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  • Blog entry
    Art Deco walnut display cabinet, circa 1930    Introduction Most people in tuned into the news will be aware of the media splash behind the launch of the new Apple iphone X (and 8) the other day. It has been widely publicised that the X phone was to...
  • 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...
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    In the current YourSystemmaticCollection (YSC) auction closing tonight, as well as the usual range of rare minerals there is another mineral first seen here on e-Rocks. George was talking with Roberto Bracco of YSC at Munich and told us to look out for...
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    These pictures posted on Facebook by Vasilis Stergiou Losanda feature the diversity of colour and form of smithsonite from the mines of Lavrion in Greece. Some really nice specimens and colour on view, looking particularly brilliant in the Greek Sunshine...
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    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...
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    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...
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    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...
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    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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    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...
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    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...
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    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...
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    Steverustite is a secondary mineral of copper and lead with an interesting and rarely occuring (in nature) thiosulphate anion (S2O3) within its structure. Named after UK mineralogist and collector Steve Rust the mineral was first discovered at the...
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    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...
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    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...
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    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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    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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    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...
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    It has been very quiet on the blog front for a while, there has been a reason for this which will be explained at a later stage; but we are back with some great news (for a change). e-Rocks seller Jason Smith, better known as Bucket of Holes Minerals,...
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    During the last week in February we made contact with Nottinghamshire based collector Alan Peckover; he was looking for a buyer for his collection of minerals. After some discussion and a visit to see the collection a sale was agreed, and pick up date...
  • Blog entry
    George flagged a mineral listing to me last night, an example of kämmererite from Mont Haïto in Togo. Very rarely do we have to add a new country to our geographical database, but until now we had seen nothing listed from this smaller country in Africa....
  • 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
    Late to bed and up with the lark, is the usual routine at Munich Shows and today was no different. Our Hotel breakfast was excellent, very unhealthy and would set anyone up for the day. A quick ride on the U-bahn and we were back in the Halls and set up...
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    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...
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    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
    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
    Bernissart Show is an annual event in Hainaut region of Belgium. The 28th show was held this weekend (29-30 August) Here are some photos of the show and a link to the original write up posted by Belgian collector Max Tom on his excellent blog site (in...
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    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...
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    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
    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....
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    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...
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    Yesterday George was off at a stag party so I was left in charge of setting up the new auctions beginning on the day. One of the sub tasks required is to cross check and ensure that any new localities added to the database are cross checked online and...
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    A little self indulgence here; not only is liroconite one of the "holy grail" UK minerals, it is one of my favourites! This specimen listed by Carsten is small but exhibits excellent crystals, and is beautifully photographed! Check out the other photos...
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    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...
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    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...
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    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...
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    A couple of weeks ago we were contacted by a collector who had stopped collecting and was interested in moving his specimens on. After completing a purchase last week and having been away in Bakewell all weekend, today was the day we had arranged to pick...
  • Blog entry
    If you’ve tried to hunt for minerals using a metal detector, you are familiar with the challenges. Especially if you are looking for, say, silver at an abandoned mine where all of the structures have been leveled to the ground. Trash is everywhere. Old...
  • Blog entry
      My friend Paul and I recently went to The Weardale Mineral Show at St. Johns Chapel, a small village 7 miles west of Stanhope, here in the North East of England. I primarily went there to meet up with e-Rocks boss Mark. Paul went there because I don't...
  • 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
    For those who regularly use our Search feature to find minerals listed on e-Rocks, we have just launched a new feature to help get to the latest items. We have created a new filter in your relevant search results that will allow you to view any minerals...
  • Blog entry
    Here I am back in the office on a wet and dull Monday morning after the 2018 Bakewell Show. Having spent a “full on” weekend in the bosom of the UK mineral collecting scene I am feeling a little bit tired. As usual George and I drove up to Bakewell from...
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    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
    During September we undertook the appraisal and purchase of Peter Uuerpmann's collection located in Guadamar Del Segura near Alicante, Spain. As the collection was in secure storage there were some challenges in getting access and seeing the minerals,...
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    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...
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    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
    We recently uncovered a specimen of botroidal marcasite and siderite from Hector Mine near Ibbenbüren in Münsterland (North-West Germany). The specimen itself is typical of the "schalen" or shell type ore formations distributed across this area famous...
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    In terms of desirability, the specimens collected by NASA in ‘69 would be hard to beat. Their superb provenance is excellently documented. They are holotypes of three minerals new to science, and brave men risked their lives to collect them. There were...
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    At the beginning of last week I posted the above picture of Realgar and Native Arsenic on my Facebook page with the caption "Toxic red stuff for Monday". Beautiful red crystals of realgar against a black and white background do look great in detail. My...
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    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
    Within Peter Uerpmann's collection of European minerals we came across quite a large comparatively heavy specimen (110g) of slaggy matrix filled with bright metallic octahedrons of silver to 1mm stacked in pagoda-like parallel groups, labelled from ...
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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...
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    Hi all! There is a new photo contest on the way, the second Mineral Photo Contest MinerElx is open for entries until 30th of November. This year there are two categories: macro photos and micromount photos. No age limit and every participant can submit...
  • 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
    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...
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    As previously mentioned yesterday's show was dedicated to the memory of Paul Lowe who had organised the show since 1993. It was great to see so many people there. Paul's children Matt and Emma had arranged some photo tributes to Paul as well as being on...
  • Blog entry
    Along with everything else that is going on we have been doing some background work on some phosphate minerals spurred on by a request by seller Modris Baum (LMB Minerals) and something he had discovered on a Brazilian hureaulite specimen. Modris has...
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    Late in July George & I had the good fortune to travel up to Weardale to attend the Weardale Mineral Show in St Johns Chapel. We had a fantastic time and a big thumbs up must go to Enrico Rinaldi for doing all the organisation and staging of the...
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    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
      As we have passed Thanksgiving and now moving into the Christmas festive period, you might want to indulge yourself in a box of chocolates to go along with the celebrations? If so you might be interested in this listing from Norbert Stotzel starting...
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    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...
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    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...
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      Poudretteite, pronounced “poo-dret-tay-ite” is a rare borosilicate mineral first discovered in the 1960s but not formally recognised as a mineral until 1986 (IMA1986-028). Named after the Poudrette family, original owners of the Poudrette Quarry where...
  • Blog entry
    Last month we blogged about the acquisition of an important Wheal Maudlin "Horsetooth" siderite specimen from an unspecified lot of minerals at an auction in North Yorkshire. Siderite - Wheal Maudlin, Lanlivery, Cornwall The provenance of the piece has...
  • 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
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    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
    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...
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    As many will already know we maintain a daily blog of new listings, auctions closing and photography over on the e-Rocks Facebook page. Over the last 18 months we have built quite a following and it is thanks to our Sellers, and Visitors that we've...
  • 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.
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    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...
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    We got up early this morning and traveled to Heathrow, and then on to Munich, arriving at 15:00 local time. Although the show officially opens on Friday and many dealers have not arrived yet, there is already so much to see and take in; it feels as if...
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      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...
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    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...
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    Above, .539 grams of native gold panned from the Suisgill Burn. The magnificent Hornsby Nugget, top left, naturally folded, weighs 27 milligrams. In 1977 I drove my Dad's Mazda way up north. To the site of the Great Scottish Gold Rush of 1869. I camped...
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    Long time e-Rocks seller Gábor Koller has hit the news recently in his native Hungary! Congratulations to Gábor and his discovery and subsequent IMA approval/publishing of the new mineral rudabányaite. Gábor self collected the then unknown specimens 17...
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    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...
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    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...
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    Apart from EDS analysis at a charge of 15€/sample, we now offer our e-rocks customers, who buy more than ten specimens per month, five analysis for free per year. For more information have a look at: http://www.mineralanalytik.de/en/energydispersive-...
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    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...
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    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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    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
    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...
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    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
    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,...
  • Blog entry
    Above, a 1.58 gram nugget of gold, resembling a lizard-like creature, with adherent quartz matrix, Zwedru, Liberia. In the early 1980's a couple of good mates of mine were living in Monrovia, Liberia. While there, Linda & Simon visited an artisanal...
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    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...
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    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....
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    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...
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    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....
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    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...
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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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    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...
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    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...
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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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    Analytical investigations of the germanite and renierite associated secondary minerals have lead to the discoveries of many unique minerals eg. otjisumeite, bartelkeite, stottite from the Tsumeb Mine, Otavi Highlands, Namibia in the past decades. There...
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    Recently I obtained a specimen from Tsumeb without a name. It underwent elemental analysis and turned out to be beudantite. This case shows that elemental analysis can be very useful. Even if the precision is limited, in the most cases EDS allows to...
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    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...
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    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...
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    Hi all, as the new site is online now and a lot to explore, i just want to give thumbs up for the e-rocks crew. Quite a task to manage all and fix the (inevitable) bugs which are quite usual if a system is relaunched or set up new. I am looking forward...
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      Thomas Edison had a superb mineral collection. He bought it in 1890 for $8000 (in today’s real money £185k).  It was the personal collection of the notable self-taught mineralogist, gemmologist & Vice President of Tiffany & Co, George...
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    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...