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.
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.
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.
Just for old time’s sake, here’s my old and beloved Dumbrava thunderegg again:
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.
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!
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!
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.
So after all this time, I finally manage to get some proper shelves put up for my most precious individual thunderegg locations. Just cheap shelving but what can you do? These are my shelves of the rare Gottlob thundereggs from Germany, which as anyone who knows me will know, I have been chasing and obsessing over very hard for years! And if there’s one thing harder than photographing a Gottlob thunderegg it’s photographing two shelves of the things!
I somehow never realized just what a larger collection of these I had managed to gather until I finally managed to get them all in one place! It feels good! Still need to sort things out though – could really use some light on them and some proper risers and stands etc.
I just wonder how long things will remain this tidy though . . .
Hopefully some new locations will be going onto the gallery soon as well. I have plenty lined up here waiting to be published!