Kopfchens – Stressed and Shattered, but not so Ugly, Right?

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Click the image for a larger version.

These are Kopfchen thundereggs. With a few exceptions, the first batch of Kopfchens I got were somewhat on the scrappy side – tail end of a stock I think. So much so that I quickly labelled them one of the ugliest thundereggs in the world!  But I was very pleased to get a second chance with them just today. Of course, they are still almost always EXTREMELY rough and a deeply flawed thunderegg – they must have been through some dramatic stress even by the standards of German stones to end up quite this beat up. I suppose if you can’t stand cracks you won’t stand Kopfchens – but hey, I think they have an aesthetic and a character and a lot of nice colours to them, so maybe not so ugly now, right?

There will be more of these as I slowly polish through the stock – and yes, some will be for sale or swap.


Two Detail Shots

Just to keep you going through the quiet times, here are two thunderegg detail shots – zooming close in to the amazing worlds of these rocks.



The first is a true storm from a Greek Lesbos thunderegg, looking like the wrath of god.

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The second is a detail of my seemingly quite simple Redwing thunderegg.  Burning bushes, coral sea, coastal sediment from a river – whatever it is, it seems to be glowing!

I hope to get more of these – maybe even make a special gallery of them one day!  

Now THAT’s how to pack a rock!

Now THAT’s how to pack a rock! Genius! And a nice stroke in the war against the great enemy (newspaper) . . .

Now that's how to pack a rock!


Radium Springs

thunderegg359smI 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.

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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 . . . thunderegg365sm

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.

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.


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