Archive for September, 2011

Dulcote Agate – England’s Glory

As a Brit, I have to say that the fact that there are no thundereggs here in the UK is a bit of a frustration.  The nearest thundereggs to where I live are (or were) in the south of France or Germany.  But what about other stones?  In the storm of magnificent rocks from all over the world, it is easy for the UK to get occluded, even when you live here.  Some of the Scottish agates are quite interesting – but true world-class agates from the UK?  Well, here’s one.  The famous Dulcote Agate from Somerset – an exquisite and complex type of nodule known among the agates as England’s Glory, the Mendip Magic-Stone or, less romantically, Mendip Potatoes.

Dulcote Agate

I am generally the least patriotic person out there, not much caring for even the very concept of countries, but I have to admit to feeling a warm glow at encountering an agate from England that can hold its own against any stone in the world!  A very uncharacteristic feeling for me!  Dulcote agates are a British rock that can shake all them foreign agates at the knees!!  Heheheh!

Dulcote Agate

And lets have a plug where a plug is due – I bought these here: http://www.thecrystalman.co.uk

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Voyage to the Heart of a Lierbachtal Thunderegg

Lierbachtal

Preparing my last post and scanning the two Lierbachtal thundereggs got me thinking.  The complex specimen especially, where the beauty lies in such tiny details, made me wonder just how far into these stones I could look with my scanner.  So I put the stone back on the scanner and turned up the scale way more than ever before – just to see what happened.  The results were quite dramatic!  Turn it up too far and the image just appears blurred of course, but nevertheless I was able to get some pretty impressive detail.  The result was a massive scan of the heart of this rock that is pretty breathtaking.  It is not completely ideal yet of course – the scan also revealed in some detail the by now horrendous condition of my scanner and also the fact that this stone could maybe use a re-polish!  (I didn’t prepare this one!)  I hope one day to improve my technology and maybe see more of the stones at this magnification.  But even so, it is well worth a look.  Download it by right clicking on the image below.  Total size almost 5mb.

Lierbachtal

New German Locations Part 2 and Others

A few new locations from Germany are now online in the gallery – probably the last for the moment.  I present the best ones here as well, along with a few other items of interest.

Hölle Thunderegg Pair with Ghostly Red Centre

First up is another of those near neighbors of the Felsenschlags called Hölle. One can see a few distinct differences though. Most notable is the much more diffuse periphery to the nodule. You can see that these specimens seem to dissolve into the surrounding rock in a constellation of small bubbles of matrix.

Brandtkopf Thunderegg Agate

This is a stone from Brandtkopf, an extremely rare location and the only one of its kind i have ever seen. I am told that the off-centre core is characteristic of these stones.

Harzwald Thunderegg

This is from Harzwald. Ugly? Yeah, maybe - but another super-rare location. Even when you do find one, apparently it is most likely to be hollow.

Finally, here’s a few other German specimens that may be of interest.

Felsenschlag

This is a somewhat unusual and, to me, very beautiful Felsenschlag Specimen. Note the unusual soft colours and the tinges of amethyst. Click the image to see more Felsenschlags.

Lierbachtal

And finally two interesting Lierbachtal specimens that i didn't get round to last time. This one is just insane - a complex colourful muddle filled with agate and sagenite crystals. The beauty is definitely in the details.

Lierbachtal

And lastly, here is a charming little Lierbachtal geode. Note the sagenite spray cutting right through the centre. I am no expert but as far as i can tell, further growth then occurred on the sagenite, giving it that feathery look, before the whole thing was submerged in cloudy agate and yet more crystal. Click the image to see the whole gallery of these lovely stones.

Lierbachtal Thunderegg Showcase

Lierbachtal Thunderegg

A fine specimen with some strong colours. Note the strange intrusion of matrix from the left, disrupting the entire structure and pushing right into the rock.

The Lierbachtal stones are one of the top thundereggs in Germany – a location of amazing subtle colours – pale agate, red agate, green agate and stranger things – sagenite, purple clouds and strange crystal growth.  The matrix is especially beautiful, pale with flowbanding and very variable in shape, ranging from tight thunderegg structures to freeform swirls.  It is especially notable for its onion ring formations – very finely banded rings of agate and matrix.  These and the Esterels together present what must be the best onion rings and atolls in the world.

Lierbachtal

A very fine structure and pretty purple agate makes this a very pretty specimen

I know I announced a while back that these were on their way.  There were a few hitches though, as one box of them got lost in transit (don’t ask me how the courier managed that since both our addresses were on the box!).  However, the seller very nicely managed to provide a replacement box and now, when I have a few hours to spare, I can finally get round to providing a proper showcase of these glorious stones.

A beautiful pink specimen.

This is the gallery display of course – these are the stones I have selected for the museum (let’s have a show of hands from all those collectors who get a boxful and DON’T syphon off their favourites for their collection!  Yeah – not many are there!).  It was a big boxful though and there are many more, most for sale.  In my slow way, I will get round to updating the shop, but if you want to jump the gun, by all means get in touch with me and I will send pictures.  I will be happy to sell or trade them.

Lierbachtal

A massive specimen with crazed green agate. For all its cracks, it is a wonderful display piece.

Lierbachtal

An example of a more complex specimen - very complex agate with what i think is sagenite.

A second very complex specimen. Note the decay that has taken place, leaving some bizarre flaky holes.

Another curiosity - a wonderful agate clouded with purple

Subtle colours and some nice onion rings.

A nicely shaped purple geode

Click here to see the full page of Lierbachtals on the Eibonvale Gallery.

Museum Grade Thames Red Flint – Not so ‘Ordinary’

Warden Point Red Flint

Well – I was hoping to get back to some actual thundereggs next – that’s what this blog is about after all!  But I had to share this with you!  I have been getting more and more interested in the beach pebbles from Warden Point and the Thames estuary, but when i cut this one, my stomach sank in amazement!  I have always called these ‘ordinary’ pebbles – the beauty in the mundane and all that.  But that is starting to sound a bit silly now.  I mean – is there any definition of ‘ordinary’ that fits the above picture?

I have recently launched a new page dedicated to these Thames Flints on my main website.  You can see it here.