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  • Blog entry
    George and I were discussing a mineral "anatolyite" newly added to the e-Rocks database, and couldn't find out who it was named for via the usual sources. We know Anatoly Kasatkin very well, and through his involvement with systematic minerals and the...
  • 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
    Venus’ rolling uplands in 1982, with Venera 13 in foreground. Well below the sublimation altitude The North Pennines region of England is blessed with mineral riches. During the 18 & 19th centuries, vast quantities of lead, silver and zinc were...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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
    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. The link...
  • Blog entry
    After a long time preparing it, we are happy to be offering here on e-Rocks the B. Florin collection. B. Florin was a knowledgeable Swiss collector. He was specialised in Swiss localities, but specialized in choice specimens, odd quartz shapes and...
  • 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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    Out for a run last night and listening to the radio, in particular an excerpt about Greek mythology being discussed by Stephen Fry. Not my usual digest but it has been one of those weeks! Anyway the piece was about Dionysus the Ancient Greek god of wine...
  • Blog entry
    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 ...
  • Blog entry
    Cornish Explorers on Facebook usually carries a series of really interesting mining and exploration photographs for Cornish localities. One of the members, Keith Russ has just got himself a Gro Pro and a lifting drone. Fantastic toy and some fantastic...
  • 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
    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
    Back in 1979 at a place called Tomahawk Creek near to Rubyvale in Central Queensland, Australia, a 2020 carat (404gr) yellow gem sapphire was discovered. The story alleges that a local boy, on his way home from school, spotted the gem exposed in loose...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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...
  • Blog entry
    Mineralogy’s greatest curiosity was not how Dr. John Woodward (1665 - 1728, above) obtained a pallasite meteorite for his collection, decades before the meteorite was actually discovered in Siberia…. Also it was not how Britain’s first true...
  • Blog entry
    These amazing images recently appeared in the Journal of American Chemistry Society. The picture shows individual molecules obtained by microscopy - the scale is mindblowing - 1 Angstrom length is 1 X 10-10m. Amazing to see how the structures that have...
  • Blog entry
    Coming up to the end of May and we are pleased to announce the return of two favourite e-Rocks sellers, Rocks of Africa and Kalahari Classics.   Both sellers are based in South Africa and specialise in a very fine range of minerals from this part of...
  • Blog entry
    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
    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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    Introduction:  A few months ago I came across the mineral aldridegeite in the IMA list of minerals whilst doing some research. This sulphate mineral is a member of the develline group first discovered and only found at Broken Hill, New South Wales,...
  • Blog entry
    Some highlights from today's photography at TV Towers
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    In the world of minerals different localities can often be distinguished by variations in morphology and or associations; for example it is comparatively easy to determine that a dioptase specimen was collected in Tsumeb over say Kaokoveld or Altyn. I...
  • Blog entry
    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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    Back in November 2011 I offered this specimen in my birthday auction. It is still one of my favourite Weardale specimens ever. Here is its listing Fluorite Heights Quarry, County Durham, United Kingdom Miniature (4.5-7 cm) Size: H:4.8cm x W:4.8cm x D:4....
  • Blog entry
    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
    Earlier this month I was introduced to a small selection of specimens of talc on dolomite from Portreath Beach on the Lizard, Cornwall. These came to prominence in the Mineralogical Record Show Report for Ste Marie 2017, written up as quote. "In one of...
  • Blog entry
    We all have them, but in the mineral world the continual exchange of specimens between collections, dealers and other collectors means that provenance and history can play an important part in the interest in a particular specimen. When we were recently...
  • Blog entry
    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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    Weishanite is a very rare gold-silver amalgam, which had two localities. Recent investigations of a unknown metallic hexagonal phase on an old sample hosting verified magnolite showed that this is Weishanite in beautiful hexagonal crystals. I have not...
  • Blog entry
    The Nick Bartlet collection, we purchased in 2004 still continues to provide interesting and uncommon items from its boxes. This most recent discovery is a specimen of schröckingerite from the Peath Lode on the 17th Level at Geevor, Cornwall. The find...
  • 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
    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
    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
    This amazing specimen of dolomite was collected today from the mines at Trepca in Kosovo. Well known for its excellent common sulphide and carbonate crystallisation, I have never seen on like this before!
  • 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
    Saturday morning, September 2014, we were up bright and early and on the road to Fernleigh, Ontario. Unless you are a mineral collector, you likely will not have heard of the it. We were looking for a kyanite and staurolite occurrence. Actually, I was...
  • Blog entry
    Topical with some work we have been doing on locality database this newslink has been circulating the web mineral chat areas recently. The content of the article is about the intention to re-open Tsumeb again for specimen (crystal) mining and as an...
  • Blog entry
    I have just been updating 2 new minerals recently added to the e-Rocks database and made a sad but interesting discovery about the name. Edtollite and alumoedtollite are comparatively newly IMA approved minerals pending publication. Edtollite Minerals...
  • 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
    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
    As an online seller it is always good to hear something we have sent out has been received and lived up to expectations. Here is one from Leor Goldberg recently published on Facebook. Recent acquisition! Gypsum with included thometzekite on matrix. Both...
  • Blog entry
    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 didn't quite get to 50000 uploaded items during the first year of the "new" e-Rocks website, but we were very close! Here we are 3 days later and courtesy of Volker Betz with a whitlockite specimen from Tip Top Mine, South Dakota, USA we crossed the...
  • Blog entry
    What a great start to Munich Show 2015 it has been. We arrived at the Show at around 1400Hrs local time and things were already buzzing. Almost immediately we were directed to the booth of Wendell Minerals to look three! cabinet sized fluorite specimens...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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
    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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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 started...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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
    Today was our last show outing for the 2017 Season, Oxford Show is the last mineral show on the UK circuit for 2017. To this end it was rather nice to be greeted with a Christmas tree in the foyer, certainly set the scene for a fun morning  at the show...
  • Blog entry
    A big day for Carsten Slotta and Mintreasure.com with the first exposure of his new website online. Please visit the new site via links below, Carsten will be adding to the fixed price pages shortly and of course all his weekly auctions will appear there...
  • Blog entry
    George uncovered this photogenic little millerite specimen last week and the picture caused quite a stir on Facebook over the weekend. Labelled as being from the Windsor Colliery, Abertridwr near Caerphilly, Wales it displays a very pretty array of...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    Ever had a discussion along the lines of "I have this old specimen, but it has no labels so I am not sure of where or what it is?" Most of us have and the mystery sometimes never gets solved, we have quite a pile here, which sometimes has a happy ending...
  • 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
    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
    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...
  • Blog entry
    We are having quite a golden time for new mineral species additions to e-Rocks. This short blog features news from from Jason Smith and Volker Betz regarding two new phosphate minerals from Foote Mine in North Carolina, USA. Apologies for the pun in the...
  • Blog entry
    As we push back on May and head into June a final quick blog with 2 bits of new information.   Nollmotzite (Mg[U5+(U6+O2)2O4F3]·4H2O) A new mineral, IMA approved pending publication due. Nollmotzite is the first naturally occurring uranium, uranyl...
  • 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...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    The Hampshire Mineral & Fossil show is on Saturday 3rd September this being the first anniversary of the current e-Rocks site launch! I am sure we will conjure up something to mark the event... ....meanwhile the mineral show is at its usual venue in...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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 (...
  • 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
    Story covered by BBC local news for Derbyshire. I am not sure if this is the same "discovery" made a few years back or something new. Certainly it looks a good deposit of usable Blue John, brilliant news for the Blue John fraternity and crafts people....
  • Blog entry
    As we announced a few weeks ago the Russell Society has been tendering for a purchaser for the Norman Cogger collection. The process has now been completed and we are pleased to announce that we, TVM are the successful bidders. Having evaluated the...
  • 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
    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
    Jill Brunner's listing in her current Kalahari Classics Auction for a calcite and pyrite specimen from NChwanning takes the mineral additions on e-Rocks to #640000, or 140,000 items added since in October 2015. Jill was the lucky "winner" of this...
  • Blog entry
    Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton, Devon, UK   Castle Drogo is a large stately home on the eastern side of Dartmoor. Constructed between between 1911 to 1930 by architect Edwin Lutyens for English enterpreneur Julius Drewe in the image of a medieval castle...
  • 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
    When we were at Bakewell Show last month, we bumped into someone we had not met before, Barry Taylor who also lives very close to us. Barry is a collector at heart, but also runs an attraction called "Geology World" from his home in Chesham, Bucks. Barry...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • 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
      1730: The first prospectors in the the Franklin Mining District, Dutch miners from the Hudson Valley, unfortunately called the area "the copper tract." Although copper minerals do occur in the orebody - 38 of them, including a rare copper hydroxyl...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    In late 2014 we started adding daily updates for closing e-Rocks auctions to Facebook. Basically this is a selection of photos from items in closing auctions to let our Facebook fans see what is happening on the site each day. As a consequence we have...
  • Blog entry
    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...
  • Blog entry
    Well not really, but as things have quietened down a bit in the week since launch it seemed a good opportunity to display a few minerals myself. The barite samples are placed in a new feature page for single item listings - Open Market. Open Market can...
  • Blog entry
    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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    Sometimes even the most clearly labelled specimen will have you scratching your head in trying to find out what it is or where it is really from! Working with old collections and labels it is possible to encounter changes in mineral names via...
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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...