Archive for January, 2013

An Amazing Earthquake Stone and a New Location – Potato Patch West


An amazing new thunderegg to brighten up this rather gray and miserable day.  This one I have identified as a Potato Patch West egg about as well as I possibly can identify anything without an actual tag from the finder, thanks to several different sources.  This is from California and it is interesting to note that there is a Potato Patch East as well that is totally different, being a beautiful bright red.

But this specific stone – what a story it has to tell!  It has been tilted in the ground as you can see from the horizontal lines going in different directions – it has been shattered and smashed and the shards entombed in yet more core growth.  Look at the fragments lying suspended in the white!  This was surely one shattering event, not a creep.  This is surely an earthquake stone!


Juchem Agate – A Fascinating Non-Thunderegg Interlude


Here’s a real curiosity to keep you going during these wild days while I am deep in book launches rather than mud.  It’s not a thunderegg, it’s an agate nodule from the Juchem quarry, Germany – and it is also one of the most extraordinary textures I have seen in a while.  No matter how beautiful and perfect some banded agate may be, once you have seen it, you have seen it.  In this case, it is agate with a riddle – agate that twists the brain, as you try and work out how on earth it formed and unpick its complexity.  There are two types of calcite and two types of agate – or possibly more of both – that have all grown on top of each other and replaced each other.  White and pink is agate – clear and black is calcite.  A very complex rock.

New Location – Brenda, Arizona

Brenda ThundereggWell, things here have been a bit crazy lately, mostly due to publishing and writing matters.  But here’s one new location to keep you going – one that I will be loading onto the main gallery as soon as I have a moment.

Brendas are one of the more obscure ‘named geodes’.  You wont find that much info about them on the internet but they are recognised among the geode-cracking brigade.  However, when a bunch of them began to appear on ebay, it quickly became apparent that they are actually a type of thunderegg.  As is often the case with geodes, most were cracked open but there were a few cut specimens and one quickly made its way over to me.  It was recently polished, and here it is.  A rather curious thunderegg all round really, with a bizarre mix of materials and spaces where materials have weathered away in the core.  Many Brendas just have crystal cores, but when agate does appear it is a rather rough, opaque red and white, as here.  The black material is a bit of a mystery to me.  It’s extremely soft and could be a kind of decaying calcite, but I wouldn’t like to say for sure.

A second, larger and possibly more dramatic specimen is also on its way.  With tilt lines!  So watch this space.