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  • Blog entry
    Liroconite is just one of those minerals that attracts attention; it is rare, colourful and good specimens usually only found in old collections. When a piece is listed on e-Rocks we usually get excited and this one is definitely no exception. We saw...
  • 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 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 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
    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
    Saturday morning, September 2014, we were up bright and early and on the road to Fernleigh, Ontario. Unless you are a mineral collector, you likely will not have heard of the it. We were looking for a kyanite and staurolite occurrence. Actually, I was...
  • Blog entry
    I was asking Colleen Thomson about the latest from the Greenlaws project at the last Oxford show - she did say that an announcement was imminent and here it is, courtesy of Peter Ward on their Facebook page. "Hi everyone... We are delighted to announce...
  • 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
    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
    Always fun to see some good collecting going on, this time USA style with some "big" results. Georgia based digger Jason Barrett posted these photos of the results of a joint dig a few months ago with Brandon Coleman, Larry Michon, Michael Lieb, Gina...
  • Blog entry
    Well not really, but as things have quietened down a bit in the week since launch it seemed a good opportunity to display a few minerals myself. The barite samples are placed in a new feature page for single item listings - Open Market. Open Market can...
  • Blog entry
    We didn't quite get to 50000 uploaded items during the first year of the "new" e-Rocks website, but we were very close! Here we are 3 days later and courtesy of Volker Betz with a whitlockite specimen from Tip Top Mine, South Dakota, USA we crossed the...
  • Blog entry
    13th & 14th August 2016 is a date for all UK based collectors to add to your diaries.... ........there is a new show being added to the UK mineral show circuit. Derbyshire based Don Edwards in conjunction with Tennants Auctioneers are launching the...
  • Blog entry
    We just put this specimen of realgar and quartz out onto the website for an upcoming auction. Recovered in circa 2000 just before the "big find" of realgar at Baia Sprie, this specimen displays wonderful contrast between the white and greys of the...
  • Blog entry
    After being on the road all last week it was good to have something nice come to us for a change. Many UK dealers/collectors will know Steve Buckland as a keen fluorite collector, who has specialised in mostly North of England material over the past...
  • 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
    Fom the last Oxford Show. UK Collector and Dealer Peter Briscoe has just moved house, and has still to finish unpacking boxes from his previous move - a familiar story! As part of this a box of superb boracite specimens he collected around 20 years ago...
  • 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
    Jasun and Mandy McAvoy, AKA Mineralman999 have been recently showing off this fine and historic gem topaz crystal. The crystal itself is a well terminated gem specimen from Murzinka, Ekaterinburg, Middle Urals, Russia and at 3.1cm x 2.7cm x 2.5cm it is...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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
    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
    For those of you who check out my personal timeline on Facebook you will already be aware that I keep this fed with a steady stream of mineral photographs and sometimes (not so) witty captions! I just do this for a bit of entertainment and interaction as...
  • Blog entry
    Story covered by BBC local news for Derbyshire. I am not sure if this is the same "discovery" made a few years back or something new. Certainly it looks a good deposit of usable Blue John, brilliant news for the Blue John fraternity and crafts people....
  • 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
      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
    Here we are back in Bakewell for the 15th consecutive year. By comparison with others a short innings but one of the constants throughout the life and times of TVM.  George and I celebrated with a Chinese meal in the restaurant that used to be an Indian...
  • 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
    Quite often minerals appear online from places that one is never likely to visit, some places like Tsumeb or Trepca are well photographed and beautiful, some of course ugly. One place I have never visualised is the Tatra mountains spanning Poland and...
  • Blog entry
    I am sure regular visitors to e-Rocks will remember a few "charity" auctions posted by Roger Lang, Montanpark we ran some months back. These auctions were run by Roger to raise funds for LED display lighting for his local Mineral Museum at Imsbach,...
  • Blog entry
    This chance discovery in the TVM shed turned out to be very interesting indeed. The specimen itself comprises very rich crystalline cinnabar in quartz matrix, coming to us from old collection material from Germany. Labelled simply as Grube Sizma, b....
  • Blog entry
    It was down to Carsten to wrap up August 2015, and boy did he find something a bit unusual! Brunogeierite is an insanely rare iron germanate found only (so far) in a few places, plus Tsumeb. The crystal habit is black octahedral crystals. For a Tsumeb...
  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    This unusual specimen featured in my Christmas auction in 2013/2014. Smithsonite Psm Calcite. Whatley Quarry, Somerset, UK. Size: H:12.7cm x W:9.4cm x D:6.6cm Largest Crystal: 2cm
  • Blog entry
    Here is a little spotlight on this rare pink manganese beryllium phosphate mineral. First discovered at Viitaniemi Pegmatite in Finland and still hard to spell, this brightly coloured mineral produces fine crystallised specimens from Pakistan, (and...
  • Blog entry
    Salvatore Natalizia is continuing with the sale of his mineral collection today with another 107 items closing tonight. Some really excellent and quite large classic specimens are on offer - see photo gallery below, or follow the link to the auction....
  • 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
    Frequently pointed out by kind visitors are the typos in the texts I produce - as always my thanks for the assistance with this! This time this is not a typo of fluorite but an interesting specimen of a mineral variety I had not looked into before. This...
  • Blog entry
    The Birmingham Auction house Fellows recently conducted an auction of some 257 lots of worked Blue John. The group photo must almost be without precedent! The catalogue contained just about every type of object that has ever been fashioned from Blue John...
  • 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
    Back in 1996 I was lucky enough to be involved in a little digging project on a dump near the main shaft at Boltsburn mine. The dig did not generate very much in the way of specimen quality material, though there were some signs of potential, however we...
  • Blog entry
    Here we are enjoying a fairly non mineralogical week away in Harlech, Wales. This seagull apparently comes with the rental, certainly knows when the meal times are, and if not on time will tap at the window. As seagulls go, he is very placid.
  • 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
    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
    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
    Since we launched the new e-Rocks in September 2015 we have been busy behind the scenes working on small revisions and tweaks, plus of course doing all the other work in running the show. Today we have just upgraded the site to unleash a whole lot of new...
  • 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
    If you don't already know about it, here is a website for anyone who is interested in old mining history, especially related to the western states of the USA. The website contains a huge and comprehensive database of mining localities, mining information...
  • Blog entry
    Reading something on Facebook by Ru Smith reminded me of this story about the demise of one of Cleveland's (now Yorkshire) more prominent land marks. The hill was originally a "Sugar Loaf", outlying the North Yorkshire Moors. The geology is sandstone...
  • Blog entry
    George pulled this out of a box in the warehouse and challenged me to make a decent spin of this. Black & white minerals are proving quite hard to photograph in the new box, this one has lots tiny detail and depth of field. Aegirine - Mount Malosa,...
  • Blog entry
    Last week I took a few days out to visit some favourite old haunts up in Weardale. I have always loved the place and the mining and mineral heritage have created an enduring strange feeling of home from home when ever I visit. The central purpose of my...
  • Blog entry
    Gwennap Pit started out as a sharp indentation in the landscape caused by mining subsidence in the mid C18th. It gained a reputation as an outdoor "church" when John Welsey preached there no less than 18 times between 1762 and 1789. After Wesley's death...
  • Blog entry
    George & I took a morning out from website work to visit the third, Oxford show for 2015. The Oxford shows are run by Paul Lowe and have for the last years provided regular a venue for sellers and collectors in the UK. A small venue and a small show...
  • 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...
  • 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
    On 12th August 2005 we relocated family and business to what we affectionately call Thames Valley Towers in Twyford, Reading. I thought it would be fun to reproduce and share our original posting covering the event, funny how 10 years later though not...
  • 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
    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
    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
    Here is an old book, with a wonderful fantasy cover. It would be hard not to pick up this combination of graphics and illustrations and look inside. Schubert's Natural History of the mineral kingdom for school and home dates to the late 1880s and was...
  • Blog entry
    September 3rd 2015 was the day that we changed over the e-Rocks website (above) to the current site you see today. It was a very long day and but we got through and have not really looked back since! All in all it has been quite a year on e-Rocks, with...
  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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 nice photograph of our home for 2 nights over the Bakewell Show weekend. This has been our regular stop over for 14 years - now equipped with WiFi we will be online answering emails etc and hopefully adding some news from the show. Looking forward to a...
  • Blog entry
    One of the key components of the new e-Rocks is our name checker. Basically our software checks a mineral label/title and works out what minerals are present and sorts out any odd spellings or character differences. It does some other clever things like...
  • 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....
  • Blog entry
    To start 2016 off we have introduced a translation feature for e-Rocks. This should be easy to use and hopefully cater for most users who's first language isn't English. The translator applies to all pages, and when operational has a "Show Original"...
  • Blog entry
    This wulfenite specimen was news at Ste Marie Show in 2005, it was part of small find brought to the show by Guangha (George) Liu. The locality was given as Mian Ning Mine in Sichuan, China. At the time there was a lot of discussion, but the find was...
  • Blog entry
    Abstract This article presents my basic workflow for finding, exploring and recording new localities. It touches on a number of novel, arguably groundbreaking, technologies that greatly enhance the capabilities of the average mineral collector such as...
  • Blog entry
    Great news from Thames Valley Minerals; we have just completed the acquisition of the final suites of specimens in the Warren Taylor mineral collection. Warren (and the Taylor family) have achieved recent fame as the people behind the Rainbow of Africa...
  • Blog entry
    We have just corrected a glitch in one of our email servers. The glitch had resulted in a backlog of unsent messages. I have set the server to send these out now, apologies if some of the messages are out of date. Current invoices will be included in...
  • Blog entry
    We came across this this specimen of bright pine green chalcosiderite with goethite in a box yesterday. Very dirty, but with its label in the box. The specimen has cleaned and trimmed well to reveal its interest. Chalcosiderite was first noted as coming...
  • 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
    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
    Apart from EDS analysis at a charge of 15€/sample, we now offer our e-rocks customers, who buy more than five specimens per month, five analysis for free per year. For more information have a look at: http://www.mineralanalytik.de/en/energydispersive-...
  • 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
    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 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Congratulations to Chris Spiromitros of Greekrocks - he has just updated/upgraded his website. He is also the first Dealer to put his e-Rocks auctions on his website using our Page App.
  • Blog entry
    We have been referring  to e-Rocks as a website, this is true but actually it is 5 websites, each with its own job and connections to other websites and media outside. The picture shows our internal structure and how everything is wired together so that...
  • 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,...
  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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...