New Location – Eddy Bed

These newly discovered Oregon thundereggs have been causing a bit of interest lately, partly thanks to the energetic promotion of the discoverer, Ed Pieters.  Similar to Queen’s Point, these definitely have the makings of one of the great green thundereggs.  They tend to be small, though my three are definitely from the smaller end of the scale.  They have a variable agate and sometimes quartz and moss streamers that, when it is at it’s best, can be very deep and rich.

Click here to see one more on the Eibonvale Gallery: http://www.thundereggs.co.uk/usa/oregon/eddybed.html

Click here to visit Ed Pieters’ website: http://www.mineralcollecting.eu/

New Location – Wiley Well

This is another important thunderegg location that has been annoyingly absent from the gallery for a while.  Wiley Well is one of the top locations from California.

Click here to see the full gallery of Californian thundereggs: http://www.thundereggs.co.uk/california.html

 

New Location – Mount Tuzo, Canada

One of the more prominent lacunae in the Eibonvale gallery has now been filled, thanks to the addition of a nice specimen from Mount Tuzo, Canada.  I have always had trouble with Canadian stones for some reason.  For a long time it was only represented by a few miserable specimens and donated images.  But now, I am finally managing to build things up a bit.  Nice Mt Lyall and Black Dome specimens came along, and now the last of the Canadian ‘big three’, a Mount Tuzo.

This specimen has a nice simple core of banded grey agate with only a few flaws.  There’s also a sprinkling of metallic reflective crystals around the boundary of the core.  I am guessing those are pyrites.  The matrix of this thunderegg was also one of the hardest I have ever had to work with – hard as in rock strength, not hard as in difficult.  It took  great shine in the end.

Click here to see the gallery of Canadian thundereggs: http://www.thundereggs.co.uk/canada.html

New Country – Ethiopian Thundereggs!

 

This is the source of the famous Ethiopian Chocolate Opal, though the precious opal found here can come in different colours. There are also plenty of specimens with common opal and without opal at all, instead being filled with a simple agate. My specimens are all of this last kind. I have always been put off buying the actual opal thundereggs because the prices are painful given that they are all too often broken rather than cut. One day I might get one, but personally I find the agate specimens just as interesting.

And the Motherload – Black Dome, Canada and one of the Best Eggs on my Gallery after Many Years of Searching.

Black Dome thundereggs are one of the rarest and most collectable of all the Canadian stones. They turn up every so often, but they take some finding because they are not often seen on the market – and I certainly had no luck until now. You have no idea how LONG I was searching for one of these, always for me one of the most infamous and indeed painful of the thunderegg locations. It was many many years anyway, ever since a few heartbreaking near misses in my green early days of being an egghead. And finally it is here, and not just any Black Dome but a really exceptional one, I think.  The agate and crystal in a clean green matrix is classic – the red staining also classic but sought-after.  The opal is not something I have seen before so no idea how common it is.

New Location – Arizona Mushroom Ryolite (At Last!)

 

 

I can’t believe I FORGOT to put this one on the website – the most important thunderegg from Arizona!  Gawd I am hopeless!  These have been on my shelf for a long time and I might even have shared one on the blog before – but now I have finally put them where they belong on the gallery!  Sometimes erroneously called ‘Mushroom Jasper’, this is actually a type of thunderegg, and probably Arizona’s most beautiful and famous thunderegg. The cores are usually quartz but it is the amazing matrix, pale and sketched with reds and browns, that makes this so special. Because of their extremely free-form shapes, often just a conglomerate of blobs and pockets of matrix and crystal, this is quite commonly used for carving and cabbing, rather less often seen as whole specimens. Both of these here are quite uncharacteristically intact and structured for this location. 

The Earthquake Stone – Mojave National Preserve

Of course, I cant say for certain that this stone went through an actual earthquake – or rather several earthquakes – but this specimen from the Mojave National Preserve sure went through SOMETHING.  This is a tilt thunderegg, where the horizontal layers indicate that it has moved in the ground.  In fact, this is the most extreme tilt thunderegg I have ever seen by a long way.  Most of the time, tilts are subtle, indicating that the ground has moved a little and that’s it.  The story this one has to tell though is somewhat more dramatic.  Some upheavals have shifted it almost precisely 50 degrees in various stages, pretty much turning it on its side.

Here’s my own speculation about it: close examination reveal that the tilt mostly happened quite gradually, without any massive single changes in angle.  Rather, the stone has ‘crept’ slowly (though sometimes faster than others and with a few jolts and sudden changes), causing the horizontal lines to be laid down in a fan shape, starting with the white opal layer and ending with the main central area of banded agate.  However, some fairly dramatic moments also seem to have occurred.  A certain amount of debris has built up on top of the white opal layer – even clearer in other specimens from this location (which follow more or less the same pattern).  A more dramatic shock occurred later, which actually fractured the old agate, leaving a small shard loose, before the fill continued (after a period of fortification banding).

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