is time to publicise the upcoming 2018 Weardale show. Organised by Enrico Rinaldi and held in St John Chapel in the heart of beautiful Weardale, this is the second annual show. Last year's show brought...
  • Blog entry
    When I started examining micro minerals I came across a nice specimen hosting olive green bartelkeite. It was pure luck to find this mineral. This is what I can say now looking back at the small number of specimens I had. This makes the species to one...
  • Blog entry
    A large block of native iron and weighing approx 20 tonnes. It was brought to the Naturhistoriska riksmuseet in Stockholm Sweden in 1870 by boat and horse-drawn carriage from Greenland's West Coast by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld to a large fanfare. Naturally...
  • Blog entry
    In the office this morning I worked out some interesting e-Rocks facts for the last year. In 2016 we have run 1555 auctions with 59,373 listings added to the site. We have sold 49,161 items. Also in 2016 we have served 629,183 visitors with 6.45M pages...
  • 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
    Today being "set up" day proper the show was generally a bit quieter as people got on with the final preparations before opening tomorrow. George and I have been very busy meeting people and doing a lot of talking - a lot of talking!! In Hall A5 George...
  • 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
    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
    The day before we went to Munich the nice man from UPS turned up on my doorstep with quite a large box. As it happened, the Sunday before I was out dog walking and pocket pinging on messenger learning all about a little discovery up in Weardale. A new...
  • Blog entry
    It is already nearly a few months since we returned from our eventful trip to Alicante with the Uerpmann collection; when we returned we parked a large portion of the unseen collection in our warehouse. All this material had been wrapped and taped in...
  • Blog entry
      Last weekend was the 2nd Weardale Show, and I made the 250 mile journey north to St Johns Chapel in the heart of Weardale to catch up and see what was new in the world of UK mineral collecting. Organised by Enrico Rinaldi with local support, this is...
  • Blog entry
    A bit of a surprise showed up today when going through some Madagascan specimens for auction. Packed away in thumbnail box labelled "Tourmaline Rubellite - Ambalamatsara" was this super little specimen of scheelite from Baia Sprie - Romania. These much...
  • Blog entry
    Last weekend was the last planned road trip for George and I for 2017. We were off to sunny Kent to pick up Norman Cogger's collection, and so there is it all packed and ready to come back. Remarkably we have found space to store it! At TV Towers we have...
  • 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
    Friday is the first open day of the show, namely for dealers and professionals. As usual footfall is usually up along with the protective film on the carpets! Our job today was to help with Christian Rewitzer on his booth, plus meet with customers to...
  • Blog entry
    You know you’re a rockhound when cries of “Froodite! I’ve got froodite” are heard echoing from the rafters. And before you step back in alarm, it’s not contagious… it’s the name of a mineral. Please, allow me to make introductions. My husband Reiner and...
  • Blog entry
    Recently listed online by Roberto Rojas of Minerat minerals is a remarkable specimen of kröhnkite & blödite from Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Mejillones, Antofagasta, Chile. At 25cm across the bright blue kröhnkite would be impressive in its own...
  • Blog entry
    Back in 2009 the late Paul Lowe was disposing of the mineral collection of the late Dr Fred Armitage. Dr Armitage lectured in Chemistry at London Universities from the 1970s until the early 2000s. He had a huge interest in puzzles particularly polycube...
  • 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
    We are having quite a golden time for new mineral species additions to e-Rocks. This short blog features news from from Jason Smith and Volker Betz regarding two new phosphate minerals from Foote Mine in North Carolina, USA. Apologies for the pun in the...
  • Blog entry
    One of Germany's most diverse sources of minerals, and still open here is a specimen of "plain old" baryte with inclusions of limonite etc. Makes a pretty and elegant display.
  • Blog entry
    We already recently reported on the number of new minerals being added to e-Rocks in October, an impressive average of 161 items per day went up in the last 2 months. We thought it might interesting to share some of the other e-Rocks facts and figures...
  • Blog entry
    Hoganite   Hoganite and paceite (along with calclacite) are currently the only known minerals containing the organic acetate ion (CH3CHO2)- Minerals Containing the Acetate (Ethanoate) Ion Calclacite Ca(CH3COO)Cl · 5H2O Hoganite Cu(CH3COO)2 · H2O...
  • Blog entry
    In our current TVM auction we have added a few specimens from the Warren Taylor collection. We have known Warren for 15 years and have handled and advised on the disposal of a great number of his minerals since 2007. Within our database we have set up a...
  • Blog entry
    Plinius Earth Treasures has started its official channel here on e-Rocks since December 2017, and one of the constants of the inventory was the listing of specimens from the Bruno Cerato collection and stock. Frequent e-Rocks customers will remember the...
  • Blog entry
    George and I are back from our Christmas road trip into Germany via Belgium and France. What we didn't pick up in minerals we certainly made up for with adventure and festive fun. Normal service with email replies etc will return from today, after a bit...
  • 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
    This excellent large specimen of smithsonite was one of a large suite of smithsonite in Warren Taylor's main Tsumeb collection. The piece is a mound of flattened crystals pink in colour with an orange "cadmium derived" coating to the surface. Collected...
  • Blog entry
    Ever had a discussion along the lines of "I have this old specimen, but it has no labels so I am not sure of where or what it is?" Most of us have and the mystery sometimes never gets solved, we have quite a pile here, which sometimes has a happy ending...
  • 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
    Following on from reading about pit-men discovering very substantial (6m long, 3m high and 1m wide) vugs in the witherite at the Morrison Busty Colliery, I’ve uncovered another spectacular occurance of walk-in “crystal caves in coal mines.” About 56...
  • Blog entry
    The new year continues this week with a full program of auctions from the e-Rocks sellers. As usual a huge and diverse range covering most aspects of collecting. This diamond listed in the latest SAL minerals auction is a good example, weighing in at 57....
  • Blog entry
    Introduction:  A few months ago I came across the mineral aldridegeite in the IMA list of minerals whilst doing some research. This sulphate mineral is a member of the develline group first discovered and only found at Broken Hill, New South Wales,...
  • Blog entry
    So goes the advertising strapline, and my reaction to seeing this photograph of gold bars, coins, nuggets and mineral ore/specimens. The haul of 30,000lbs, approx 1.5 tonnes was recovered from the wreck of the SS Central America from deep of off the...
  • 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
    Heads up for a new book entitled Minerals of Georgia, by Bob Cook and Julian Gray, edited by Jose Santamaria, is done and on its way to the printer! Release date is February 1, 2016 and it is already listed in the University of Georgia Press catalogue...
  • Blog entry
    Tomii Mine in Tochigi Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan is quite well known for its quartz and amethyst clusters with crystals arranged in sprays around a central crystal. This specimen recently posted on Facebook by Shigeki Nishimura in the Quartz group...
  • 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
    A little bit of excitement for a new discovery/identification of bazzite in the Western Alps, Piedmont, Italy. Usually highly sought after by collectors, bazzite is a rare scandium rich type of beryl usually small with a charateristic strong baby blue...
  • 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
    Traditionally July and August are slower months for us; with both sellers and collectors away on holiday etc. This year we have been moving like an express train with the e-Rocks sellers adding 10000 new items in the 65 days from June 26th through to...
  • Blog entry
    Expert photographer and mineral collector from Austria, Andreas Schmid has recently being showing some excellent photographs using a light source at an extreme angle to the faces of the subject crystals.     I would have trouble explaining the physics...
  • Blog entry
    Those of you who read my last Oxford Show report will remember a mention of Paul Nicholson at Waveney Minerals. We have known Paul as a collector for well over 15 years, and more recently as an occasional show dealer in the UK. As of the last Show report...
  • 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
    Once again whilst researching and updating a new mineral I came across another interesting figure behind the mineral name. This time the mineral was gorbunovite - the citation from the IMA proposal is in the box below.  Gorbunovite The mineral is named...
  • Blog entry
    We just acquired a little stash of Peruvian silver minerals and received a nice surprise when we discovered one of the boxes was double layered with these little pill boxes underneath. Unfortunately there are no labels on the boxes so there is no way of...
  • Blog entry
    Today was the 4th in the 2015 series of Oxford Shows. A fair early autumn day, and a short drive for me meant a nice morning out. This time the show was more modestly attended with a few of the usual dealers not present, through holiday etc. Still good...
  • Blog entry
    Apart from selling on e-rocks I am a passionate field collector. Everybody else doing so knows how difficult it can be to collect at a new locality. When the new e-rocks was introduced I was really happy to use the database function. You can search for...
  • Blog entry
    Burn's Night comes along every year and is mostly a Scottish based celebration of the poet Robbie Burns, so I try to get some "haggis neeps and tatties" in my diet during this time. It also serves to remind us that another e-Rocks anniversary is coming...
  • Blog entry
    Today (23rd October) we notched up item #680000 into our specimen database, completing another 10,000 increment to the catalogue. The honoured rock is a specimen of Cleusonite from Fibbia, Ticino in Switzerland. The specimen was listed by Soenke Stolze...
  • Blog entry
    I spent most of my Monday in the office with camera. Found some interesting mineralogy on some specimens from Bou Azzer. Varied paragenesis with different chemistry. Great colours whatever!
  • Blog entry
    I recently came across a reference to gold being worked at Cross Gill in the North Pennines. It’s in an 1873 article - On the Occurrence of Lead, Zinc, and Iron Ores, in some Rocks of Carboniferous Age in the North-West of England, by De Rance. This 18...
  • Blog entry
    Two more mineral firsts are on show on e-Rocks at the moment. Our first specimen of fuettererite is due to close on Joy Desor's auction this evening. Fuettererite   Originally described back in 2002 from the type locality at NE2 Vein, Otto Mountain,...
  • Blog entry
    Currently on offer in Sal's Mineral auction - see Item Reference link below. This gold nugget is from Bendigo, Victoria, Australia and weighs in at 59gr with dimensions 3.5 × 2.5 × 2 cm. In terms of size and weight of gold this is one the biggest gold...
  • Blog entry
      The Italian town of Larderello was created to exploit the mineral riches of boraciferous fumaroles. Its chemical production was soon eclipsed by geothermal power generation. The minerals found around the area (33 in total) include six rare borates,...
  • 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
    A small flake of Californian gold from Coloma, the location of Marshall's '48 discovery. Sutter's Mill was a sawmill, owned by 19th-century pioneer John Sutter, where west-coast gold was first found in significant quantities, setting off the California...
  • Blog entry
    A new feature on e-Rocks for both sellers and collectors is the ability to add analysis information to specimens in their inventory. Too often important analytical information is posted as an "aside" to the main pictures and not very readable. Here you...
  • Blog entry
    After a long time preparing it, we are happy to be offering here on e-Rocks the B. Florin collection. B. Florin was a knowledgeable Swiss collector. He was specialised in Swiss localities, but specialized in choice specimens, odd quartz shapes and...
  • 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
    This old time specimen from Baia Sprie, Romania is quite rare and unusual. It comprises myriad sheaves of clear baryte arranged in fern-like stacks. Within the body of the individual crystals there are vivid red inclusions of realgar, and forming a...
  • Blog entry
    This Sunday is the Paul Lowe Memorial Oxford Show. I am sure it will be a great show and a good opportunity to remember Paul with fellow mineral people. These are the details; Venue: Exeter Hall, Kidlington, North Oxford, OX5 1AB Sunday 27th November...
  • Blog entry
    Andyrobertsite and calcioandyrobertsite are two fascinating mineral species present in a single very famous specimen from Tsumeb.  This superb specimen was featured in the cover of the Mineralogical Record vol.30, num. 3, May-June 1999, jointly with the...
  • 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
    A feature we have added to the new e-Rocks is a simple "add Mineral photo" posting tool. We wanted to give all collaborators on the site an option to post mineral photos (without going through a collection/full upload.) We have a simple quick option...
  • Blog entry
    Sapphire - September's Birthstone Sapphire - Zazafotsy, Ihosy, Madagascar - 16mm, sold in September 2018   We have not written a "numbers" blog for nearly a year; we figure most people are here for the minerals but sometimes it might help to find out...
  • Blog entry
    A very long and interesting day and we have settled ourselves into our new e-Rocks home. Graham our fantastic developer has turned in(I hope)for the night and George is driving back to Bristol. Thanks to all the people who have sent us messages, and...
  • Blog entry
    Above is a picture from a few days ago of our last pallet of minerals to arrive for 2016. What a busy year it has been and now it is nearly over. Christmas and the holiday period are all set and there are some terrific contributions this year our...
  • 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
    Pyrite - Victoria Mine, Navajun, Spain   Introduction: I know the title is a terrible Alistair MacLean pun, but it is hot here today and it was the best I could come up with. Spanish sellers Baltasar and Elvira at BS Rocks kindly sent me over this...
  • Blog entry
    Sometimes even the most clearly labelled specimen will have you scratching your head in trying to find out what it is or where it is really from! Working with old collections and labels it is possible to encounter changes in mineral names via...
  • Blog entry
    Nearly 3 years ago now, we checked out and invested in "spin" technology for capturing 360 degree presentation of minerals. The concept is simple, you set your mineral centre on a turntable and then control the movement of the turntable with your camera...
  • Blog entry
    Munich Show is coming up in a week's time. We are looking forward to being there as a guest of/helping with Christian Rewitzer in Hall A6.551 - the usual place. We will be there from Wednesday 28th October to close time on 31st October. Buyers,...
  • Blog entry
    In the last month we have enlisted the support of 2 new dealers, both husband and wife teams based in South Africa. First we have Pierre and Riana Joubert of Namibian Brandberg Crystals and second we have Francois and Lorriane Retief of South Sky...
  • Blog entry
    Drakewalls House is an unassuming white painted Victorian house on the edge of Gunnislake, Cornwall. Here it is today currently being used as a guest house in the beautiful Tamar Valley; however to many mineral collectors this house will be remembered as...
  • Blog entry
    As promised I took some pictures of the displays within the Mine to Mine Exhibition. If you are at Munich it is really worth going to see this. This is not all the cases, or all the minerals within the cases shown, but hopefully gives and appreciation of...
  • Blog entry
    Jill Brunner's listing of anglesite with galena inclusion from Tsumeb has just chalked up item #630000, or 130,000 items added to the e-Rocks database since we renumbered the inventory in October 2015. Previously we reported item #620000 was added on 31...
  • Blog entry
    It was in August last year that we reported the our page on Facebook had reached 8,000 likes, well now we have risen to the 10,000 mark. We continue to use our page to provide our Facebook followers a daily snapshot of the e-Rocks site new listings,...
  • Blog entry
    Hot off the press, well not quite, it is time to update your labels and collection databases, the mineral eztite has been redefined; actually to quite a different structure to the original determination. Redefined by IMA in 2018 (proposal 18-A) the new...
  • Blog entry
    Originally described by Dr Peter Elliott (et al) a mineralogy researcher from the University of Adelaide after detailed analysis of a sample given to him by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Putnisite was was approved by...
  • 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 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
    In the world of minerals different localities can often be distinguished by variations in morphology and or associations; for example it is comparatively easy to determine that a dioptase specimen was collected in Tsumeb over say Kaokoveld or Altyn. I...
  • Blog entry
    Earlier this month I was introduced to a small selection of specimens of talc on dolomite from Portreath Beach on the Lizard, Cornwall. These came to prominence in the Mineralogical Record Show Report for Ste Marie 2017, written up as quote. "In one of...
  • 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
    Post Munich and another 3 new minerals are photographed and listed into our database. This latest group are all offered by Italian specialist Marzio Mamberti of New Brand Minerals and with excellent background information. Here are the three minerals,...
  • Blog entry
    As we announced a few weeks ago the Russell Society has been tendering for a purchaser for the Norman Cogger collection. The process has now been completed and we are pleased to announce that we, TVM are the successful bidders. Having evaluated the...
  • 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 project to open a pit to extract tungsten at Hemerdon has been going for a few years, but now it has entered into production with the first concentrate being produced. As reported by the Plymouth Herald "it represents another major milestone in the...
  • Blog entry
    Here we are at the 2017 Bakewell Show, and what a day it has been. Having stayed overnight in town last night we started the day early in the main "gymnasium" hall and straight into the business of looking at minerals and meeting people. The Main Hall...
  • Blog entry
    Helga Palmer and Gordon Fielder recently unearthed this copper token dated 1788 from the Parys Mountain Copper Mining Company at West Basset in Cornwall. By eighteenth century standards this little token had traveled a long way from home, but with a...
  • 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
      Today 30 December is the last day of auctions for e-Rocks in 2017, and quite a year it has been both on and off "the pitch".  The Piatek Minerals auction closing at 23:40 tonight will be the final and 1839th auction during 2017; a year when we have...
  • Blog entry
    Whilst doing some tidying on the website I came across the mineral postite recently listed. I needed to check out the composition the relation to other minerals. It was not long before I was looking into the range of minerals containing the decavanadate...
  • 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
    The Shinkolobwe radium mine, 1922. The Belgian mining engineer above is sitting on a 7 ton boulder of pitchblende. An immense quantity of gamma-rays is irradiating his gonads. Safety equipment, a tie and a pith helmet. Unknowable to to the engineer,...