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  • 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
    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
    The other day we added the new mineral wildenauerite to the database. This phosphate mineral with the formula: Zn(Fe3+,Mn2+)2MnFe3+(PO4)3(OH)3(H2O)6·2H2O was approved pending being published by the IMA in August/September 2017. Isostructural with new...
  • 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
    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
    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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    ....and alkali mineral collectors. We have just purchased a small collection specialising in these minerals from UK collector Ben Gibson. The collection also contains a small suite from Cornwall, plus interlopers from other places like USA, Norway, India...
  • 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
    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...
  • 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
    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
    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...
  • 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
    A few weeks ago we were in the Warehouse/shed and found this specimen in a box at the back. Purchased on a daytrip to Antwerp Show from TV Towers back in 2002. Those were the days when I had more energy!
  • Blog entry
    Love this photo posted by Megan Scott showing behind the scenes with e-Rocks seller Jason Smith, AKA Bucket of Holes Minerals. Jason has been active on e-Rocks now since December 2012 and has been providing a super range of rare and interesting minerals...
  • 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 ...
  • Blog entry
    Of course earthquakes are not funny, but this report on Facebook did make me laugh....thanks to my Facebook friend Matt Houston for the report. Matt Houston - "Just had an earth quake here. 9.43" Other - "That's a very strong earthquake - Do you think we...
  • Blog entry
    A quick glance at this piece and it looks like a good pink cobaltoan smithsonite specimen from Tsumeb, but when you check more closely the habit and the matrix is very different; this is because it has originated from Berg Aukus! Quite a revelation as...
  • 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
    Life at TVM isn't all about swaning off to shows, buying minerals or photographing/describing things for our weekly lists. All this activity leads to one thing: an untidy stock room. Usually we can survive for a few months before needing to tidy up. For...
  • Blog entry
    Looking forward to next Saturday when it is Bakewell time once more! For us Bakewell show each year is a must and George and I will be making the trip again this year. We hope to see many of our UK based collector friends there and will be sharing some...
  • 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
    A few days ago an anonymous user from Germany made e-Rocks history by being the 10,000th registered user to sign up to our site. As ever, we would like to thank "anonymous" and all our growing ranks of visitors both old and new for checking in and making...
  • 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
    We now have new servers with much more processing, storage, security and up-to-date software. As we said previously hopefully you will not notice anything different - a few page caches may need to rebuild etc. Please let us know if you are seeing any...
  • Blog entry
    Merry Christmas to all! The mineral baubles decorating the above tree are all from the same unusual American mine. The Christmas of 1902 was a corker for George B. Chittenden of Gila County, below (that's a contented smirk he's got) - But not so, the...
  • 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
    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
    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
    Terlingua 1936 The Terlingua quicksilver district is a narrow, east-west area about 20 miles long, in the southern part of the Big Bend region of southwestern Texas. The cinnabar deposit was discovered by Comanche Native Americans, who used it for war-...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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
    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...
  • 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
    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
    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
    Something we do not see very often (maybe twice a year), the administrator's "auction items closing panel" for the next 24 hours is blank! This means we don't have any auctions closing on Christmas Day, but we will be back on Boxing Day with a full...
  • 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
    This old label and specimen came to light the other day when we were moving some boxes around in the TVM store room. Mineralhaus Droop was based in Dresden and this label has an uncertain age but likely to date from later in the period of 1905 -1930s....
  • Blog entry
    Back in February 2016 we created a short blog "Pull Your Fingerite" about a BBC article (and others) covering a paper by Dr Robert Hazen, of the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, and Prof Jesse Ausubel of The Rockefeller University, in New York...
  • 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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    A rather interesting little gold nugget, found using a metal detector at Dunolly, Central Goldfields Shire, Victoria, Australia. In 1856 Dunolly was the site of one of the largest gold rushes that Victoria, Australia has ever witnessed, with as many as...
  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    Ahead of our trip to Munich we have just installed another new feature for all users of e-Rocks and Facebook. Within the e-Rocks Facebook page there are now 5 new page tabs with Apps that let you do the following. e-Rocks Auctions look up and open...
  • 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
    For those who don't already know I have been an avid collector of antique bottles for nearly as long as I have been interested in minerals. Time permitting I like to keep my interests alive by visiting the various "bottle shows" that run here in the UK...
  • Blog entry
    Carsten Slotta, of Mineral Treasure has this specimen of fluorite currently listed on e-Rocks. From the lesser known Black Forest locality of Igelschlatt Mine, Waldshut the piece is covered in amazingly perfect hexakis-octahedral crystals. (It should be...
  • 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
    Searching for radioactive minerals is a piece of cake compared to metal detecting. If you get a signal, you’ve got a target. None of this business of uncovering nails or shotgun casings, or the end of your steel-toed boot. Still, using a mid-century...
  • Blog entry
    One more yellow sphalerite, this one from Spain, 18+ct "Markoh-i-noor" cut, best choice to boost the dispersion! Sphalerite Cut & Photo by Egor Gavrilenko
  • Blog entry
    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
    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
    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
    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...
  • 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
    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
    On our way home, we recently encountered an unusual - for mineral collectors - scenery: a snow-covered Saint Marie-aux-Mines! With these pictures Plinius Earth Treasures wishes all its e-rocks friends a Happy 2018 full of health, joy and new specimens....
  • 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
    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
    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...
  • 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
    Hi All, We have fixed the problem with accessing e-Rocks yesterday. The rescheduled end times for yesterday's auctions are now updated. Note, these auctions will close across today and tomorrow along with the programme listings with altered times. Please...
  • 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
    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
    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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    I was recently offered this "Elementary Collection of 100 Minerals Fossils & Shells". The collection was originally supplied by Bryce M Wright, then of 90 Gt Russell Street, London. The mahogany box with two trays is in fantastic condition with...
  • 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...
  • 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
      In the depths of Peter Uerpmann's collection we came across a block of massive crystalline halite - rock salt. The locality is given as Asse II, probably picked up during his time as a worker in the German Nuclear industry. Asse (Shaft) II is...
  • Blog entry
    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,...
  • Blog entry
    At this time on Thursday 3rd September 2015 we were busy finishing the change over from the old e-Rocks site to the new. Later that evening the first sold specimen, CMM220188 Pentagonite from India hit the order table. Since that time another 103380...
  • 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
    Here is another odd mineral featured in Armin Scholer's current auction. Kaiyuhite was first proposed as a new mineral back in the 1980s by young mining geologist Tony Dunn, who had noticed and collected this silver-grey metallic material whilst...
  • 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
    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
    The Hampshire Mineral & Fossil show is on Saturday 5th September at its usual venue in Lyndhurst Community Centre. Time: 10:00am - 16:30pm. The Hampshire show although small is always well attended and usually has some nice things to see, with...
  • 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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    Six o'clock tonight was the end of our last full day at Munich 2016. We are back tomorrow but will be leaving early to travel back to the UK. Some great memories of the show this year but only just enough time for meeting and speaking to everyone we...
  • Blog entry
    I spotted our third ever specimen of santanaite go under the virtual gavel the other day and in my tiny brain the name resolved to "santanaite, named for Carlos Santana legendary Mexican guitarist"! Of course santanaite is named for its type and only...
  • Blog entry
    We got our new xray diffractometer this week. It will come with a two dimensional detector which enables out of plane bragg peak measurement. This allows ultra fast measurements or extremely low concentrations of mineral samples. In 2018 we will offer a...
  • Blog entry
    It is January 1st 2018 and welcome back to a new year of minerals and other things going on, on e-Rocks. I promised Carsten last week to make sure there was a "liroconite alert" in place for his auction closing tonight. A fitting start to the New Year...
  • 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
    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
    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
    The La Fossa crater on the Aeolean Island of Vulcano has spectacular fumaroles. This one is venting gas at around 400°C, surrounded by an aureole of sublimates; white salammoniac and 4 allotropes (or polymorphs) of sulphur - α-sulphur, or orthorhombic...
  • 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
    As Facebook does, this fantastic specimen photo posted by Val Collins in May 2012 appeared in my timeline today. Not many of these specimens of cerussite with pyromorphite from Daoping Mine appeared, this must be one of the best examples. Thanks to...
  • Blog entry
    Having worked with Madagascan minerals over a number of years, grandidierite has always been a interesting and hard to get hold of mineral. The story went that there were a few localities close to each other in the south of Madagascar near Fort Dauphin;...
  • Blog entry
    Back in 2007 when we began cataloguing Warren Taylor's Tsumeb minerals we came across a real stand out rock. It was oddly labelled as "Quartz Psm Azurite" but was obviously gypsum and appeared to have formed around something round like a pipe. Warren...
  • Blog entry
    10 years ago in 2007 we were visited by Somerset based collector Colin Palk. Colin's specific interests were minerals from Scotland, aided and abetted by his regional work in Scotland for the BBC. Subsequently Colin moved his collection on, it arriving...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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
    I know there are a few collectors of unusual pseuodomorphs out there who might be interested in this. I spotted this specimen chenevixite posted by Carsten Slotta; from the photographs you can see an array of quite well defined scorodite terminations (...