Archive for February, 2013
I like to keep a regular scattering of american stones in my posts here since I KNOW that is what a lot of people want to see. Fortunately, there seems no end of new locations from the continent. This is actually a bit more than ‘just’ a new location though because it is one I have been looking for for a very long time. Radium Springs – as american a name as you could expect to find, and coming from somewhere north east of Deming, New mexico. These tend to be large, and the above specimen is about 7 inches. They also tend to be thin and compressed, a little bit like the larger St Egedien stones. In the above case it has been cut across the wide plane, revealing as much core as possible, and explaining the stone’s pronounced roundness. The agate is usually quite simple, sometimes with swirling reds and purples. The above specimen is largely free from bands though, creating an almost otherworldly looking core with an extraordinary ghostly violet colour. The beauty is in the details, watching the rough matrix fade down into the depths . . . so look at it large size! There are some tiny dentrites/snowflakes on the left and the hefty intrusion of black mineral is manganese (not radium!).
I’m getting behind again! A lot of interesting new locations are queuing up for attention. Here’s one of the most exciting though to be going on with – Gonabad! These are found about 10km north-west of Gonabad city, Khorassan-e-Razavi province, East Iran. This is probably the most interesting and ‘exotic’ new location to have come along in a while. They are simple stones, with a really pleasing gentle brown matrix, often with a lovely flowbanding. The cores are mostly quartz but there is a liberal sprinkling of other stuff going on to keep things interesting. They are often framed by a quiet cloud agate, sometimes with hints of orange and red. Calcite is also common, sometimes fine honey-coloured dogs tooth and sometimes stranger, more decayed stuff. In the flesh they have a nice clean feel – the quartz is sparkling and fresh. All in all, a very attractive stone in a quiet and subtle way.
After a little initial worry, posting them from Iran proved no problem whatsoever, though a little on the costly side. I am just glad I live in the UK though – the seller happened to mention that to get parcels to the US would cost an almost unbelievable $70 per kilo. Exactly why this should be I don’t know, and maybe don’t WANT to know for the sake of my grey hairs . . .
At any rate – I am absolutely delighted with these and with the whole transaction. The seller, http://iranian-agates.freeservers.com/, was great to work with. I am slowly but surely increasing my exploration of thundereggs as a global phenomenon, not just following the most predictable channels (US and Germany!). That is what I like to do in this business above anything I sometimes think, and I look forward to pushing yet further around the world.