Archive for October, 2012

A Brief Digression from Thundereggs – A Polished Keokuk Geode

I occasionally let my hair down and publish something that isn’t a thunderegg.  This section of the gallery is basically ‘just for fun’ – nothing more than a few different things that caught my usually thunderegg-fixated eyes at some point.  In this case, here is a specimen of one of the most famous geodes in the world – the Keokuk Geodes from Iowa, USA.  These are fairly often seen, but the majority are cracked open rather than polished.  I am personally not a fan of broken rocks, and I think in this case that is born out by the wonderful subtle colours and transparency that are revealed when they are actually cut and polished.  This specimen has a relatively unusual fine band of what I take to be white agate framing the almost solid quartz core (anyone like to correct me?).  It’s not a thunderegg, but it is really lovely I think!

Click here for the small non-thunderegg section of the gallery:

New Location – New White Fir / Mudball Bed

This is a rather enigmatic new discovery from Oregon, and yet another beautiful green thunderegg.  As yet, the bed doesn’t seem to have a proper name, simply being referred to as the new bed near White Fir.  Some people have taken to calling it the Mudball Bed due to the high number of specimens with reduced agate – but this, a rather negative general term for a thunderegg without a core, doesn’t seem to do them justice!  I shall update the gallery with any further developments there.

Click here to see the other half on the Eibonvale Gallery:

New Location – Jackrabbit Springs, Idaho


One of Idaho’s most familiar thundereggs, yet still not seen very often on the market and very slow in arriving on the Eibonvale Gallery as well. These are rather basic stones – maybe even a little on the ugly side, at least the ones I have seen.  They have a dull brown matrix and a simple swirled agate, often hollow.  Indeed, in some way they look slightly like a  larger and rougher version of the Contact Thundernuts!

Click here for other Idaho thundereggs:

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:

Click here to visit Ed Pieters’ website:

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:


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:

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.