The Wild Iris thundereggs are a new discovery by Jason Hinkle about 15km from Richardson Ranch – and the similarity is very clear. At first glance, there is an obvious kinship with the Richardsons – indeed, one might even call them a ‘drabber cousin’ or ‘just another of those satellite beds’ . . . until, that is, one gets to know them. As the eggs began to emerge from the bed and more and more were cut, characteristics that make this a very individual and distinct bed began to emerge. For one thing, these stones contain some of the highest frequency of plume of any thunderegg I have ever seen. Out of the small sackful I cut myself, I ended up with a whole handful, some among the best plume thundereggs on this gallery. Also, while the commonest colour by far is a very simple clear grey agate, when colour appears it is also distinct – often a very soft and beautiful pastel yellow or, most precious of all, a soft pink-red. Yellow and deep yellow-brown also tends to be felt in the moss and plume here, as well as invading the matrix – you might call it the main defining pallet of the stones. Another feature that often appears is a white opally material often characteristically chopped up, fragmented and scattered as bizarre inclusions – a type that is seen in Richardsons but here goes even further. I have no idea at all how this formed.
What makes these thundereggs truly magical though is their clarity. The agate is very clear, often allowing you to see right down into the depths and in this case definitely meriting the term ‘rock pool’. In conjunction with plume and other inclusions, this can create worlds of beauty that place these among the top stones in the world, in my opinion, for all their quietness and seeming simplicity. Unfortunately this means that it is just about impossible to take a still image that ever does them justice. I can state categorically that NONE of the following images truly do them justice, or even come close to showing the deep and mysterious worlds that these possess. More so than any other thunderegg I know, they have to be seen and handled in the flesh. So you will have to use your imaginations and maybe see if you can track down some of your own. It is very much worth it!
One last point to make is that the first material to be dug here, and at the moment that’s all of it (!), comes from near the surface, which gives the already brittle matrix from this area even more fragility. It remains to be seen what the bed will reveal deeper down. I personally am obsessed with these stones, and I will be watching with great interest to see what the future holds.
In conclusion, this is an extraordinary location – one of the most beautiful new finds to have come along recently. It has very quickly become one of my personal favorites and i have plenty more awaiting either cutting or polishing.
Click here for the full amazing gallery.