Archive for November, 2012

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:


The Joy of Ocos

They may be one of the most common of all the geodes, almost ubiquitous in any number of rock shops, trinket stalls, museum gift shops etc. – but that shouldn’t blind us to what amazing things they are. Their delicacy and patterning is unique, washed through with gorgeous feathery ‘cloud agate’. This plus the complex crystal caves filled with everything from Amethyst to Goethite and beyond make them possibly one of the most remarkable agates in the world when at their best – and I don’t say that lightly.

For all their ubiquity, it is surprisingly hard to find information about these, maybe partly since nobody can agree on the exact name. I have seen Oco, Coco, Ocho, Ocos etc. Oco is the name given on the Mindat website, so I will go with that one for now. However, I only recently became aware of the fact that there is possibly more than one Brazilian location involved. The classic Oco comes from Três Pinheiros, Fountoura Xavier, Rio Grande do Sul. These stones are dug out of the red-brown earth of the region and form a welcome extra ‘crop’ for the farmers. The following though, is almost certainly a Parana Cloud Agate – Similar but subtly different:

Like a lot of the stones out of Brazil, there is a certain vagueness about their origin – and I can’t pretend to know much at all.  But I am totally blown away by the delicate patterns and sheer intricacy of these stones.  I have now launched a gallery of them in the ‘non-thundereggs’ section of the website.

Another Motherload, Barely More than a Month Later – Introducing Eggzilla!!

Well – what can I say?  This is an Eggzilla thunderegg.  Eggzillas are a massive and colourful type of thunderegg from a private mine in Luna County, New Mexico.  This one is a whopping 22cm across.  Ummmm – often with agate, often with crystal caves, often (but not always) with flowbanding . . . sometimes even as wild as this . . .

Ummm – ok, i posted it, now please excuse me while I go and just stare at it for a few more hours . . .

I am dedicating this one to Poppet!!  🙂