Archive for November, 2011

Nowy Kosciol Thunderegg Showcase – Rarely Seen Polish Splendour

Solely from my experience collecting thundereggs and without much understanding of politics at all, here is one of the possible differences between Europe and the US:  Europe is old – a place that has been digging itself in for thousands of years and, especially now in these days of economic collapse, it seems a stagnant place, wallowing in over-regulation and the scars left by outdated things like class systems and wars and absolute rulers.  While I am certainly not going to defend the US against charges of dark politics and some pretty nasty things going on in the general psyche of the country, it does seem younger – fresher – in some ways.

And weirdly enough, the thundereggs seem to follow the trend.  I have no idea about actual ages, but European thundereggs seem old to me.  And they are old in two ways.  Firstly they seem worn and weathered by millennia of stress.  Cracked.  Shattered.  Squashed and mis-shapen.  Their original forms pounded by a lot of geology.  And in some ways, that can be part of the interest.  The web of cracks that make up a Lierbachtal sea of green or the complete tangled chaos of a Baumgartental geode or my prized amethyst Gottlob specimen.  In a way, it is beautiful, yes?  And you ask yourself just what these stones have been through?

But they are old in another way as well.  Over-collected – extinct – hidden under too much suburban development or lost in a tangle of that over-regulation I mentioned.  Lost in a conglomerate of countries that has stagnated far too much to have much sympathy for people’s passions.  The point of this is that all too often, European stones can just seem like a load of scraps.  A few lingering chunks of battered agate dug out of beds that have long-since seen their day – or a sea of miserable cracked specimens among which just occasionally something promising or even spectacular comes along – or dug furtively and even illegally and lucky to be seen at all.

With all these factors involved, how rare is it for a European thunderegg to be truly and unreservedly beautiful?  For a collector, this is a sadness – but also a reason to persist.  Because every so often something comes along that isn’t a scrap.  Like my three links above maybe.  And this is when you remember that collecting European stones can be worth it!

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Poland’s most famous thunderegg, Nowy Kosciol – or Nowy Kościół to spell it properly (and no I don’t really know how to pronounce it!) – was always one of the worst offenders here.  It was a location I more or less gave up on.  A few scraps passed through my hands – usually sold again pretty quickly.  The page on the Eibonvale gallery was frankly miserable.  It was a location I just couldn’t be bothered with – like the German St Egedien stones, all too often it seemed to just consist of mis-shaped, broken or just plain boring scraps of agate in a dull matrix.  It was a thunderegg – but that was just about all that could be said of it.

So – nothing like this then:

Nowy Kosciol Thunderegg

To my eyes the above stone is almost on a par with the famous Baker thundereggs – maybe even more so since the colours are less in your face.

Yes – just as the St Egedien stones eventually proved me wrong with beautiful specimens like this old favourite of mine, it appears that the glory days of Nowy Kościół far outshine what is usually available on the collectors market today – something I really should have guessed.  Make no mistake, stones of a quality illustrated here are not often seen – indeed, when I first saw them, I was amazed.  I just had not realised that the location could produce anything as fine as this.  And of course, these are old stock stones – originating in old collections that fortunately came on the market again.  So, after this long and somewhat political introduction, I am not exaggerating when I say that I am delighted to present here a gallery of Nowy Kościół thundereggs that finally give a hint of what the site is capable of.

Nowy Kościół thundereggs are characterised by their warm opaque light orange agate – a unique colour that is familiar enough from the smaller specimens seen before.  I have to say though, the appearance of blue was a bit of a surprise:

Nowy Kosciol Thunderegg

The above is one of the oddest I encountered in this Nowy Kościół revelation – it’s a big stone at 14cm and there’s a lot of features in that agate.  And this is possibly the most beautiful:

Nowy Kosciol Thunderegg

This is an exquisite European style thunderegg geode with some gorgeous quartz.  Sometimes, it seems, Nowy Kosciol thundereggs stray over into amethyst  as well, as in this simple and almost agateless specimen:

Nowy Kosciol Thunderegg

Nowy Kosciol Thunderegg

With a simple core, the above is a quite classic stone, made more interesting by it’s cute purple colour.  The following on the other hand, is just weird:

Yes – a Polish pseudomorph thunderegg, spelt out rather delightfully in the classic Nowy Kościół hot and neat orange agate.  And finally a small but utterly charming banded thunderegg:

Nowy Kosciol Thunderegg

All in all, it gives me a nice warm feeling to finally realise how much I mis-judged this location.

Now, if I could just find something similar for the infamous Romanian thundereggs from Cluj Napoca . . .

Taking No Chances . . .

Taking No Chances

This was my friend’s fault!

Stone cutting session + camera + Photoshop + sense of the macabre = the Post-Apocalyptic Thunderegg Man!   I’ll be seeing you down your next dark alley!  Heheheh!

Some Nice New Specimens

Just a few new stones on the gallery – these are not new locations, but updates of sufficient quality to merit sharing them I think! I have to say, the first one is the first specimen from White Rock Springs to really blow me away.  This is a gorgeous location, but for some reason all the stones I have encountered so far have rather left me somewhat unsatisfied.  This one though – it’s big at 12cm, beautifully shaped and has some lovely moss.

White Rock Springs ThundereggClick here for the White Rock Gallery.

The next is a Secret Ridge Stone with an unusually well-formed shape.  Secret Ridge stones are not often see with such a neat structure.

Secret Ridge Thunderegg

Click here for the rather chaotic Secret Ridge Gallery.

The next one is a massive Skull Springs stone – the biggest I have seen from one of my all-time favorite locations.  And, disproving Jason Hinkle’s truism that “there are good thundereggs, and then there are large thundereggs”, this one is bloody beautiful!

skull springs thundereggClick here for the full Skull Springs gallery – one of the best pages on the site in my opinion!

New Location: Opal Creek

Opal Creek Thunderegg
A new location launched in the gallery – Opal Creek from Oregon.  This nice 8cm specimen is the first Opal Creek I have polished, and very nice too. Barely visible in the picture (and indeed in real life) is an unusual glitter of pyrite in the boundary between the agate and matrix.  I have a second one that I will hopefully get to soon.

New Location in Utah – Etna Thundereggs

Northwest Utah Mystery ThundereggThis is a curious new specimen.  It came from Utah and is only the second location from that state that I know of (after the famous Dugway Geodes).  Edit: The finder christened these stones Etna Thundereggs and the exact location is, I am told, secret.  All i know is that it came from somewhere in the northwest near the Nevada border.  It’s a nice stone, I think, with an absolute classic structure and a width of about 9cm.  For some reason, a neat curve has been ground into the edge – looks good actually!

I got this stone from

Northwest Utah Mystery ThunderegClick here to jump to the Utah gallery.

Welcome to Queens Point!

Queens Point ThundereggHere’s a nice new Queens Point thunderegg from Oregon, just arrived in the post – one of the beautiful green thundereggs of the world.  While not exactly rare, it’s a location that is not seen that often, especially in any quality, so I am very pleased to add a nice stone like this to the gallery!

To celebrate, I took a nice new scan of my beloved triangle stone – I’ve had it for years and its still one of my favorites:

Queens Point Triangle

Click here to see all the Queens Point stones (though there aren’t many more!!)

Edit: Jason Hinkle has provided a pic of the location where these come from.  Interesting to see some context to these rocks for once.