Posts from the ‘Germany’ Category

New German Specimens

A run-down of some new specimens recently uploaded to the gallery.


Rötelsteinpfad am Güdesweiler Thunderegg – an unusually large specimen for a location that is very often incomplete and damaged. 


Kniebreche – a super-rare location, unfortunately given how beautiful they can be. 


Another Kniebreche specimen.


New Location: Ravensberg Mountain

Located near Bad Sachsa, Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) – a state that provides very few thundereggs compared to some of the others. These are a distinctive location, with beautiful flowbanding and thin bands of sometimes vivid red agate. I have now added a page of them on the gallery, and here are some of the best ones.

The White Ghosts of the Kaolin Mines (Again)

Querbitzsch Thunderegg

I am totally besotted with Querbitzsch thundereggs.  I really think that when they are at their best, they are among the most beautiful in the world – and much of the time they don’t have anything that can be called ‘agate’ at all. They are just magical! White ghosts of the Kaolin pits …

There will be more of these.



Sailauf Update

Again, mea culpa … some more stones that have been hanging around for far too long, this time from the two Sailauf locations in Germany.


This is a Hartkoppe specimen that really brings the location to life – very intricate and beautiful.   5.3cm


The above is a rather different specimen from Rehberg – much larger (12.5cm)  and with a curiously neat core of simple solid agate.  I like it for it’s shape.

And finally one more small Hartkoppe specimen, showing fiery red agate.





A grand new arrival on the gallery from Saxony – the beautiful pale Tautendorf!  You can see some detail shots on the gallery itself here:



Micro-Albaums – and the ‘Ugly’ Location Takes it’s Place Among the Greats


Ok, so I am hyping it a bit … but there’s something ABOUT Albaum eggs.  An obscure location that happens to be one of the oldest in Germany, they introduced themselves to me drearily.  “A dull bland flawed core and a matrix that could be quite nice and serviceable with its red flecks – if it wasn’t surrounding such a dull interior and if it wasn’t so often worn down to a dispirited husk.”  That was how I described it at the time.  But like other ‘ugly’ locations, it itched!  I wanted to see more – to see if I could get beyond the ‘ugly’ and find a proper connection with them.  And when I got the chance to buy a box of uncut rough, I jumped at it.  This was where I could finally take a serious look and see what they offered.


When they arrived, I was surprised how small some of them were – down to the size of a large pea.  There was obviously no way I was sawing these tinys, so I put a few on my grinding wheel and just started grinding away at them.  Essentially, I was going to grind off half the egg, leaving a single specimen.  I wasn’t really expecting much, but what I got quite blew me away.  Instead of the smudges of pale agate or carnelian I was expecting, tiny feature-rich geodes were appearing under my hands.  I had never seen Albaum eggs like this before.  They are among the smallest thundereggs I ever worked – all of the stones on this page are about 1.5cm across – and they are absolutely enchanting.

For comparison, the following (from the same batch) is closer to what I am used to seeing from Albaums – a better quality example of the pale flawed interior:


The nice thing about grinding away half of an egg rather than sawing it is that you can change direction as you begin to discover what’s going on inside it – as opposed to a one-shot at cutting through it. You find a hint of the core while grinding and you can change the angle so you catch it right. I rather like that! It allowed me to ‘home in’ on some quite nice faces through the middle of these stones. It is not easy to tell what these Albaums are like from the outside.


I have many more of these to grind/cut – so it will be interesting to see how the location develops.  I am excited though – so far, working with these tinys anyway, they are showing a better quality rate than many far more respected locations. And one thing I will say is that I shall never refer to them as ‘ugly’ again!




New From Saxony

Several new specimens have been uploaded to the Saxony section of the gallery – including a few new locations.

First up, two classic rare Saxony locations get upgrades.






Next, the last of the three German kaolin mine locations has been uploaded – Kemmlitz, the most outrageously challenging of all.  I joked that the matrix was like polishing chalk, but that isn’t strictly accurate. It’s more like trying to polish a clump of cat litter! It’s like chalk that has been pounded up and then loosely bonded together with egg white. It’s the most decayed and weathered matrix I have ever seen, even beating that one time I polished a Mooralla thunderegg! Needless to say, a lot of consolidation was needed to get these specimens and they fair turned my hair grey picking up colours from the grinding media! Ah well – at least I can say I gave them my all and that my ordeal was worth it!

Kemmlitz02 Kemmlitz01

Another new location is the extremely rare Chemnitz-Hilbersdorf. Not all thundereggs are big and glamorous. I have a bit of a soft spot for the simple and quiet ones, partly because they include some of the rarest eggs of all – the super-rare kind that you might only come across a few times in your life. Like a small shy sibling of the more familiar German lense-shaped eggs like Zwicau Planitz, this is the only one i have ever seen in the flesh with an actual core.


And lastly, one single new St Egidien that is somewhat unusual.  Both St Egidien Hohenstein Ernstthal need some serious updating soon (i haven’t touched them in years!) – but this single specimen will have to do for now.  This one has a darker matrix than some, almost closer to Hohenstein Ernstthal. It is a St Egidien, however, coming from one part of the deposit with this kind of darker matrix. It’s also exceptionally beautiful, with orbs and a fine lacy band of red amongst quartz crystals.

egidien13There will be more coming in the future of course.  The parade of German locations seems endless!  Look out for the rather different Gröppendorf Upper Level, Klosterbuch, Mutzschen,  Schmiedeberg by Dippoldeswalde and Zeithain at some point in the future.

Visit the Germany gallery here.