Archive for April, 2012

New Location – Richardson Ranch Bed #6

I am not really sure why Richardson thundereggs are simultaneously among the most common thundereggs out there and also among the rarer ones, depending on the actual bed.  You can’t move for Blue Bed and Red Bed stones.  Plume Bed, Moss Bed and Flat Bed etc. can be had with only a little trouble.  But what about all the rest of the hundred plus beds in that area?

But anyway, here is one of the rarer locations, the Bed #6.  Dark olive uniform matrix, simple clear agate.  It has a certain dramatic simplicity about it that I really rather like.

New Image Reveals Agate Levelling Lines in Remarkable Detail

Levelling lines are complex things, it seems.  A new image reveals the extraordinary complexity of the layering that can take place inside agate – something I at least have never seen before in such detail.  I suppose if someone knew enough, they could read the story that these Different textures all laid on top of each other have to tell.  Scroll down to get up close and personal with a bit over 2 inches of a Richardson thunderegg:


New Location – The Bockelwitz Ice-Ball

New locations are coming in to the Eibonvale gallery thick and fast at the moment as I catch up on the material that accumulated while I was scannerless and this is certainly not the last of them!

Saxony is dotted with over (possibly WELL over) 30 thunderegg locations, though just about the only area most people are familier with are the famous St Egidien beds.  Hohenstein Ernstthal and Zwicau Planitz follow along as interesting but sometimes frustratingly difficult locations to find.  Here though is something a bit more obscure – a Bockelwitz thunderegg.  As the only specimen I have seen, it is hard to say how characteristic it is, but that matrix immediately jumps out at you.  It is like other Saxony stones, but more so – much more so, being packed full of large crystal grains and what look like hollows where crystals once were.  It is the most open and sponge-like matrix I have ever seen.

The core is also interesting.  A thin band of agate surrounds what I take to be pure quartz, much of it water-clear.  It was nearly impossible for a photograph or a scan to reveal just how clear that is but parts of it are literally like glass.  Clearer than any agate I have seen, it is the clearest solid matter I have ever seen in a thunderegg.  The whole core looks as though it is made of ice.

I am surprised just how fascinating this stone is!  I cant stop looking at it.  Sadly it is maybe one that has to be experienced in the flesh, but I hope interesting nonetheless!


Stein’s Pillar Thunderegg Showcase

 Hot off the polisher today – a Stein’s Pillar thunderegg and possibly the best I have seen yet.  This has always been one of my favourite locations of all, thanks to its meaty matrix and warm colours.  So let me take the opportunity to present a showcase of what is actually a quite varied location.

Red mineralisation and very sharp levelling lines.

Small and simple with banded agate, showing off the colours beautifully.

A cluster thunderegg with some dense moss filling the core.

A hollow geode specimen with only a thin band of agate.

A moss agate thunderegg that I find truly beautiful. To me, possibly among the best moss I have ever seen.

And lastly a bit of a mystery. This was sold to me as a Stein's Pillar but is a quite startlingly different stone. What do you think? A lucky strike or similar that somehow got into the wrong box? A bizarre Stein's Pillar variant? I am really not sure. All I know is that I love it, with that amazing burst of pink mineral growth.

Click here to see the full Stein’s Pillar page on the Eibonvale Gallery.

New Location – Calapooia River

An obscure Oregon location.  “Not great eggs,” some say.  “A bastard to polish”, some say.  And you know what – they could be right!    Although . . .

You know what?  I like these!  Maybe it is my instinct to leap to the defence of the underdog, but even if they don’t often have much fine agate inside them, they still have a lovely subtle colour scheme and an aesthetic that is all their own.  They WERE a bastard to polish though, that much is true.

Furthermore, some of the textures in the matrix here are just phenomenal.  Here is a closeup:

All in all a great, different and unusual location for the gallery!

Mt. Lyall Thunderegg

I cannot tell you how long it has been that I have been searching for a Mt Lyall Thunderegg – almost as long as I have for a Black Dome, but that is another story.   I have had some on my gallery for a while courtesy of Hideharu Yamada, but now at last I have one of my own.  They are a curious location in some ways – often looking slightly ‘over-exposed’ – but that rather bleached looking agate is actually fairly accurate.  This is a quite classic specimen I think – opaque banded agate, very pale matrix that has split beautifully into three, a certain propensity to fractures etc.  It feels nice to hold as well with a beautiful exterior.

New Location – Baden Baden Thundereggs

This stone . . .

. . . maybe isn’t going to win any awards for fascination.  Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more basic thunderegg: A smudge of agate in a dull brown matrix.  Some of the marbling in there is quite striking though, I’ll say that.

This little stone (5cm) turned up among a batch of Lierbachtals I was cutting a while back and a just shrugged, muttering to myself about the endless variety of those Black Forest beauties – and I almost put it in the junk pile.  But no, I thought.  This gallery is not (only) about fine quality specimens, it is about diversity.  So I kept it – and published it.  And it did not take long for someone to come along and tell me I had a new location in my gallery without even knowing about it.  Yup – this was my first glimpse of a Baden Baden thunderegg, which I hadn’t even heard of until then!  Still – a curiosity rather than something magnificent, I thought.  A second then turned up in that same box of Lierbachtals, and I haven’t even got round to polishing it yet!  Just . . . dull!

So nothing like this then:

It’s funny how stone collecting can work out.  I found the above on ebay quite by accident just days after I discovered they existed.  And yet again I am proved wrong – I should know by now never to dismiss any location, no matter how ugly it seems!

But anyway – here then is another great German thunderegg – considerably less well-known than many.  Characterised by red agate, when it is coloured at all, and often prone to fractures and fragility.  The matrix ranges to almost pure white and it would be pretty non-descript if it wasn’t for the faint hints of ‘onion rings’ as faint lines in the rock.  The mix of pale and red and crystal is very tasty!

Here’s one more.  A bit flawed but showing off the red quite nicely.

And click here to see the other halves of some of them on the gallery.