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....
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...
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...
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...
Every alpine collector's dream (and most other people too) is to find the perfect pocket.
Austrian Strahler Peter Eberhard has been busy on the Alps at Habachtal.
Earlier this month Peter was investigating a previously worked opening high up in the...
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...
Back in May we were pleased to announce that the e-Rocks Facebook page had reached 6,000 likes, well now we have reached the 8,000 mark.
Our page presents a daily blog of new listings, auctions closing and photography and also a huge gallery of daily...
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...
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...
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...
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...
e-Rocks seller and well traveled field collector Tasos Tsinidis from Greece, has some wonderful minerals and stories to tell about his exploits.
He is knowledge of all things mineralogical and Greek is immense, he also is excellent at preparing and...
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...
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...
Marc Allen Fleischer owner of the Fleischer Museum has been showing of this interesting specimen from Tsumeb.
One of the main directions of the Fleischer collection is "Rough and Cut" where a mineral is displayed side by side as natural mineral with a...
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...
Congratulations to long standing customer of e-Rocks, Andy Christy for the naming of new mineral "andychristyite" after his good self.
Andy joins an ever growing list of sellers, customers and visitors to our site to which this honour has been bestowed....
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...
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...
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!
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...
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,...
Always good to see people help each other out, as promoted by e-Rocks seller Carsten Slotta (MinTreasure) today.
Joy Desor is an excellent photographer and also a seller here, took these great shots for Carsten of his specimens.
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"...
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.
We are delighted to announce...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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....
I was in our archive TVM site researching something and chanced upon this blog entry from 13 years ago.
Although not quite our first the content is quite interesting and certainly gives some insight into way back then, and how numbers have expanded...
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...
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....
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...
It is approaching the second anniversary of George joining the e-Rocks team; so after a record 24 consecutive "Employee of the Month" awards we thought it time to reward him with a nice trip to Spain.
The upshot to this will be that we are going to be...
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...
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...
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...
Belgian collector Jean Dehaye has recently been showing pictures of his recently collected specimen from Beez, Naumur, Belgium.
A little over 2cm across comprising a hollow fossil cast with calcified internal ribs covered with micro honey coloured...
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...
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...
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
Heights Quarry, County Durham, United Kingdom
Miniature (4.5-7 cm)
Size: H:4.8cm x W:4.8cm x D:4....
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...
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...
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
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...
Calamaite is the third natural Ti dominant sulfate mineral known yet. Russian scientists recognized this phase, occuring as filigrane colourless sprays, while doing some analytical investigations in a matrix of coquimbite / römerite. Type locality is...
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...
e-Rocks seller and field collector Tasos Tsinidis has recently been collecting these fine sanidine specimens at the locality, Kakourou Peak, Promachoi, Pella Prefecture, Central Macedonia, Greece.
Tasos also kindly posted these photos of the collecting...
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!
Former e-Rocks seller and gemstone dealer from downunder, Klaus Brucksch has just been showing off some grizzly remains trapped in amber.
These amber specimens come from Myanmar and the creatures are a bit different to the flies ants and other insects we...
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....
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...
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...
I have been interested in and collected Romanian minerals since 1975, I don't recall seeing a quartz crystal in section before.
This novelty specimen of quartz from Herja Romania shows some interesting internal features.
A crystal section cut and...
US collector Breck P Kent recently showed of his wonderful specimen of calcite from Stank Mine in the (then Lancashire) part of iron mining area of Cumbria, North West England.
Stank Mine is famous for its scalenohedral calcite, often with characteristic...
We get to hear anecdotal stories about Grandad's collection getting thrown in a the landfill, or even more substantively a part of the Camborne School of Mines inventory going in a skip a few years back
It is alarming to see to see this is continuing to...
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...
Long time friend and e-Rocks seller Ikram Muhammad has been a source of many interesting and unusual minerals from Pakistan (and Afghanistan) over the years.
He has been involved with the correct identification of minerals and localities both here and on...
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...
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...
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...
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.
Here are a group of Pentire Glaze pyromorphite crystals just sold by Mike Merry of Cornwall & Devon Minerals.
Recently collected and by no means tiny these crystals are typically 1cm tall.
Mike has done a super job with the photography and the...
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...
Our technical department at e-Rocks (AKA my wife and George) have been on at me for some time to get a decent mobile phone as I am usually hard to track down when offline.
Coupled with this we have a mobile version of the cataloguing/inventory system...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Whilst sorting through some Tsumeb minerals recently we came across this label, with the dealer information cut off.
All we had to go on was the hand writing and a "crossed hammers" symbol on the left.
With a little help and research we have traced this...
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...
e-Rocks now has real time bidding and status updates; these change and prompt you automatically without refreshing your browser etc
In addition to this we have just added our network manager to support this real time information to your device.
Here is a "lucky shot" of small inclusions of pyrite floating within a clear crystal of fluorite from Heights Quarry, Weardale.
The crystal is 13mm across and was spotted by George at Bakewell last weekend. (click to enlarge)
Below might be the actual...
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...
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...
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...
I collected the fluorite specimen above back in April 1996.
I remember it well from the events of the day before!
In those days I used to travel up from the South of England for weekend mooching trips in and around Weardale, usually arriving at the...
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...
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...
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.
Germanium (Ge) & gallium (Ga) are elements which are essential in our todays life.
In the semiconductor industry Ga is used for InGaAs diodes, which have a very good sensitivity in...
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...
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...
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...
Rupert Harrison recently posted these pictures of Ed Retallack, retired quarry manager for Dean Quarry, St Keverne, Lizard, Cornwall.
It features Ed holding his best collected specimen with the locality in the distance behind him.
To me, another...
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.
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-...
El Teniente mine is reportedly the largest underground copper mine in the world with some 3000km of tunnels and 1500km.
The mine started in the the 1820s and named from Braden mine from 1904 until it was changed to El Teniente mine in 1973.