This is a new edition of the classic little guide on Blue John by Trevor Ford, who has now sadly passed away. The guide provides a comprehensive overview of the geology and mineralogy of Blue John fluorite from Derbyshire and also provides a description of its mining in the past and today, and its use in the production of ornaments and jewellery.
Adam Blaxhall (UK). Once a mystery substance thought to be a type of lead, graphite is now one of the most vital components in the ever-expanding world of complex electronics. But this ‘mineral of extremes’ is more than just the familiar grey material we find in pencils. Rather, it is… … Read More
Deborah Painter (USA). They have become associated with stark alien or other-dimensional landscapes since the 1960s, when the popular American television programme Star Trek used them as dramatic backdrops in two episodes, “Arena” and “Friday’s Child”. Prior to that, the Vasquez Rocks of Agua Dulce in California were a favoured… … Read More
Matúš Hyžný (Slovakia), Andreas Kroh (Austria), Alexander Ziegler (Germany) and John WM Jagt (The Netherlands). Alpheid shrimps, colloquially referred to as “pistol shrimps”, exhibit a remarkable anatomical adaptation. These tiny marine crustaceans use their enlarged and highly modified claw to ‘shoot’ at their prey – hence their name. It is… … Read More
Neville Martin (UK). Shetland is famous for many things including ponies, knitwear, sheep and sheepdogs, birdlife and fishing. It is less well known for being an excellent attraction for the geologist or that it is currently going through the process of qualifying for European and World Geopark recognition. The rocks … Read More
Sonja McLachlan (UK). In the second part of this series of articles, I will be exploring the beautiful examples of ornamental and decorative jade carvings that can be found in many places around the world. Ancient peoples collected and sculpted jade into unique symbolic items representing their own cultures and… … Read More
Sonja McLachlan (UK). In this, the first of a five-part series exploring the mineral Jade, I will explore the various locations around the world in which Jade is found and mined. In this, the first of a five-part series exploring the mineral Jade, I will explore the various locations around … Read More
William Wray (USA). K2 granite is found near the base of K2, the mountain it is named after, in the Himalayas from a rarely visited site. K2, also called “Mount Goodwin Austen” is the second highest mountain in the world, rising to 8,611m (28,253 feet). K2 got its name from… … Read More
Deborah Painter (USA). Imagine a tremendous piece of land moving equipment that scraped up the soil and some of the surface bedrock from four states within the United States’ Eastern Seaboard, carrying and dragging it all the way, before dumping it on a ridge off the shoreline. That is what… … Read More
Dr Robert Sturm (Austria). In the ancient Greek and Roman world, volcanism was recognised as a divine phenomenon standing in close connection with the fire god, Hephaestus or Vulcan. Although there did not exist any term corresponding to the modern word “volcano”, people were aware of the destructive power arising… … Read More
Ken Madrell (UK). The island of La Gomera has an area of 370km2, it is 25km in diameter, has a maximum altitude of 1,487m (Alto Garajonay) and is situated approximately 40km west of Tenerife. Unlike the other Canary Islands, La Gomera has experienced a long and continuing eruptive break and… … Read More
Tim Holt-Wilson (UK). The date is 24 May 2014 and I am browsing across East Lane Beach at Bawdsey in southeast Suffolk. A brown lump of sandstone with a white fossil shell impression catches my eye. A boxstone. This is the first one I have ever found with a fossil… … Read More
Steven Wade Veatch (USA). While headed for the California Gold Rush of 1849, George Giggey (who was my great-great-grandfather) first made his way through the mountainous and untamed wilderness of what would later become Colorado. He was among a group of young men, who were determined to make a new … Read More
Dr Trevor Watts (UK). We (my wife Chris and I) enjoyed our fourth visit to Big Island Hawaii in May 2013 so much that we decided to return to the same places in October 2014. We were hoping to see similar events and activities, which we had found particularly interesting … Read More
Mike Viney (UK). As a child, petrified wood captured my imagination. However, as an adult, when someone taught me to look at the fossil wood at a microscopic level, I was in awe. At that moment, I like to think that I shared a joy similar to what the famous … Read More
Fred Clouter (UK). On Wednesday, 26 April 1882, the Queenborough Chemical and Copperas Works were auctioned off, heralding the demise of the copperas industry on the Isle of Sheppey. Green copperas was used to make sulphuric acid or vitriol, chemical manures and dye stuffs. “Being in Queenborough Castle in the … Read More
Dr Robert Sturm (Austria). This is the secondof fourarticles on the quarries of the ancient world and later, and, in particular, the marble that was quarried there and the artwork that was made from it. The first (Mining in Ancient Greece and Rome) was published in Issue 41 of this … Read More
Khursheed Dinshaw (India). The Wieliczka Salt Mine of Poland was included in the first UNESCO World Heritage list in 1978. It is also on the Polish List of Historic Heritage and, when visiting, provides an interesting way to get to know how salt has been mined underground for almost nine … Read More
David Bryant (UK). Perhaps unsurprisingly (as a professional dealer in space rocks), I find all meteorites equally fascinating and, in their own way, aesthetically appealing. However, I have to admit, the meteorites known as the Pallasites, with their beautiful structure of olivine fragments suspended in a nickel-iron matrix, are probably … Read More
Jon Larsen (Norway). Is it possible to find micrometeorites in populated areas? The question has been raised for nearly a century and, despite numerous attempts to find them, the answer up to this day has been a very short “no”. Meanwhile, our knowledge about these amazing stones has gradually increased. … Read More
Terry Moxon (UK). Agate is banded or variegated chalcedony and this distinctive appearance allows a ready identification from any source. Many agate thick sections from basic igneous hosts are reminiscent of a series of distorted onion-like rings with the initial bands closely replicating the shape of the supporting gas cavity. … Read More
Deborah Painter (USA). If the characteristics referred to in the title were their only quality, fulgurites would be fascinating. However, they have other unusual qualities that make them even more amazing. For example, some hold ancient air within that can offer a window into palaeo-environments. Fulgurites are natural tubes or, … Read More
Dr Robert Sturm (Austria). The Erzberg Mine is situated in the Austrian county of Styria. From a geological point of view, it belongs to the so-called greywacke zone, which represents a band of Palaeozoic metamorphosed sedimentary rocks intercalated between the Northern Limestone Alps and the Central Alps. The Erzberg Mine … Read More
Jerrod Gallup (USA). I got this selenite crystal at the first Pebble Pups meeting I attended. As a result, I researched this crystal and found lots of interesting facts, in particular, that it was very unique. This particular crystal was found in Oklahoma in 1970. In fact, you can go … Read More
Normally, I wouldn’t be interested in semi-precious stones and other pretty things. Personally, I prefer grubbing around in the dirt, perhaps for those far more beautiful, elusive and perfectly formed Cretaceous terebratulids or Silurian trilobites. However, some semi-precious stones have the advantage of also providing a tangible link to the ancient history of life.
Nowadays, people don’t do geology – they do ‘earth sciences’ – and this book is very much in that mould. That’s not to say this is a problem.
Deposits magazine has covered the science and appeal of agate in some detail over the last few years. Indeed, this issue has another in Wayne Sukow’s excellent series on the science of Lake Superior agate formation.
Here at Deposits, we like our amber and this certainly isn’t the first book on the subject I have reviewed. In fact, over the years, we have published many articles on the fossilised sap and its inclusions, and have just finished publishing a short, two-article series by the authors of this excellent little publication.
Over a period of 20 years, Ian Tyler has written a series of books on the metalliferous mining industry of the English Lake District and this has clearly been a significant labour of love for him.
Terry Moxon likes his agates. It is easy to see his enthusiasm and it is just as easy to appreciate it from this short book on the science of these colourful minerals. However, his is not just a casual interest.