Gonabad!

I’m getting behind again!  A lot of interesting new locations are queuing up for attention.  Here’s one of the most exciting though to be going on with – Gonabad!  These are found about 10km  north-west of Gonabad city, Khorassan-e-Razavi province, East Iran.  This is probably the most interesting and ‘exotic’ new location to have come along in a while.  They are simple stones, with a really pleasing gentle brown matrix, often with a lovely flowbanding.  The cores are mostly quartz but there is a liberal sprinkling of other stuff going on to keep things interesting.  They are often framed by a quiet cloud agate, sometimes with hints of orange and red.  Calcite is also common, sometimes fine honey-coloured dogs tooth and sometimes stranger, more decayed stuff.  In the flesh they have a nice clean feel – the quartz is sparkling and fresh.  All in all, a very attractive stone in a quiet and subtle way.

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After a little initial worry, posting them from Iran proved no problem whatsoever, though a little on the costly side.  I am just glad I live in the UK though – the seller happened to mention that to get parcels to the US would cost an almost unbelievable $70 per kilo.  Exactly why this should be I don’t know, and maybe don’t WANT to know for the sake of my grey hairs . . . thunderegg365sm

At any rate – I am absolutely delighted with these and with the whole transaction.  The seller, http://iranian-agates.freeservers.com/, was great to work with.  I am slowly but surely increasing my exploration of thundereggs as a global phenomenon, not just following the most predictable channels (US and Germany!).  That is what I like to do in this business above anything I sometimes think, and I look forward to pushing yet further around the world.
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An Amazing Earthquake Stone and a New Location – Potato Patch West

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An amazing new thunderegg to brighten up this rather gray and miserable day.  This one I have identified as a Potato Patch West egg about as well as I possibly can identify anything without an actual tag from the finder, thanks to several different sources.  This is from California and it is interesting to note that there is a Potato Patch East as well that is totally different, being a beautiful bright red.

But this specific stone – what a story it has to tell!  It has been tilted in the ground as you can see from the horizontal lines going in different directions – it has been shattered and smashed and the shards entombed in yet more core growth.  Look at the fragments lying suspended in the white!  This was surely one shattering event, not a creep.  This is surely an earthquake stone!

 

Juchem Agate – A Fascinating Non-Thunderegg Interlude

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Here’s a real curiosity to keep you going during these wild days while I am deep in book launches rather than mud.  It’s not a thunderegg, it’s an agate nodule from the Juchem quarry, Germany – and it is also one of the most extraordinary textures I have seen in a while.  No matter how beautiful and perfect some banded agate may be, once you have seen it, you have seen it.  In this case, it is agate with a riddle – agate that twists the brain, as you try and work out how on earth it formed and unpick its complexity.  There are two types of calcite and two types of agate – or possibly more of both – that have all grown on top of each other and replaced each other.  White and pink is agate – clear and black is calcite.  A very complex rock.

New Location – Brenda, Arizona

Brenda ThundereggWell, things here have been a bit crazy lately, mostly due to publishing and writing matters.  But here’s one new location to keep you going – one that I will be loading onto the main gallery as soon as I have a moment.

Brendas are one of the more obscure ‘named geodes’.  You wont find that much info about them on the internet but they are recognised among the geode-cracking brigade.  However, when a bunch of them began to appear on ebay, it quickly became apparent that they are actually a type of thunderegg.  As is often the case with geodes, most were cracked open but there were a few cut specimens and one quickly made its way over to me.  It was recently polished, and here it is.  A rather curious thunderegg all round really, with a bizarre mix of materials and spaces where materials have weathered away in the core.  Many Brendas just have crystal cores, but when agate does appear it is a rather rough, opaque red and white, as here.  The black material is a bit of a mystery to me.  It’s extremely soft and could be a kind of decaying calcite, but I wouldn’t like to say for sure.

A second, larger and possibly more dramatic specimen is also on its way.  With tilt lines!  So watch this space.

 

New Location – Allen Canyon, Oregon

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A beautiful new location for the gallery – the first Allen Canyon thunderegg I have ever seen.  This one contains some lovely tufts of yellow moss – and indeed, yellow seems to be a dominant colour in these since it pervades the matrix as well.

The massive gallery of Oregon thundereggs can be seen here.

New Location – Clanton Draw and some Quiet Cloud Agate

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A new location from New mexico.  This is a location where the seemingly eternal New Mexico Browns are developing into the greyer spectrum!  This is a location that sometimes displays flowbanding – unfortunately not here.   The core is a nice growth of quiet cloud agate surrounding a muddled druzy cave.

New Mexico Gallery.

New Location – Hartkoppe (Sailauf) – Tiny Red and White Crumb!

I have long been flirting around the two locations at Sailauf (the other being Rehberg, which I have yet to find).  They do occasionally crop up for sale, so they are not the rarest thunderegg under the sun.  But they are a location that always annoyed me!  They are so prone to being incomplete, muddled, broken – smears of red in a shattered white wreckage – that I just couldn’t!  Irregular I like – but incomplete just drives me crazy.  Call it an obsession!  In the end though, I finally found a specimen that I like, and in a somewhat unexpected way, because if I hadn’t published the Michigan Keweenaw stone a month or so ago, this would be the smallest thunderegg I have ever seen.  It is only 2.6cm across – a tiny red and white crumb.  Even so, it has a very nice thunderegg structure that puts most of the larger specimens I have seen to shame.  So here is another new location for Germany!

Other half can be seen on the gallery: http://www.thundereggs.co.uk/germany/index_hartkoppe.html

 

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