Lydd Flint (Is Changing)

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A non-thunderegg for you today and a rather exceptional one that i happened to find myself on the beach at Lydd, Kent.  With most of my material coming from the USA or Germany etc., that’s not as common as it should be.  This is an exceptional beach pebble that has just been added to the gallery of such pebbles – almost entirely given over to layers of Chalcedony and what looks very close to mineral moss. That humble beach flints can rise to such wonders is still surprising for me, in spite of my previous find at Samphire Hoe.

Most unusual though is that since polishing, this stone has been changing.  Very slightly and slowly.  The milky colours that have picked out the bubbly pattern in the rock just weren’t there 8 months ago.  That took me by surprise a bit since I am not used to rocks changing! They are supposed to be permanent – in human terms at least! In this case, if anything, it has improved it – but it makes me wonder what will happen in the future though.  I am going to have to research this to see how i can keep it at it’s best.

Click here to see the rest of my small gallery of beach pebbles.

New Location – Muggins Mountain, Arizona – Plume Agate

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I don’t know much about this location save that it is rare and often incomplete.  It is a stunning one though – an exceptional matrix and rich moss and plume in the core.

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New Kazakhstan Location – Balkhash Lake

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Two big stones from an extremely rare location have now been uploaded onto the gallery – Balkhash Lake.  Most people’s experience of Kazakhstan begins and ends with the famous Maiskoje, so I was quite surprised to run across this new one.  These stones have been hanging around for a while because the polish on them was so bad that I wanted to redo it . . . only to find myself continually unable to find the time!  So here they are, with a little touching up in Photoshop instead.

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New Bulgarian Location – Rhodope Mountains

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A spectacular new edition to the gallery in the form of a massive Rhodope Mountains specimen.  These stones are usually incomplete due to the hard rock they are found in – this is an exceptionally intact one.

Click here to see the only other Bulgarian stone I possess: Orphei, which is in all probability not a thunderegg, but still a very interesting stone.

Dumbrava Update

Just for old time’s sake, here’s my old and beloved Dumbrava thunderegg again:

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I always thought this was a superb location, with is beautiful blend of clear agate pools and bright colours.  Now I am very happy to add two more to the set.

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Breaking News – New Oregon Thunderegg Location Discovered near Wild Iris

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Specimen with almost-plume

Here are a few specimens – among the first ever cut – from the as yet un-named bed Jason Hinkle has recently discovered close to his Wild Iris location. Of the 20 I cut, these are the most exciting – one almost containing plume, one waterlines and one shadowing. The vast majority contained thin cores of featureless grey agate. So far they may not be winning any awards, but at the same time, there is definitely things going on in these eggs so very much worth keeping an eye on them!

An example of a typical specimen from here - a deep pool of simple grey.

An example of a typical specimen from here – a deep pool of simple grey.

Other half of the almost-plume specimen

Other half of the almost-plume specimen

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Specimen with waterlines

 

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Specimen with Shadowing

These are not yet on the gallery.  I will be publishing them as soon as I can get a name for the location out of Jason!

Introducing the New Wild Iris Thundereggs – one of the finest plume thundereggs in the world

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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.

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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.

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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.

wildiris19 wildiris14 wildiris09 wildiris07 wildiris02Click here for the full amazing gallery.

 

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