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.
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...
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...
Jill Brunner's listing of anglesite with galena inclusion from Tsumeb has just chalked up item #630000, or 130,000 items added to the e-Rocks database since we renumbered the inventory in October 2015.
Previously we reported item #620000 was added on 31...
Sapphire - September's Birthstone
Sapphire - Zazafotsy, Ihosy, Madagascar - 16mm, sold in September 2018
We have not written a "numbers" blog for nearly a year; we figure most people are here for the minerals but sometimes it might help to find out...
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...
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...
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...
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....
Yesterday our friend Aamir Shah came calling as he has been doing since 2007.
We first met Aamir in the car park at Bakewell Show in October 2006 and ever since he has been a regular visitor to TV Towers 3 or 4 times a year.
Aamir spends 2-3 months in...
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...
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...
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...
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...
This week we are planning to make some upgrades to e-Rocks.
Everything will be going on behind the scenes.
There maybe a few occasions you will find a page to slow to load or will need a "refresh" for this to complete as the new software synchronises...
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...
Today was the first ever Leyburn show up there in the Yorkshire Dales.
Hosted by Tennant's Auctioneers there was an auction of minerals alongside the show at their fantastic premises.
In the picture is one of the lots as described in the catalogue;
Or maybe a better question "What did Monty Python ever do for us?" - well they gave us the wonderful quote "What did the Romans..." to introduce any article about Roman civilisation or technology!
Seller Baltasar Sanchez from Spain has been kind enough...
Today we have begun the deployment of many new changes to e-Rocks.
We are working behind the scenes to introduce many new features for both desktop and mobile users of our site, and today’s upgrade represents the first stage along the way, primarily for...
For most of last week George, Frank and I have been on a European road trip.
We have recently bought a very large collection and went over to check it out.
Because we have been away some of our shipping has been delayed, but George will be catching up...
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....
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...
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...
Late last year we reported on a new find of very fine large specimens of blödite & kröhnkite from Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Mejillones, Antofagasta Region, Chile.
This locality is an old open cast working for the extraction of copper set in an...
The other day I was checking through some minerals from last year's fluorite find at Shannapheasteen in the Irish Republic.
Within the base of some quartz crystals were some small 2mm clear to white flat crystals. These were isolated and well dispersed...
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-...
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...
After a short break we welcome back e-Rocks dealer – Jaroslaw Skupiewski, from Poland.
Under the banner Geo-Trader Minerals Jaroslaw has been establishing himself as an European show dealer for the last 12 years, but he has also been busy online.
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...
Nearly 3 years ago now, we checked out and invested in "spin" technology for capturing 360 degree presentation of minerals.
The concept is simple, you set your mineral centre on a turntable and then control the movement of the turntable with your camera...
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...
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...
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...
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...
You may have noticed today's home page centre has changed; usually we display "today's auctions closing", but today we are showing "all auctions". There is a simple reason for this.
Because of demand from our sellers, we have had to increase our schedule...
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...
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...
Reiner and I retired to Cobalt, Ontario, Canada a little over a year ago. When we aren't out exploring the old mine sites in and around the area, we devote our time in support of the Cobalt Historical Society.
The group maintains the Heritage Silver...
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.
Giuseppe Siccardi of Yourmineral Collection in Italy emailed me at the end of last month to tell me of some changes with his business.
Giuseppe has been trading under Yourmineral collection (item code YMC) with e-Rocks since the end of 2007.
Now 10 years...
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...
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....
Dont forget as of 1st October 2017, the e-Rocks.com website will be transferring to ownership by e-Rocks Ltd.
Please refer to our previous notice, linked below.
Looking forward to our new jobs on Monday: as rock group the Who said back in 1971 in the...
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"...
Today was the 4th in the 2015 series of Oxford Shows.
A fair early autumn day, and a short drive for me meant a nice morning out.
This time the show was more modestly attended with a few of the usual dealers not present, through holiday etc.
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,...
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...
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...
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...
As it is my birthday today I thought this little bit of mineral related trivia would brighten up the day.
Early last year I was listing an aragonite (and gypsum) specimen from Tomnadashan Mine, Wester Tullich, Loch Tay, Scotland.
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.
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,...
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....
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....
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...
Mining areas above Niaslo village (courtesy Ikram Minerology)
Recently reading about a new discovery of hematite from Morocco seen at Denver Show reminded me of the locality Niaslo, Basha Valley, Skardu, Pakistan.
The calendar has quickly stepped around again and this year's Autumn show schedule is beginning soon; in two weeks it will be Bakewell time once more.
George and I will be there again this year and no doubt will see many of our UK based collector friends...
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...
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...
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...
Saturday is the last day of our Munich roundabout tour for 2017. It is also the first public day and weekend crowds descend upon the place.
We only planned to be there for 1/2 a day finishing off business and seeing the last few people on our list...
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...
How the days and months seem to fly by, and now summer has passed we are into the autumn season of mineral shows. We start our outings as usual by visiting Bakewell show next week end.
Arguably Bakewell (Rock Exchange) is the UK's largest show for...
Sharyginite was listed as a new mineral, approved pending publication in the June 2017 Mineralogical Magazine.
The formula is Ca3TiFe2O8 it was first identified in material collected from Caspar Quarry, Bellerberg, Eifel, Germany.
Probably unsurprising ...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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....
It is that time of year again and I am sure you will have noticed a number of "Munich" themed auctions lining up on the schedule.
Suffice to say there have been some tremendous minerals coming through and still more to come over the next week or so, and...
The Mineralogical Record have recently published their latest periodical online article "What is new on the Mineral World?".
These articles, written by Tom Moore look around and review internet dealers website and feature minerals currently on view.
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...
When starting offering analytical service I got in contact with some passionate mineral collectors.
This allowed me too examine some minerals, I did not hold in my hands before.
As you can see in my current auction, I can offer paxite, mgriite and...
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
Art Deco walnut display cabinet, circa 1930
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...
Some years ago, around 2010 news started to trickle out about spectacular finds of collectable mineral specimens in Inner Mongolia. The first deposits brought back memories of Dal'negorsk as the geology and minerals like Ilvaite showed similarities....
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...
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...
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...
Helga Palmer and Gordon Fielder recently unearthed this copper token dated 1788 from the Parys Mountain Copper Mining Company at West Basset in Cornwall.
By eighteenth century standards this little token had traveled a long way from home, but with a...
Recently e-Rocks enabled the sale of a very rare mineral - Ramazzoite. The specimen above, measuring 1 × 2.5 × 1.2 cm, sold by Ligurian Minerals for £681. Found so far only at the type locality, Mount Ramazzo Mine, Genoa, Italy, the specimen is part of...
Our man of action George (and partner Sam) have had a busy few months getting themselves organised for a house move.
Today finally it is the big day and everything is set to move into the new place.
Of course we are all happy; with new house comes a...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Just approved and pending publication here is news of yet another vanadate mineral, and this time by coincidence it has a "van" in the name.
Vandermeerscheite is a new mineral chemically similar to carnotite.
Fake mineral (and fossil) specimens have been around as long as there have been collectors and widely regarded as a big "no-no" for most people, and rightly so.
Some fakes are obvious; I remember well back in 2003 at Ste Marie the open air Romanian guys...
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!
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...
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...
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...
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...