obsidian art

obsidian art

by Hannah Gorrie

With all the volcanic action we have seen recently, Obsidian is becoming a topic in the minds of crystal healers.

Obsidian is a naturally formed volcanic glass, it is formed when molton lava cools very quickly, it is without crystal growth which enables the edges of obsidian to become very thin, often called blades, hence the use in...

Read more: obsidian art

indium minerals

By John Betterton
The metal indium, In, is a very rare element with an average crustal abundance of about 0.1 ppm. World production stands at around 600 tonnes per year with China, Canada, Japan and South Korea the main producers

 The metal indium, In, is a very rare element

Read more: indium minerals

The Angels & Gemstone Guardians Cards

by Margaret Ann Lembo

Mind Body Spirit shops are awash with card decks, often with comprehensive instructions for involved and sometimes complex layouts, 3 card, 5 card spreads and more.
However Margaret Ann Lembo based in Florida has provided something a little different, instructions are provided but just to shuffle, pick, connect to the gemstone by gazing upon it’s image, then read the text. Which is a combination of identifying
why you selected that gemstone and a message provided to guide you to work with it.

Read more: The Angels & Gemstone Guardians Cards

Spectacular Jaspers

Spectacular Jaspers

by Barry Taylor

Jaspers are a silica rich, dense, opaque and cryptocrystalline variety of textural Chalcedony, the technical name for this is a tectosilicate, a type of quartz rich rock. Jaspers often exhibit a unique and amazing ornamental pattern, as you may expect there is a slight overlap with Agate. Some Jaspers are in fact sometimes also called Agate, the Death Valley Plume Agate/Jasper is an example. The colours are often strikingly vivid or they have amazing colour combinations, each piece will differ slightly, and every piece is therefore unique. With a hardness of between 6.5 and 7, all Jaspers are basically a silica

Read more: Spectacular Jaspers

Raden Technique Resin Earrings

 

by Tracey Spurgin of craftworx.co.uk

The Raden technique is an ancient skill from Japan that takes wafer thin slivers of mother of pearl shell and embeds it into resin to add an iridescent shimmer and sparkle.

 Tracey delivers a full programme of silver clay workshops from her own studio in Yorkshire but travels far and wide to other venues such as colleges, galleries and art centres, to deliver a range of workshops that appeal to the complete beginner as well as the progressing enthusiast.

Read more: Raden Technique Resin Earrings

Gem Market Report Issue 67

a regular feature provided by RM Weare & Co

The February and March gem shows were disappointing for cutters, the Chinese presence was low (partly due to the Chinese New Year
and it’s subdued market.

Read more: Gem Market Report Issue 67

planetary meteorites

planetary meteorites

by space rocks UK

In the early 1980s, some strange achondrites (meteorites containing no spherical chondrules) were found in Antarctica by Japanese researchers. When these were analyzed, they were found to have very similar chemistries and lithologies to the 382 kg of rocks retrieved from the Moon by the twelve Apollo astronauts.

Read more: planetary meteorites

moon rock mysteries

by David Bryant

Until July, 1969 the idea that genuine fragments of rock from the Moon would one day be available for scientific research would have seemed highly unlikely: the possibility that such material could be added at relatively low cost to an amateur collection would not have even been considered. Fifty years later, anyone can purchase a genuine (if tiny!) piece of lunar rock for as little as £20: several hundred kilos of such material is available online and from dealers (Caveat emptor! Not all ‘moon rocks’ on internet auction sites are genuine:

Read more: moon rock mysteries

zeolites and associated minerals part 2

Stilbite and Heulandite by Barry Taylor

Stilbite
This beautiful Zeolite is also known as Wheat Sheaf Ore due to its distinctive crystal shape when twinned, looking like the stooks of wheat,
fresh in the fields when hand gathered. Stlibite is commonly found ...

Read more: zeolites and associated minerals part 2

Something a little different...

Something a little different...

Sometimes you get the urge to just make something, something different that will remain unique. When it comes to using natural crystals, there will only be one of that size, shape, type etc.

With today's wide ranging tastes often people are a little weary of a generic stone in a generic setting, an odd, different looking creation would most probably create a reaction, even if the knee jerk is a little negative it may register with the onlooker setting the seed that non convention is ok!

Read more: Something a little different...

jasper lore

‘Who wears a Jasper, be life short or long, Will meet all dangers brave and wise and strong.’
The name Jasper itself originated from the greek for ‘spotted or speckled one’, presumably due to the natural spotted, multicolored or striped appearance the stone typically holds. Common patterns within the Jasper include interesting vein like marbling, spots, varies of streaks and flaming.

Read more: jasper lore

zeolites and associated minerals part 1

This very attractive mineral can often look similar to crystals of quartz, the crystals are found in association with Zeolites which are a confusing group that I will be looking at in detail later. Crystals of Apophyllite ...

Read more: zeolites and associated minerals part 1

fossils called thunderbolts

Fossils called thunderbolts

By Barry Taylor

Many years ago people often discovered strange cylindrical objects that tapering at one end,these were found in fields that had recently been ploughed. People at the time thought that these must be thunderbolts that had been hurled down by lightening during fierce storms. They were often accompanied by what were considered as toe nails from the devil cast aside during contests with god. We now know that these were fossils of Belemnites and Gryphea, we will concentrate on the former here that were in fact part of a fascinating squid like creature that is now extinct.

Read more: fossils called thunderbolts

carbon minerals

carbon minerals

Carbon, C,

is present in the Earth’s crust with an average abundance of about 480 ppm. Its extraction is greater than any other element if we include the various rocks like limestone, dolomite and marble together with the many fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. World annual production of carbon in the form of graphite...

Read more: carbon minerals

Ice from Above!

By David Bryant

A recent TV documentary (of the somewhat over-dramatic variety!) sought to explain several recent – and very damaging - falls of ice. Arriving at high speed from cloudless skies, these have battered roofs, cars and aircraft. The conclusion of the program was that these were examples of ‘mega-hailstones’, poorly-understood phenomena, more usually called megacryometeors by the Scientific community.

Read more: Ice from Above!

meteorites in ancient times

Meteorites in ancient times



by david bryant

The first part of this article considered man's earliest encounters with meteorites and how rocks 'from the heavens' were generally treated reverentially by their finders. However, meteorites and impact glasses were in the past, also used for making tools, weapon and jewellery...

Read more: meteorites in ancient times

by name

view articles by mineral name

acanthite

issue 24 silver minerals

adamite

issue 14 zinc minerals

Read more: by name

pyrite or fools gold

 

Pyrite is a wonderful common mineral, it is composed of Iron Fe and Sulphur S with the chemical formula of FeS2.  

Read more: pyrite or fools gold

letters from issue 59

Dear Editor,

I am pleased my letter on the Dryhead Agate has been published. This makes it clear that ordinary banded agates are colloidal in origin and not formed from solution as suggested
previously, before a low temperature was established by the isotope results. These indicate agate formation took place at 50°C.
Mexican Coconuts are the agates for which most data exist being the subject of a thesis. A recent study of rocks in Skye provides information on the bentonite, the mineralogy of which is relevant.
The bentonite includes colloidal silica as well as montmorillonite, a clay mineral. It will be present in Mexico as well as at the base of the Skye lava field and is the obvious source of any agates present.

J. Jocelyn

Read more: letters from issue 59

Fossil hunting from issue 60

fossil hunting at ketton quarry

What a surprise this years birthday present was not 'just' membership to the Stamford Geological Society but also to attend a joint visit with the Open University Geological Society to the Ketton Quarry near Stamford.

The quarry is famed for its superior strength cement, recent notable customers being the London Olympics & offshore wind farms. Armed with hi-vis jackets, hard hats, chisels and hammers the eagerly awaited day arrived, luckily the weather although overcast and cloudy didn't threaten any rain.

Read more: Fossil hunting from issue 60

fossil news issue 66

a collection of fossil snippets from around the world

Recent skeleton studies from the 17th-18th century in Warsaw Poland suggest that six bodies were buried with stones under their chins and sickles across their bodies, folklore traced to the 11th century says that this is a preventative measure because the first person(s) to die from a disease were likely to become a vampire and this would prevent them from biting the living. Health research of the area suggests that this was a time of repeated cholera epidemics in the region and a lack of understanding resulted in the community turning to supernatural explanations & preventions.

Read more: fossil news issue 66

minerals of the world by walter schumann

Minerals of the World by Walter Schumann


2nd edition at time of going to press, available from bookstores at £8.99

Famed in stone circles for Gemstones of the World now in its 4th edition, Walter Schumann also produced a lesser known title Minerals of the World currently in its 2nd edition.

The initial 30 pages help to explain the guide and really unless experienced you should read them prior to diving into the main book because the information will certainly help you understand and gain the most from the supplied information. This section includes shapes, crystal systems and even 'twinning' examples in crystals. With explanations on the three methods of testing the book is based around, surface colour and light effects and a final paragraph warning you about synthesised and imitation material.

Read more: minerals of the world by walter schumann

petrified wood

A stone that once grew organically could be a description of just a few minerals, petrified wood is one of them, also known as fossil wood, agatised wood...

Although found in several locations around the world, USA, Europe, Japan, Australia our story is about petrified wood from Madagascar which is often prized as the source of the better colour examples with popular vivid reds and greens.

Read more: petrified wood

gemstone market report issue 66

a regular feature provided by RM Weare & Co

We are seeing more and more synthetic materials on the market. The use of synthetic materials does not have a negative effect on the trade, but the mis-selling of synthetics as natural or the incorrect description of gem material certainly has a bad impact. We see this in the number of items sent to us where the retail customer requires a valuation on what they understand to be natural material but after testing proves to be synthetic. We see this most frequently in fracture filled Ruby, this treatment should be disclosed as it has a big impact on the value of a stone; 1ct sized fracture filled stones wholesale at around £25 per carat but a similar natural heated stone will wholesale above £250 per carat.

Read more: gemstone market report issue 66

rhodium minerals

Rhodium, Rh, is quite a rare member of the platinum-group of metals with an average crustal value of 0.2 ppb. Most economic rhodium comes from as a by-product of certain copper-nickel ores. The world's major producers are South Africa, Russia and Canada. Annual production stands at a...

Read more: rhodium minerals

big head

Speaking of early humans, a 30ish year old woman who lived on the Korean peninsula some time during the Silla reign 50’s BC to 930’sAD had her remains examined and although her DNA is present in some of the Asian population today she had a ‘big head’ or more precisely a long head a condition called Dolichocephalic determined by the ratio of head width to length(if you were wondering you’re brachycephalic or head width is at least 80% of it’s length) there’s no explanation for a long head, the shaping of skulls did happened in ancient civilisations but the usual physical evidence of this isn’t present…

From issue 70, purchase print copy below:

letters issue 60

by email
Hello,
I've recently purchased some of your magazines and noticed that there are occasional articles
related to the collecting of minerals and fossils, my children seemed to have developed a passion
for stones and taking then to the local beach doesn't seem to be 'enough' for anymore do you have
any suggestions for collecting elsewhere because they would really like to explore more?
Sincerely, Margaret.

Read more: letters issue 60

fossil news from issue 59

fossil news from issue 59

I'm sure we all had a dinosaur toy whilst growing up, the only issue being that your rubber/plastic toy might have led you astray and mis-educated you, however I'm sure coming across a dinosaur in the wild you may recognise it however research has shown that school children and older students (not studying science topics) believed that T-rex was upright with his tale on the ground. We're all aware that Trex now has a more bird type posture with his tale in the air and head leaning forward.
Luckily images, references, exhibitions and toys are now reflecting this however older toys, comics and media references to dinosaurs are still guilty of portraying dinosaurs incorrectly.

Read more: fossil news from issue 59

dinosaur extinction event

We always hear of the dinosaur extinction event but did you know that the ‘event’ nearly wiped out everything else including mammals? Some 93% suggested by University of Bath researchers. The subsequent lack of food and fauna caused the continued demise of the larger creatures whilst smaller mammals were able to adapt more easily.

setting unusual shapes...from issue 60

Continuing our 'setting unique unusual shapes' a recent acquisition is an unusual free-form polished shape of blue chalcedony, a gorgeous rich colour. Actually I have two pieces probably two half pieces!

Read more: setting unusual shapes...from issue 60

Gemstone Market Report issue 59

gemstone market report from issue 59

by rm weare & co

Ruby prices increase every year as the demand continues to grow and the supply struggles to keep up.

The supply of rubies from Myanmar, the source of the majority of rubies used, is declining, especially in the top quality material. This has led to cutters and dealers looking for the next big source of ruby rough. Ruby is found in many different countries but there are few localities where top quality material is found.

Read more: Gemstone Market Report issue 59

how did pterosaurs fly?

Sounds like a bumblebee story and a lack of acceptance that we still have lots to learn, being so big with wing spans up to 11m how did pterosaurs fly?
Basically because their bones were hollow, few examples remain for study also they’ve been compared to birds so estimates of weight hugely vary. We do know they had a highly developed respiratory system with lungs and air sacks. Also they had elasticated skin opposed to feathers, with the ability to adjust the angle of the front of their wings they were well equipped, Southampton University students are currently developing 3d models in order to fill in the missing gaps…

From issue 70, to purchase print copy below:

Iridium, Osmium, & Ruthenium Minerals

by John Betterton

Iridium, Ir, osmium, Os and ruthenium, Ru are among the rarest of the elements and thus they produce few minerals. Hence we treat them together.

Iridium is one of least common metals with a crustal abundance of about 3 parts per trillion. Most of this metal is extracted from the by-product of nickel refining. Canada is the main producer along with South Africa and Russia. About 3 tonnes are produced each year.

Read more: Iridium, Osmium, & Ruthenium Minerals

Iridium, Osmium, & Ruthenium Minerals

Iridium, Osmium, & Ruthenium Minerals

by John Betterton

Iridium, Ir, osmium, Os and ruthenium, Ru are among the rarest of the elements and thus they produce few minerals. Hence we treat them together.

Iridium is one of least common metals...

Read more: Iridium, Osmium, & Ruthenium Minerals

Telmatosaurus

An unfortunate Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus (dwarf duck-billed dino) from 60 000+ years ago in Transylvania, is the first creature to be diagnosed with a modern benign tumour from fossil remains, the international group of researchers suspect that this family of dinosaurs (hadrosaurs) were more susceptible to these conditions.

Gemstone Market Report issue 60

 

market report a regular feature provided by R M Weare & Co

It is estimated that the market for coloured gemstones will see a massive fivefold increase over the next decade from 2bn US$ currently to 10bn.  This will be fuelled largely by demand from rapidly developing economies, with an unsurprising expectation that supply is likely to fall well behind demand.

Read more: Gemstone Market Report issue 60

The Chelyabinsk Fireball

The Chelyabinsk Fireball: asteroid or comet?

Just after dawn on the morning of February 15th, 2013, inhabitants of the Russian city of Chelyabinsk were making their way to work when an enormous fireball streaked across the sky. Those who stopped to marvel at the cosmic visitor felt a pulse of heat as it suddenly exploded, before the associated shock wave shattered glass, threw people to the ground and set off alarms all over the city. Around 1,500 people were treated for cuts and bruises in local hospitals, while several more seriously injured were flown to Moscow by helicopter.

Read more: The Chelyabinsk Fireball

Mexican Opal

by Dave Gibson
Opal was known to the Aztecs by the name Vitzitziltecpa which means hummingbird stone, due to its similarity to the bright iridescent colours of the birds plumage. The original mining locations were lost during the Spanish conquest. They were rediscovered sometime in the early 1800's in the state of Queretaro, some 130 miles North West of the Mexico City.

Read more: Mexican Opal

Gems Sixth edition edited by Michael O'Donoghue from magazine issue 60

 published by Robert Hale Prices vary: rrp £90

Originally published in 1962 and completed by the late Robert Webster this hefty volume (904 pages) couldn't have been compiled without the willing collaboration of various parties, individual, associations and teaching establishments.

Read more: Gems Sixth edition edited by Michael O'Donoghue from magazine issue 60

life and death of the dinosaurs from issue 60

Life and Death of the Dinosaurs

By Barry Taylor

I am fascinated by Dinosaurs that lived for over180 million years, there are many interesting interwoven facts that relate to this period in Earths history, the following facts are some of the things that excite me about these magnificent creatures. One intriguing fact surrounds the reason why some Dinosaurs grew to such gigantic sizes, it is hard to imagine such massive creatures actually moving, and creatures such as the well known Sauropods like the Apatosaurus for example.

Read more: life and death of the dinosaurs from issue 60

a special feature provided by Affinity Gems & Jewels Pvt Ltd Sri Lanka

Women’s Choice of Colour : the Blue Sapphire
The peacock blue colour of sapphire is widely used to describe the sought after Kashmir sapphire, however sapphires of this particular cornflower blue colour can also be found here in Sri Lanka, one area of note being the Ratnatpura district, so similar in colour that it can be mistaken for the Kasmir variety.

Read more: a special feature provided by Affinity Gems & Jewels Pvt Ltd Sri Lanka

agates in sedimentary environments

agates in sedimentary environments

Pseudo-Sedimentary Agates

Let us start by dispelling the myth, there is no such a thing as a sedimentary Agate, they do not exist as such, look-alike agates in a sedimentary environment form by different processes.

The rocks that appear on casual glance to have Agate like features are just look-alikes, certain ...

Read more: agates in sedimentary environments

fossil news from issue 60

fossil news from issue 60

Horned dinosaurs seem to gain a new relative quite often, in fact every 1-2 million years states a researcher in the Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History who has found the latest - Judiceratops tigris. This species lived approximately 12 million years before the commonly known Triceratops & Torosaurus adding up to 75 millions ago. This tri-horned dinosaur had a different frill arrangement which was possibly used in mating rituals and or aggressive acts. The cerotopsids evolved rapidly so we can expect to hear about another species soon.

Read more: fossil news from issue 60

amazing zeolites from india

by Barry Taylor

My all time favourite minerals are the spectacular Zeolites from the Deccan Plateau region in India, this is a flood Basalt deposit that formed... over several million years.
This is one of the largest volcanic features on earth and covers 163,000 square miles to a depth of 6,500 ft, the area covered by lava incorporates eight seperate states of India and covers a large part of the country.

Read more: amazing zeolites from india

the opal

 the opal

by Ruby Loveridge

“October’s child is born for woe, And life’s vicissitudes must know, But lay an opal on her breast, And hope will lull those woes to rest.”

The first recorded name of the Opal was given by the Ancient Romans, who referred to the stone as ‘Opalus’, which means, ‘precious stone’. Later on the Greeks soon renamed the stone ‘Opallos’, meaning ‘to see a change (of colour)’.

Read more: the opal

letters from issue 61

Dear Rock ‘n’ Gem,
I feel sure that a reader out there who sees the letters pages may be able to offer an insight into unusual Agate forms, having a keen interest in Agates and their formation, I thought your readers may be interested to see my recent purchase. The Agate concerned is a tube agate reportedly from the Woodward Ranch in Texas, USA and it has some interesting details, an Agate is unusually formed where the banded formation is clear, but these are very different. You can see in the photograph the tubes formed within a very clear agate, this is also very 3 dimensional and more akin to the Jaspers that occur in Rhyolites, it may be that the temperature difference in the original Matrix being more silica rich produces these internal shapes.

Barry Taylor

Read more: letters from issue 61

irish minerals

by Patrick Gaffikin

Go, my sons, buy stout shoes, climb the mountains, search the valleys, the deserts, the sea shores, and the deep recesses of the earth. Mark well the various kind of minerals, note their properties and their mode of origin....
Petrus Severinus, a Danish physician. (1542-1602)

What are minerals?
A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid with a definite chemical composition.

Read more: irish minerals

rubidium and gallium minerals

rubidium and gallium minerals

By John Betterton
Rubidium and Gallium are among the rarest of metals in the Earth’s crust

Rubidium (Rb) and gallium (Ga) are among the rarest of metals in the Earth’s crust with elemental abundances of about ...

Read more: rubidium and gallium minerals

Meteorite pendants

 

Meteorite pendants


Recently I had purchased a pallasite meteorite slice with peridot thinking I could maximise my return by further cutting into 4 pieces. After some appreciative comments regarding the slice, concerns about ruining it and a small amount of apathy I decided to just set the whole slice.

Read more: Meteorite pendants

crystal mindfulness


by judy hall
released late 2016
96 pages
rrp £8.99

Do you love the idea of living mindfully but find it impossible, in practice, to stay focussed on the present moment?
I find descriptions of mindfulness sometimes confusing, preferring just ‘a quiet mind’ or free from thoughts...Judy Hall probably the most prolific crystal therapy author today has a new book entitled ‘Crystal mindfulness

Read more: crystal mindfulness

rubies

rubies

"The gleaming Ruby
should adorn all those who in July are born,
for thus they’ll be exempt and free,
from lover’s doubts and anxiety.”

A Ruby is a pink to blood red colored gemstone, and a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminum oxide), though other colours of gem quality corundum are called Sapphires.
Most texts consider Ruby to be the birthstone of July which means it falls into the Zodiac sign of Cancer or Capricorn.

Read more: rubies

Chlorine Minerals

Chlorine Minerals
by John Betterton

Chlorine, Cl, is a well-known non-metallic element that has a crustal abundance of about 130 ppm. World production stands at over 250 million tonnes per year that is produced by most countries. The main suppliers are China, USA, India, Canada, Brazil and Australia. Planetary servers ...

Read more: Chlorine Minerals

silica minerals


by John Betterton

The plentiful cryptocrystalline/microcrystalline varieties of quartz are described in this article. Cryptocrystalline/microcrystalline quartz is composed of minute crystals that are made up of twisted, very fine intergrown crystals of quartz with a variable fibre-like morphology. They also contain microscopic pores, fluids and or...

Read more: silica minerals

flourine minerals

flourine minerals

Fluorine, F, is one of the more reactive non-metals and is quite abundant with a crustal abundance of around 950 ppm.
World production is currently about 6 million tonnes with China, Mexico, Mongolia and South Africa the major supplies.

Read more: flourine minerals

Mysterious carbonados - diamonds from Space

Mysterious carbonados - diamonds from Space
by space rocks uk

Every year, many tonnes of dark grey to black Carbonado from Precambrian strata in Brazil and the Central African Republic are mined for industrial use. This opaque, slightly porous substance is as hard as crystallized diamond (Moh 10) but not as brittle, and is therefore ideal for cutting-tools and drill bits. Its value has traditionally been considerably less than gem-quality diamond, but recent, concerted advertising has seen a steady rise in the price of both cut and raw stones.

Read more: Mysterious carbonados - diamonds from Space

the wonder of quartz inclusions

by Barry Taylor

I have written various articles over the years about the beauty to be found in Quartz Crystals as well as the wonderful magical inclusions that have so captivated my mind, here I revisit a few of my all time favourites together with some new images.

Read more: the wonder of quartz inclusions

agate translucency

 

agate translucency

I have always been fascinated by the beautiful natural art that is captured in polished slices of Agate. Some Agates are opaque and beautifully banded, whilst others are translucent in thin slices, occasionally some react in strange ways to transmitted light.
Stunningly beautiful natural Agates have a magical charm of their own, all the pictures ...

Read more: agate translucency

fossil news from issue 61

fossil news from issue 61

An example of a giant fish named Leedsichthys after it's first discoverer Alfred Leeds in 1889 existed from approximately 165 million years ago has been found relatively intact, previous remains haven't presented researchers with any evidence regarding it's physical dimensions. Researchers suggest it was the first of the giant plankton eaters that we know today similar in size to the modern day whale shark. Growing from 8-9m at approximately 20 years up to an estimated length of just over 16m at an age of 38 years old.

Read more: fossil news from issue 61

letters issue 69

happy to receive letters, but email is quicker!


Dear Rock n Gem,
Having been an avid show goer for some years I’ve noticed that the number of mineral and fossil
dealers at events seem to have dwindled along with the range of larger ‘display pieces’. Having a
house full of stones I’m now looking at finding new homes for smaller pieces and replacing them with
larger items. Obviously being able to view large items at a show is easier than venturing overseas with
a large suitcase.
D Edwart
(Yes it does appear that you do have to search farther a filed for more unique pieces, perhaps the new
Rock, Gem n Bead and other show organisers might create opportunities for exhibitors to have a ‘large
gallery’ at events - Ed.)

Read more: letters issue 69

Unfolding Our Light Creating Crystal Mandalas To Awaken and Heal

Unfolding Our Light Creating Crystal Mandalas To Awaken and Heal

By Michael Eastwood - 159 pages
£9.99 cover price (publisher price £7.99)
“This book will help you to work with the ten auric layers and chakras of your energy body using ten attunements,

Read more: Unfolding Our Light Creating Crystal Mandalas To Awaken and Heal

gemstone market report

gemstone market report

by rm weare & co

During our recent trip to the cutters in Bangkok our buyers spent the time walking around with a look of shock and incredulity on their faces.
The reason for this was the increase in prices in the top three precious coloured gemstones. We have become accustomed to the ever increasing prices asked for fine quality ruby but the...

Read more: gemstone market report

The Magic of Micro- Minerals

by John Pearce

Microminerals are very small mineral specimens that require some magnification and illumination to appreciate them and see the crystals in detail. Not much magnification is needed, a 10 times or 20 times hand lens could do it, but a stereomicroscope with a magnification of 10 to 60 times would be even better. Small minerals with crystals of 1 to 2mm can barely be seen with the naked eye, but can look wonderful under a microscope (see Fig. 1). Sheer magic!

Read more: The Magic of Micro- Minerals

Crystals and Sacred Sites

 

book review - Crystals and Sacred Sites

Use Crystals to access the power of sacred landscapes for personal and planetary transformation.
by Judy Hall
280mm x 215mm, 192 pages, R.R.P. £12.99

Having been ‘called’ to visit various locations around the world and being ‘somewhat’ of a ‘crystal fan’ I selected this book for a review this issue.

Read more: Crystals and Sacred Sites

letters from issue 62

Dear Rock 'n' Gem,
Issue 61 Autumn 2013 received. Barry Taylor's first letter makes the false claim that temperature differences come into agate formation. This cannot be the case. The second letter repeats the claim.
Our letter writer was asked to draw attention to the colloidal origin of agates. It is inevitable that excess fluid is produced by such an origin. Silica in solution is not involved in agate production. This would involve different temperatures. These do not come into the picture.
Agates are all the same, being formed at 50'C this needs to be understood.
To continue about Mexican Coconuts(Issue 59) these were obtained in large numbers and were marketed as geodes especially if they provided amethyst. The agate fractions were included in the isotope study. The result agreed with the others but were not published...

Read more: letters from issue 62

Crystals For Healing And Healers

Crystals For Healing And Healers
by Judy Hall

I have been working with crystals all my life both for healing and scrying. I instinctively
wear one each day, intuitively place several on a client’s birth chart when doing a past life reading to bring about karmic healing - or
on a client if I see them face to face; or I hold one for a few moments to energise it and then send it wherever it is needed. My home always has crystals around because they feel good to me, and many are pro-grammed to help other people, or the world. But it wasn’t until I wrote the first edition of The Crystal Bible ten years ago that I appreciated quite what I’d been intuitively doing for so long, how many crystals there are, and the enormous range of healing possibilities they encompass (and there are now so many more that I’ve had to write volume 2!).

Read more: Crystals For Healing And Healers

art clay - the celtic love knot

art clay - the celtic love knot

The interlacing pattern of this Celtic Knot with no beginning and no end symbolises eternity

STEP 1
Draw or source a Celtic Knot design on paper, use a sharp craft knife to cut around the outline.

Read more: art clay - the celtic love knot

cutting concave faceted gemstones

cutting concave faceted gemstones Ashton Gems, California

I was 12 years old in 1970 when I attended my first lapidary class with my grandmother. We entered a giant warehouse full of rows of grinding machines, saws of all sizes and a separate room full of faceting machines. I didn't have a clue of what I was looking at or how it would change the direction that my life was going to go.
For the next two years, on Tuesday and Thursday nights, I learned how to operate the grinders and use all the different sanding and polishing wheels. For the first few weeks, I

Read more: cutting concave faceted gemstones

fossil news issue 69

Eggs for tea, Genyornis newtoni would’ve produced huge eggs the Australian flightless bird reached 7 ft. tall 50 000 years ago. Researchers

used luminescence dating of the quartz grains enclosed in the ancient shell material to determine the age. Subsequent opinions are that
humans led to the distinction of the bird due to the impact of feeding on their eggs!

Read more: fossil news issue 69

letters issue 64

letters issue 64

Dear Rock and Gem, (ref issue 61)
The investigation of temperature formation of agates is largely confined to chalcedony. Quartz crystals are less suitable. A better example than the agates illustrated would be provided by a photo of the outside of an agate. This provides dykes, water may pass in or out as they act as channels.

Yours sincerely

J. Jocelyn


Read more: letters issue 64

hydrogen minerals

Hydrogen Minerals


by John Betterton

Hydrogen is the fist element of the periodic Table and is the most plentiful element in the Universe. Its crustal abundance is 0.15% and is mainly present as water. World production is around 40 million tonnes per annum with almost limitless reserves...

Read more: hydrogen minerals

fossil news issue 70

On the Indonesian island of Flores parts of 6 teeth and jaw found in an ancient riverbed have led university researchers to believe that they are hominins from the Homo floresiensis family often referred to as ‘hobbits’, its thought that being isolated with few natural predators they actually ‘shrunk’ both in size and brain(..)

Read more: fossil news issue 70

gemstone market report issue 64

gemstone market report

a regular feature provided by
RM Weare & Co
www.rmweare.com

The production of polished rubies and sapphires appears to be steady but the demand far outstrips supply which means there is a continuing increase in prices. Ruby prices are increasing at a slower rate than they have been over the last two years but compared to Sapphire the prices are still much higher. The result of this is that Sapphire prices are increasing at a faster rate, as the market recognises that you can get more for your money. This is especially true of blue, purple and unheated material.

Read more: gemstone market report issue 64

Meteorite and impactite jewellery

Meteorite and impactite jewellery

It is undeniable that most meteorites in their raw state are not the most attractive of objects!
However, when cut and polished or even faceted, some types can be made into attractive and fascinating items of jewellery. For a variety of reasons,

Read more: Meteorite and impactite jewellery

gemstone market report issue 69

a regular feature provided by RM Weare & Co

2015 has been a difficult year for the polished diamond trade.
Unsustainable high rough prices have squeezed profitability for the polished market which has been exacerbated by the drop in
demand at the retail level. Adding to the diamantaire’s difficulties has been their large inventories of rough that has been built up in previous ‘better times’ and the departure of sectors in the banking industry from the diamond market leaving problems in finding capital investment. This has led to some dumping of stones onto the market

Read more: gemstone market report issue 69

gemstone market report issue 63

 

gemstone market report

a regular feature provided by
RM Weare & Co
www.rmweare.com

Despite a slow lead up to Christmas, it seems that 2014 has started on a positive note. From conversations with our customers January trade was good with last minute Christmas orders being fulfilled in the New Year.
February trade was up on the last few years and with requirements for better coloured stones and diamond demand for cheaper qualities booming.

Read more: gemstone market report issue 63

turquoise

Turquoise is a very special gemstone

probably the most fascinating of gems. It has a long history with lore, myths and superstitions surrounding it that goes way back into prehistoric times. It was much prized and revered by the ancient Egyptians and in the Americas by the Pueblo people, Aztecs, Toltecs and other ancient cultures of the America's.

Read more: turquoise

fossil news summer / autumn 2015

 

After studying approximately 2000 fossils Swedish, Brazilian & Swiss researchers have determined that the introduction of ‘big cats’(felids) to North America from Asia had a major impact on the native ‘Dog family’(canid) species.
From its peek the number of canid species dropped drastically to only the 9 species seen today.
The results suggest that the felids were superior predators in comparison to the extinct dog species.

Read more: fossil news summer / autumn 2015

fossil news issue 64

 fossil news

Dr. Joseph Hannibal, curator of invertebrate palaeontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History was the lead author researching millstones in Ohio, a study looking at the geology of the stones and the stone trade of the era. Hundreds of stones were examined over a 5 year period, finding charophyte’s (algae family) was a keen indicator to determine if the stones were local or from further afield. Results show that millstones were imported from France in the 18th & 19th century due to their superior cutting ability, the stones contained freshwater fossil material where a similar looking local stone contained seawater fossil evidence.

Read more: fossil news issue 64

Twelve Essential Healing Crystals - book review

'Your first aid manual for preventing and treating common ailments from allergies to toothache'.
Michael Gienger £4.99 available early 2014
64 pages
This pocket or handbag sized informative little book lists just 12 'healing crystals' but provides a detailed description of each one and the associated illness's & disorders the author has evidence of them treating.

Read more: Twelve Essential Healing Crystals - book review

fossil news issue 67

You’re a four legged invertebrate lived on land but walked about in water laden areas, now you’re currently a favourite of palaeontologists

‘everywhere’ and they call you a tetrapod! You’re popular because you’ve left you’re footprints all-over and they’re easy to find!
Early tri-assic reptiles were well suited to the delta systems and there were fewer creatures, (probably due to the recent ‘largest mass
extinction event’) to stir up sediment and interrupt the swim track forming process, providing enthusiasts of sedimentological and
stratigraphic processes lots of data to analyse.

Read more: fossil news issue 67

fossil news issue 63

fossil news

If only for examining nearly 500,000 “10,000 year old” fish bone remains we have to mention Simon Fraser University staff that commenced a project in order to help with the future management of fisheries. Studying predominately herring bones, the study has shown a sizeable depreciation of herring stocks available in the Pacific.

Read more: fossil news issue 63

gemstone market reports issue 62

There has been a resurgence in the popularity of pink gemstones, in part due to the ever expanding Chinese marker. The high price of pink sapphire has meant that other gems have also been in demand such as Morganite (pink Beryl) and Kunzite. The availability of top quality Sri Lankan pink sapphire has decreased as has fine material from Madagascar;

Read more: gemstone market reports issue 62

Thorium minerals

By John Betterton

Thorium, Th, is a relatively rare metal in the Earth’s crust with an average abundance of roughly 5.6 ppm. World production currently stands at around 5000 tonnes per year with Brazil, India, Turkey, Australia and the USA the major produces. The monazite group of phosphate minerals are the current source of the world’s supply of this element. Most of the older uses for this element have been discontinued due to its radioactivity and is still used gas tungsten arc welding.

Read more: Thorium minerals

planetary craters what made all those holes pt1

planetary craters what made all those holes pt1

By David Bryant

It is a fact that every solid body within the Solar System is pock-marked by high-speed impact craters: not just the four rocky planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars and their moons, but also the satellites of the four gas giants Jupiter, Saturn Uranus & Neptune.
In addition, all the large asteroids that have been imaged from Earth or from space probes show similar dramatic evidence of past multiple impacts.

Read more: planetary craters what made all those holes pt1

fossil news from issue 62

The installation of a natural gas pipeline in Enid, Oklahoma USA leads to the discovery of a mammoth fossil; researchers will now excavate and reconstruct the 50,000 year old fossil.

Fancy a pair of Duelling Dinosaurs to add to your collection? Well the Montana Duelling Dinosaurs first discovered in 2006 will be appearing at Bonham's auctions, one thought to be a plant eater similar to a triceratops the other a relative of tyrannosaurus.

Read more: fossil news from issue 62

gypsum beauty and necessity

I have already covered the exotic Desert Roses that are crystals of Gypsum that have incorporated sand grains into their flower like structure, see issue 59, Spring 2013.

The mineral Gypsum is both a practical mineral and a beautiful one, it often forms as slender wonderful crystals in deserts and mines, we all use this mineral in our every day lives in everything from toothpaste to plaster on the walls of our homes and offices.

Read more: gypsum beauty and necessity

meteorite jewellery

meteorite jewellery

In the first part of this article, I reviewed the numerous glassy impactites that can be transformed into attractive and fascinating items of jewellery. As was mentioned, the majority of these are predominantly terrestrial in origin, although some (such as Desert Glass) may contain traces of the impactor.
In this, the concluding part, I shall consider the jewellery use of actual material from space: meteorites themselves.

Read more: meteorite jewellery

letters from issue 63

Dear Editor

For some time I have been considering the idea of gold digging in the UK, the recent US documentaries I have to admit are fuelling my ambition. I came across a gold prospecting map from a website and thought it may be worth a try. As I live in Scotland I tried there first not having to travel far. I went with the correct tools and enthusiasm to find that actually it is a long drawn out process and not very profitable (if I were in for a living). It did make me realise that all those years ago when our ancestors traipsed off abroad to make their fortunes, how hard it must have been, and in my case for what. I wanted to write to you not just to tell you my story but to highlight to any hopeful gold diggers out there that actually it is a good day out but don’t expect gold at the end of it, and whatever you do don’t spend a fortune on tools (I have learnt my lesson).

Thanks, Rock n Gem

Tom. A (recreational) Gold Digger

(Ed. Shhh..we’re also fans of a little gold, gem & fossil prospecting, but please make sure you adhere to rules and regulations when it comes to ‘collecting, perhaps some of the readily publicised locations are where gold used to be!)

Read more: letters from issue 63

Gem Market Report Issue 68

a regular feature provided by RM Weare & Co

Difficult trading in the first half of 2015 has been confirmed by various diamond producers and polished manufacturers.
De Beers reportedly had 65% of their offering left from the last sight as a result of many cutters not being able to afford the prices.
A criticism from cutters has been that De Beers and Alrosa, the world’s two largest

Read more: Gem Market Report Issue 68

About the magazine

This once quarterly publication encompasses a wide range of topics all relating to minerals whether untouched, faceted, carved, shaped, polished, fossilised, set in jewellery or beads. We have articles including how to: find your minerals, create a jewellery masterpiece by setting your favourite mineral in precious metal or stringing mineral beads to form a unique necklace. prepare your stone by cutting, faceting and polishing with the art of lapidary crystal healing properties and uses of crystals and minerals within ancient and modern times. As long as there's a rock we'll talk about it!

Read more: About the magazine

What is Metal Clay?

Tracey Spurgin
Metal Clay Artist and tutor

What is Metal Clay?
Silver clay was the first metal clay to venture onto the market.
It is silver that is reclaimed from industrial processes such as the film and medical industries. Using various lengthy processes to reclaim the silver, it is ground to a fine powder mixed with an organic binder and water.

Read more: What is Metal Clay?

Crystal Oversoul New Earth Attunements rrp £14.99

by Michael Eastwood.
Be warned that this is a part 2 to the previously available ‘Crystal Oversoul Attunements’, however it can be used independently.
It contains 22 healing cards, book and 2 meditation CD’s.


The pack is glossy and is a nice gate folded box, the card images are graphic generated mandalas obviously using the ‘topic crystal’ as inspiration.
The booklet is a transcribe of the CD’s themselves so you can take time in understanding the messages provided. The authors native language is English so listening to the CD’s we found after a while we could comfortably understand the spoken words without trying too hard.

Read more: Crystal Oversoul New Earth Attunements rrp £14.99

Minerals

tourmaline-crystal The magazine has regular featured mineral article most issues, everything from creation, abundance to crystal lattice and structure.
Rocks, stones crystals, gems all formed from minerals or the combination of, made up of atoms and electrons and formed with distinctive characteristics, shapes and structures.
Often formed by volcanic activity, magma, compression and evaporation of water.
Several known structures are seen including cubic, tetragonal,hexagonal,monoclinic, triclinic, orthorhombic.
The magazine always has a range of suppliers that stock minerals both common and hard to find.

Excerpt from report on tin minerals in issue 40

 

 

 

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how to create custom mineral stands

how to create custom mineral stands


a feature article

For some time I’d had a problem. A problem which became greater as my mineral collection grew. A problem with which, I suspect, other readers may be familiar; how best to display specimens in the limited space available. Often their centres of gravity are such that...

Read more: how to create custom mineral stands

Meteorites and Meteor Showers

By David Bryant

Every year in mid-August astronomers all over the world eagerly anticipate the Perseid Meteor Shower: some years the sky can be full of ‘shooting stars’, on others hardly a handful are seen.
This year was pretty good: I personally observed over sixty meteors in around two hours and even managed to photograph one as it passed close to the familiar ‘W’ shaped constellation, Cassiopeia:

Read more: Meteorites and Meteor Showers

Gemstones

blue-star-sapphireThe magazine has a regular gemstone report provided by an industry insider, news on the latest availability, whats good and not so good and what to look out for.
Don't forget we also have Gemologists that also submit articles for the magazine. If you have researched a particular gem and would like to share your knowledge please get in touch.
Gemstone is the name given to rarer high quality(good colour & clarity) mineral which has been cut into a certain shape ie baguette, princess, cabochon, facet ideally to be set into a piece of jewellery.
Other crystals, stones are sometimes also referred to as gems but they may be created from a combination of peridot-gemstoneminerals.
Precious and semi-precious are also terms relating to gemstones, however mostly over used by the commercial market.
Normally if the gem is colourful enough and sufficiently rare it will be more highly prized and valued.
The magazine always has a range of suppliers that stock a comprehensive range of gems and gemstones.

Gemstone news report excerpt from issue 42
The magazine has a regular gemstone report provided by an industry insider, news on the latest availability, whats good and not so good and what to look out for.

Don't forget we also have Gemologists that also submit articles for the magazine. If you have researched a particular gem and would like to share your knowledge please get in touch.

Gemstone is the name given to rarer high quality(good colour & clarity) mineral which has been cut into a certain shape ie baguette, princess, cabochon, facet ideally to be set into a piece of jewellery.
Other crystals, stones are sometimes also referred to as gems but they may be created from a combination of minerals.
Precious and semi-precious are also terms relating to gemstones, however mostly over used by the commercial market.

Normally if the gem is colourful enough and sufficiently rare it will be more highly prized and valued.

The magazine always has a range of suppliers that stock a comprehensive range of gems and gemstones.

Gemstone news report excerpt from issue 42

gemstone market report issue 65

market report


a regular feature provided by
RM Weare & Co

Mozambique ruby has made a big impact on the market. Unheated material is now in abundance with plenty of really fine material available For many buyers the Burmese material has taken a back seat. For the Chinese market especially, the Mozambique material is preferable as there is much mistrust of anything that has been “treated” – even if just heat treated as is the case with much of the Burmese material.

Read more: gemstone market report issue 65

letters issue 68

 happy to receive letters, but email is quicker!


Dear Editor, Please forward to Barry Taylor.
Dear Barry Taylor,
Having been made aware of your agate interest by your letter to Ed., may I ask your advice on sourcing rough material
similar in colour to attached image. This is part of a 17thC German sword hilt so no doubt was originally found in Idar,
Any thoughts, please?
Sincerely, L W

Read more: letters issue 68

Fossils

2539-white-shelled-ammonite-1sml The magazine contains a regular fossil report, provided by an expert in the field, the latest news from the fossil is included every quarter, don't forget we'll always welcome your contributions as well!
Fossils originate from the remains of animals, plants, matter and creatures alive many thousands and millions of years ago.
The organic matter or tissue slowly becomes replaced by mineral stone and crystal.

Read more: Fossils

fossil news issue 65

fossil news


a collection of fossil snippets from around the world

a regular feature

A study of ancient mammal relatives called synapsids has discovered that the creatures developed nocturnal activities probably 100 million years early than once thought. Finding and examining fossils from 315 - 200 million years ago researchers focused on scleral ossicles the tiny bones involved with eyesight. Even the infamous Dimetrodon is now thought to have been a night stalker.

Read more: fossil news issue 65

sulphur minerals

By John Betterton

Sulfur, S, occurs at about 260 ppm in the Earth’s crust and its various minerals are very diverse and some are abundant.
World production currently stands at exceeds 70,000,000 tonnes per year. Most of it is recovered from fossil fuels from leading nations such as the USA, Canada, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia etc.
The industrial uses for sulfur are vast and range from vulcanisation of rubber, sulphuric acid, sulfur trioxide, numerous other chemical and pharmaceutical compounds, fertilizers, rust removal, explosives, fuels, paints, bleach papers, detergents, many organic compounds etc.

Read more: sulphur minerals

Jewellery Making

citrine-faceted-gemstone-pendantAn art with roots dating back to the beginning of man!
Most commonly associated with precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum and gemstones but gaining in popularity using a range of materials from gemstones, mineral beads, metals to resins, glass, leather and really any material either natural or man made.
The magazine runs articles on aspects of jewellery making with precious, semi precious gemstones and natural crystals and minerals, we are cover the popular pursuit of bead making as well.
We take about tools and methods from traditional to modern day with the latest technology.
The magazine always has a comprehensive range of suppliers advertising the necessary components, tools, gemstones and beads.bead-jewellery-making-earring

Excerpt Jewellery making article from issue 44
Excerpt bead jewellery making from issue 45

the moonstone

the moonstone

by Ruby Loveridge

...believed to be drops from the moon itself, only frozen in the form of a stone

The Moonstone is part of the very large mineral group, Feldspar; which comprise of almost two thirds of the Earths’ rocks. The Moonstone is actually known as ‘adularia’, a potassium aluminosilicate of gemstone quality, which is commonly found near the Adula Group in the European Alps - hence the name ‘adularia’. Though typically colorless, the Moonstone however can range from a vast amount of colors such as gray, yellow, pink and white.

Read more: the moonstone

basic origami techniques - silver clay

 

To Contact Tracey : Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website:www.craftworx.co.ukTel: 07961 883115

 

Silver clay is an amazing material not only does it come in a lump clay form, paste and syringe there is also a product called PMC
sheet. It behaves much like a piece of paper or fabric in this simple project Tracey uses basic origami techniques to make an effective design.

Read more: basic origami techniques - silver clay

Magazine

In print since the 90's the magazine continues to grow encompassing the many aspects and pursuits relating to the earths treasures.

To puchase any of the Rock 'n' magazine  back issues, to see features and topics covered in previous magazines.

planetary craters

planetary craters:
what made all those holes? Part 2

By David Bryant

In 1908 a massive explosion laid waste to thirty square miles of Siberian pine forest near the Tungus River. Thousands of trees were felled around an obvious epicentre and many animals (and quite probably local tribesmen) were incinerated or killed by the blast. Strange night-glows in the sky persisted for several days, while witnesses reported a blinding light and shattering concussion. However, despite numerous expeditions to the region, no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming.
A 2014 TV documentary followed the adventures of a group of international scientists as they investigated the Tunguska impact site in Siberia: each one had a pet theory:

Read more: planetary craters

Crystal Prescriptions Crystal Solutions To Electromagnetic Pollution And Geopathic Stress An A-Z Guide

Volume 3, by Judy Hall, pages 270 rrp £8.99

After the previous A-Z guides from this renown Keen to peep at this new book from Judy Hall I tore open the envelope and quickly flicked through the pages and noticed it was packed full of text, a lot information, but not a glossy crystal
picture in sight.

Read more: Crystal Prescriptions Crystal Solutions To Electromagnetic Pollution And Geopathic Stress An A-Z...

Rock and Mineral Collections of the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge

 The Sedgwick Museum is part of the Department of Earth Sciences,University of Cambridge. The museum was founded in 1728 when Dr John Woodward bequeathed the geological part of his enormous collection to the university.


WOODWARD'S BEQUEST is still almost intact and can be seen in the present museum in its original walnut veneered cabinets. The main collections of the museum are divided into three: fossils, rocks and minerals. What follows is a brief history and description of the last two.
The rock collection has over 150,000 specimens from all over the world.

Read more: Rock and Mineral Collections of the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge

lapis lazuli a gem with history

Lapis Lazuli, commonly known as lapis. It was much prized and reverred by the people of the world’s first civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley. Also, much prized by the ancient Greeks, Persian’s and Romans. In very ancient times it was known as Sapphire, a name now of course given...

Read more: lapis lazuli a gem with history

Subcategories

reviews

reviews from editors and contributors of books, tools equipment, classes, events.

jewellery making

jewellery making tips, tricks an ideas.

crystal healing

Articles on crystal healing, using stones for well-being.

fossils

news and articles of all things fossil.

minerals

news, views, information on all types of minerals and specimens

letters

letters from readers and visitors of the magazine and website

To see a list of mineral, crystal, gemstone, fossil shows/events both UK and worldwide visit our show page, if you organise or know of a show please get in touch to list it here.

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