Archive for October, 2013

Baumgartental East Side Update

Baumgartental Bed 2 Thunderegg

The above stone has been with me for a long time – a lovely little specimen from the Baumgartental East Side location (from the east side of the valley).  It is still one of the best Baumgartentals I have seen, and I have worked with quite a lot.  I have just updated the gallery with a few new stones – the best of the ones that have passed through my hands in the past few years.  And for the first time this begins to show just how changeable these stones can be.

For a long time, i was working with a distinctly different form with a far paler and more distinctly two-tone matrix.  Like this:

Baumgartental2 04

It has to be said that once i acquired a stock of these they stuck to their basic formula pretty tightly – all very similar with very reduced agate and quartz ranging from decayed mess to glitteringly brilliant.

Baumgartental2 05a

They were beautiful stones, but not the most varied, i thought, so it became a game of finding one with slightly brighter quartz maybe – or a slightly better shape.  Yes – I was even getting what you might call board!  But of course – that’s the thing about a specific batch that you acquire – dug up from one patch of ground maybe – one small area of the infinite geology of the earth . . .

Baumgartental2 06

Compare, for example, with the following:

Baumgartental2 08

Both these last two specimens are tiny – just 4.5cm across.  And maybe this also changes the rules somewhat.  At any rate, finding these small stones, the very first ones to emurge from a small batch I acquired, suddenly opened the location up again!  Jolted me out of any weird Baumgartental reverie.  There will be more of these as I slowly work through them.  And the one thing they do prove is what an amazing location Baumgartental can be!

Baumgartental2 09b

Just to keep things going . . .

It’s high time I got some updates online, I know.  Things haven’t been silent egg-wise – I have been getting more and more active selling material, mostly to contacts and on facebook.  So I have been going through my chaotic storage boxes, polishing stones to order, clearing out lots of material – and finding a few treasures in the process that i had completely forgotten about!

Like this lovely Felsenschlag – an example of striking gold if ever I saw one!

Felsen sunset

Without doubt, Felsenschlag is one of the contenders for Germany’s ‘flagship’ thunderegg.  The more I see of it and the more I track down higher quality specimens (not always easy), the clearer it becomes that this is one of the greatest locations in the world – an easy match for the famous Bakers, Esterels or any other location.

It is high time I updated the gallery of these since it is a location I always tend to focus on.  Here’s another new specimen I was lucky enough to get:

Felsen Floater


In your FACE, Baker mine!!

One reason I have been having such a clear-out and sale was because of a massive delivery of stones from some of the classic German locations.  I swore blind to myself that I would leave them carefully to one side until I had made some serious inroads into my existing stock – but I just couldn’t resist letting a few special ‘previews’ jump the queue!


Top one: Mönchstal
Middle row: Kopfchen
Bottom row: Baumgartental

These stones are wowing me – they are a great example of how smaller can very definitely be better!  There are many more amazing treasures in this new delivery, but they must wait for the moment!

The middle row Kopfchens are especially striking to me.  There is a particular combination of beauty and flaws about this location that sends me into a kind of loop of urgently hunting more and more of them – I would say questing for perfection but that is unfair since, although there is sometimes a frustration connected with the search, I still have a deep fondness even for the most ruined and battered ones. Indeed, agates that tend towards pristine ‘perfection’ like the Bakers soon lose their interest for me. In this case, there is both beauty and stress, beauty and narrative. And it is irresistible!

Here’s a second Kopfchen specimen – a larger one:

Kopfchen large

To end with for the moment, here are two Gottlob specimens that stood out, the first a smaller one with creamy banded agate.

Gottlob Milk


The second is a stone that has given me more than it’s share of stress. I spent hours and hours on this one over the last few weeks. Badly cut to begin with (someone had cut right along a pressure ridge on one edge), it had also broken on cutting, so i decided to recut it and shave about a centimetre off the face. Then my awful saw did what it does best and made a right mess of that so I had to grind through something like an additional half-centimetre of saw marks to actually get it flat! But i finally finished it after a 5 hour blitz!   As one of the biggest specimens yet and with a substantial bloom of amethyst, it was well worth it.  It’s a big, beautiful specimen of one of the other greatest locations in Germany – a real presence on the shelf.


Gottlob giant