Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 66

Published Winter 2014

rockngem magazine issue 66

Fossil, gemstone & general news, crystal shop & website directories, listings

dear reader

Hands up! Sorry we’re a little late with this issue..
maybe a few too many reasons but hopefully as we continue to work with improving the publication we’ll also be keeping to the schedule.
Whilst we’re apologising, remember the article in issue 65 that solved how to display your minerals in the best possible position “bespoke specimen stands” well in the rush to test out this method we omitted to mention the author, who is Mr John Bushell, photographer, mineral fan and mineral stand maker!
This issue we continue with some tumbling machine exploits on page 38, an article on the myths, legends and properties of jasper by our past apprentice Ruby(good luck Ruby in whatever you choose to do!).
Also in this issue Barry Taylor starts his series about zeolites and associated minerals, John Betterton continues with an in-depth article on carbon minerals page 30.
We have David Bryant’s (SpacerocksUK) with a new article on moon rock mysteries. The cold clear & dark winter nights do seem to draw ones gaze at the moment ever hopeful of some spectacular phenomenon. For those in the (draughty) workshop a step by step guide to making earrings with the raden technique.
So what did the gift season bring? Any interesting mineral acquisitions you’d like to share? Or perhaps new equipment, what are you planning?
Ok I admit the autumn/winter workshop tidy hasn’t happened just yet and I’ve been a little distracted with current events; however I feel it’s near and have my eye on all those stock piled cabbing slices that thought they’d been forgotten. Along with a little refurbishment of a not so recently acquired combination machine.
Don’t forget to make a note of the new year’s show dates, more information & events are listed on the magazine’s website (
Now I must get back to trying to get that mineral picture just right, why don’t camera batteries have a meter so you known when they’re going to need recharging!

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 60

Published Summer 2013

rock and gem magazine issue 60 summer 2013

This issue includes articles on:-

Iridium, Osmium, & Ruthenium Minerals,

quartz and chalcedony,

life & death of dinosaurs,

making jewellery with freeform shapes,

chelyabinsk fireball,

fossil hunting

fossil news, gemstone market report & general news, crystal shop & website directories, listings

gems by michael odonoghue book review


dear reader

I'm sure it is summertime however I've been wrapped up warm on my recent fossil hunting exploits, luckily to date we haven't been rained off but the wind has provided a few dust storms! Read about the 1st trip to the Ketton Quarry on page 19, I think it's addictive as I have already signed up for a few more.
Speaking of fossils we have an article on Dinosaurs (and meteorites) on page 24.
We haven't attended quite so many mineral shows this year to date but have been lucky to see a few tremendous specimens, how has your mineral hunting been, seen anything memorable?
As you're reading this no doubt there will be a small exodus of dealers and enthusiasts heading out to the Santé Marie aux Mines show, would shows under canvas take off in the UK? Well it's a chance to enjoy good minerals, food, practise your french and international waving of arms language which will come in useful for the next major European show in Munich later in the year.
Do let us know your exploits, been mineral hunting overseas? Ventured out on an exciting fossil hunt? or perhaps a little gold mining. There is another series of Gold Rush Alaska back on the Discovery Channel, ok so our old wash plant isn't as efficient as the new one expected soon so lets just dismantle it - oops the new one isn't arriving for how many weeks?
We'll be heading north of the border soon so hope to share with you a few note worthy mineral exploits.
Don't forget if you are out and about, be responsible, obtain permits where necessary and use the correct safety equipment and don’t forget to tell someone where you're headed.
Enjoy the summer explore and be amazed at the natural world, save the cataloguing for the winter months!

Steve, Hannah, toddler Jack & Max.


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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 65

Published Summer 2014

Dear Reader

Summer was a hit with lots of sunshine and time for getting out and exploring, did you venture out fossil or mineral hunting?
Now we’re losing daylight by 3 mins a day so time to plan activities for those long winter evenings, will it be time in the workshop cleaning up those fossil finds, cut and polishing, or assembling some unique jewellery, if you’re embarking on a project let us know!
I’m sure we’ll be tempted by the odd drama documentary whether it will be searching for Gold in the Klondike, Ice Gold with ruby mining or even another advert-documentary on a Gem Jewellery TV seller.
There’s still some shows to attend, whether it be “at home” or further a field, don’t forget to check the show dates on page 11 or on the website

This issue we have featured exploits with a tumbling machine on page 38, an article on the myths, legends and properties of
moonstone by our apprentice Ruby, who continues to educate us on the trials and tribulations of the younger generation at work. Barry Taylor shares his knowledge on pyrite, page 14, John Betterton gives us an in-depth article on indium minerals page 30.

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 67

Published Spring 2015


dear reader

So who’s made their “bespoke specimen stands” yet?
It was a difficult decision to miss omit another tumbling machine exploit but you’ll be pleased to know that after a brief pause, tumblestone production is under-way again, do you have any ‘lapidary’ adventures you’d like to share with readers (and potential customers!) This issue Barry Taylor continues his series about zeolites and associated minerals on page 14 and John Betterton has an in-depth look at sulphur minerals page 30.
We have David Bryant’s (SpacerocksUK) with a new article entitled ice from above. More precious metal clay tuition from the talented Tracey of Craftworx demonstrating origami techniques with metal clay, suitable for a range of designs, not sure I can fold paper like that, see page 20 So it’s full steam through Spring and early Summer, time to complete those Winter projects and invigorate ourselves with some new challenges.
A letter page 43 has spurred us into reconfiguring the ‘lapidary’ section of the workshop and do more than think about the refurbishment we mentioned to the combination machine, more to follow.
Have you been to any shows this year? Find any thing interesting? Seen anything unusual not just the re-use of ice cream or Ferrero Rocher tubs for display!
We’re building a list of show dates, information & events on the magazine’s website (
Speaking of shows we’ve been informed that a small show in Cambridge is being planned, more information to follow.
Hopefully you’ve already planned some of your mineral, fossil, gemstone exploits for the year, we’d love to hear about them so we can share them with other


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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 61

Published Autumn 2013

rock and gem magazine issue 61 autumn 2013

This issue includes articles on:-

chlorine Minerals,

quartz and chalcedony part 2,

harrogate show report,

making jewellery with meteorites

mysterious carbonados,

Pre Munich show information

amber in edinburgh

fossil news, gemstone & general news, crystal shop & website directories, listings, letters

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dear reader

No not yet…we're not quite ready for the on come of autumn but let's hope the amount of sunshine so far will be enough to fortify us for the cooler weather.
Still autumn is filled with an abundance of shows not least the Munich Mineral show more details on page 24, there's also events closer to home on page 11.
We popped along to the Harrogate Rock Gem 'n' Bead show scheduled after the demise of the former BLMDA show at the same venue, there's a review on page 38.
Do let us know if you venture to any of these events, what do you find; was it more than worth the trip?
The cover picture 'The Screaming Man' is a spectacular gold nugget from Australia which will be on display at the Munich Show, of course gold is the feature for their 50th anniversary year. Luckily there won't be anyone from the Gold Rush TV show there!
Nature can show us many interesting things especially in stone, we've seen a whole host of images from people's minerals, from faces, geometric shapes to animals, do you have a noteworthy stone in an unusual shape or one that contains an interesting image you'd like to share with us, please send your images to us at the magazine newsdesk@rockngemmagazine. in the largest/detailed format (preferably 300dpi) you can manage and we will feature it in an upcoming issue.
Although it is only autumn the 2014 event diary is filling fast so for those of you that exhibit, attend and visit shows and events throughout the year now is a good time to get ahead and start planning, there's only so many weekends in a year and it's best not to double book!
Steve, Hannah, Jack, Max & team…

Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 59

Published Spring 2013

rock n Gem magazine issue 59

This issue includes articles on:-

rhodium minerals,

fossils called thunderbolts - belemnites,

desert roses,

making jewellery with freeform shapes,

meteorites in ancient times 2,

ooh! that’s rough- selecting rough stone to cut,

minerals of the world by walter schumann book review

history & lore of agate

fossil news, gemstone market report & general news issue 59, letters, crystal shop & website directories, listings

dear reader

Dear Reader,
The memory of Christmas may have faded but there's probably a little less room in your collection cabinet or an extra healing crystal in the 'tool kit'. I doubt I will be watching much more TV what with a one year old little man to keep me on my toes but I have noticed a little more coverage for the mineral world, whether it's placement of some nice natural or polished formations in the homes of drama characters or specific documentaries.
The end of 2012 also saw the demise of the British Lapidary & Mineral Dealers Association, perhaps a new group will rise from the ashes.
As winter draws to a close many mineral dealers can be found state-side at the Tucson shows catching up and getting an insight of the year ahead, we hear that trading was a little subdued this year. As the shows came to an end Russia became the home for yet another meteorite, very little material 'landed' and none officially was released commercially however the internet was awash with samples to buy!

Very soon the website will have a fresh look and the long awaited e-mag shall be available, so do have a look and let us know what you think.
This issue we have part 2 of the excellent article meteorites in ancient times on page 30, we seem to have a few news articles (page 10) relating to issues skyward this time. An informative article on page 18 - what to look for when selecting rough stones for cutting and yes please don't spit on the stones before you buy them! An example of setting unusual shaped crystals on page 28, which highlights that it's just about adapting your technique and methods.
You may have the luxury of a heated workshop but for those that don't now is the time to venture out and dust off covers and apply a little maintenance before getting creative and helping nature display it's marvels to their very best!

Steve, Hannah, baby Jack, Max and team!

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 68

Published Summer / Autumn 2015


dear reader

Summers fading and we must apologise for the gap in issues, a few now resolved technical problems and other interruptions resulted in a prolonged absence, so to repeat Rock n Gem Magazine history we’re going to call this issue Summer/Autumn, our next being Winter. Don’t worry we’ll be extending subscriptions to account for 3 issues in 2015.
This issue Barry Taylor introduces us to Gypsum “Beauty & Necessity” on page 14. It’s a wonder of nature that such a possibly mundane mineral can also be so fragile & spectacular whilst being a major ingredient in most buildings.
John Betterton has an in-depth look at the metal minerals of thorium on page 30. We have David Bryant’s (SpacerocksUK) with a new article entitled Meteorites & Meteor showers on page 26.
We’re always talking of projects & draughty workshops, well we’ve just joined the trend of being garden building owners. Once we get over the somewhat challenging large pallet of timber filling the patio and work our way through assembly we’ll share some tales of our exploits.
Serious show season is approaching in Europe with the Munich Show at the end of October and later closer to home the Sussex show(interesting amber pic on their advert, page 43), there’s also a small show near Cambridge being planned, for more information see our show dates on page 11.
We’re kept entertained by ‘Ice Cold Gold’ a group of US miners prospecting in Greenland. Ice cold gold ‘fever’ includes glacier climbing, crevasse plunging all in a days work for the crew. Yelps of “gold on my body right now” are followed later by “nothin’ there” then a “we got gold”. Calamities include the equipment crate being dropped by helicopter and smashing on the rocks!
Well it’s back to the to do list which seems to have a life of its own.
Happy mineral collecting, cutting or just admiring!




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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 62

Published Winter 2013

rock and gem magazine issue 62 winter 2013

This issue includes articles on:-

hydrogen Minerals,

quartz and chalcedony part 3,

nikon small world competition
meteorite & impactite jewellery

twelve essential crystals - Michael Gienger, book review
mysterious turquoise,

the shakespeare pocket - field trip

cutting concave gemstones with aston gems of california

After Munich show report

fossil news,

gemstone market report, general news, crystal shop & website directories, listings and letters

It's almost Christmas and I wonder what you'll all be hoping you'll find under the tree, I know myself after several months of prolonged building work and being 'homeless' I'll be asking Santa to help me move back into my house!
The winter months could be the perfect time to brush up on your photography skills in anticipation of next years Nikon Small World Competition, mineral pictures managed to place in the 'Images of Distinction' category this year but there's always the coverted top spot to aim for, see page 21.
If you're a keen faceter or like to see unique jewellery then head to page 36 to read up on Aston Gems, (Ed - I'm jealous of their kit) why not give one of their concave cuts a try.
We've also had look at Michael Giengers latest book entitled 'Twelve Essential Healing Crystals' available in spring 2014 on page 20.
Looking for something different well meteorite jewellery could certainly be a conversation topic, David Bryant from Space Rocks guides us through which meteorites to expect in jewellery, page 28.
Turquoise is probably one of the most widely known gems and holds a certain mystique, David Gibson gives us an insight into it's history and current day uses. Page 24.
We'd like to thank you our readers and all the magazine contributors who have given their time, knowledge and shared their passion with us throughout 2013.
Steve, Hannah, Jack, Max & team…


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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 58

Published Winter 2012

Rock and gem magazine issue 58

Jewellery making no heat required


in-depth article on Palladium minerals

meteorites in history

jade beauty products

healing stones - W, Z

Fossil, gemstone & general news, crystal shop & website directories, listings


Dear Reader,

No snow yet just rain and more rain as we head towards the festive season we do hope that 2013 will be a happy event filled year for you, we have certainly adapted to changes in 2012 some joyful, challenging, some caused by the decisions of others. But you just have to roll with them and adapt it's the only way to gain from life’s experiences!
Our website will be changing soon as well in order for people to be able to subscribe to the magazine's e-format which is very handy for overseas readers, you'll also be able to see a few extras such as live links and the occasional video footage.
In this magazine we bring you some show reviews, great images and a plethora of news. I'm sure we all know that minerals are used in pharmaceuticals, medicines and other products, I know we'd all like to see stunning specimens and unique carvings however on page 17 a couple show that giving up the daily toil adopting, enhancing and marketing a little known use of jade could create a new company. Our famed space rocks expert shares a history of meteorites on page 30. Our cover picture is from the Nikon small world competition (page 12) always worth a look, (...they take pictures of non rocks as well!) We at the Rock n Gem Magazine would like to wish all of our readers and followers a happy Christmas and New Year and take this opportunity to thank youfor your continued support, we never tire of reading your letters, comments, suggestions and articles, we will always do our best to include all that we receive. We are sure that for some of you interesting specimens, jewellery, books or mineral delights will find there way into your stockings, we certainly hope so. Tell us what they are, take a few pictures you never know you might get a mention.
Don’t forget the 12/12/12, it is a rare event, not one to be missed. Enjoy the read.
Steve, Hannah, baby Jack, Max and team!

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 69

Published Winter / Spring 2016


dear reader

No snow yet for us dwelling in East Anglia but the high winds and rain have helpfully shown me where I need to insulate and waterproof the workshop!
The end of 2015 saw the Rock Gem ‘n’ Bead shows under new management (see page 36), what will 2016 bring to visitors & exhibitors of these country wide events. Let us know what you think and which shows you like best and why!
This issue Barry Taylor reviews, reflects & revisits on inclusions with some stunning images in his article entitled ‘The Wonder of Quartz Inclusions’ on page 14.
With the festive season behind us the largest mineral & gem show stateside took place in February, did you visit? a smaller event is also held in the Autumn, how does it compare?
John Betterton has an in-depth look at the silicon minerals on page 30.
Our general news pages on 12 & 13, we managed to add, the meteorite sighting north of the border, anyone catch a glimpse. Obviously there isn’t a meteorite hotline but why are people calling 999 to report a sighting...
Hmm why didn’t I get the heating installed in the new, workshop prior to the ‘cold’ many delayed, projects on my to do list.
However nothing like ice diving for gold, a new, submersible robot dredger seems to be the way forward, harvesting three times the amount of gold per hour, compared to what a diver can do!, There is a wealth of information on gold prospecting, in the UK but we’ve yet to hear from anyone actively, pursuing the yellow stuff.
As always be careful when buying ‘out there’, as, inventive ways of manifesting mineral formations, are abundant from artificially irradiated minerals to, colourants and ‘stick ons’, Well it’s back to the to do list which seems to have a life, of its own as I hear a little voice saying its hiding Daddy, probably with some stones I lost the other day as I hunt, them down closely supervised by 4-year-old eyes!
Happy mineral collecting, faceting, polishing, jewellery, making, collecting or just admiring!




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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 63

Published Spring 2014

rock and gem magazine issue 63

This issue includes articles on:-

dear reader

Just sometimes you have to take a break; we’re all good at telling folk about signs but also very good at ignoring those which head our way perhaps a minor cold or cough to get you to rest or a string of things not ‘going the way they should’, losing a cast piece of silver in a confined space never to be seen again or even getting a phone call asking what type of ‘Rock Magazine’ you are...and when was the last time you interviewed Bon Jovi! So this issue might have arrived a few days later than expected but there were good reasons.
Spring has definitely appeared a few days of sunshine is a tonic for most and seems to be the impudence we need to start new projects, are you embarking on a stone related pursuit? A new rock collecting expedition - do let us know.
Myself I seemed to have treated my workshop to a couple of additions, another tumble polisher and 2nd hand combination machine which I’m sure will feature as a mini refurbishment project. It must be catching because we have noticed quite a lot of ‘stone machines’ available on the new and 2nd hand markets, even equipment from the early 80’s seems to be holding a premium, us budding lapidarists seem to be a resourceful lot, recently we heard of folk collecting off cuts of stone from kitchen worktop suppliers for some prolific cabbing - what else are you up to, please let us know.
We have some wonderful “Translucent Agate” images from Barry Taylor on page 14 and an informative article on Rubies by Ruby, an apprentice who’s spending some time in our office over the next few months shared between our Architectural consultant neighbours. It’s Rubys first time writing for a publication so we do hope you enjoy it. Rubies seemed the natural choice!
You can find chapter and verse on Fluorine minerals page 30, our magazine round up on the rather active fossil scene and the “Gems Report” by R.M. Weare page 4. We also have Tracey from Craftworx an expert in metal clay jewellery giving us an overview on the material, we hope you find it interesting, having purchased some clay ages ago and never opened the packets I’m looking forward to more metal clay projects that will follow in future issues.

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 57

Published Autumn 2012


Jewellery making from rock to pendant

Iron inclusions in quartz

in-depth article on Platinum minerals

Have you found a meteorite?

healing stones - W

Fossil, gemstone & general news, crystal shop & website directories, listings

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 70

Published Summer / Autumn 2016


dear reader

It’s the 70th edition, wow... we’ve looked after the last 26 issues so it seems fitting to take stock and reflect on the way we do things.
Originally when we were asked if we’d like to ‘save’ the magazine we felt surprised and a little duty bound to ‘pick up the reins’ and continue with the publication, its opened up another facet of the ‘mineral world’ for us. Not just technically with organising the layout, e-mags Quark and Adobe but exposure to advertisers and contributors and experts of all sorts.
We have to say a big thank-you to Barry Taylor who is a main stay of the magazine for sharing his passion and knowledge with us, his latest venture being his own ‘mineral museum’. Also John Betterton for his in-depth mineral articles. Not forgetting those that have sent letters, articles and publications for inclusion & review.
Also thanks to you the readers who at times have had to be patient whilst the next issue has been delayed with various issues like printers out of business, broken promises on articles, approval for images and even the odd grumpy advertiser (in the past) The time has come for the Rock n Gem Magazine to migrate online, it has often been mentioned that change is the only thing you can rely upon, even the mineral world is ever changing, the magazine no different!
We plan to add updates, articles and news to the revamped website as and when received rather than waiting for a quarterly in print magazine, but all the usual sections will be present. With the current emag versions still accessible and the back catalog being made available.
This issue we have direct from Sri Lanka an article on sapphires(p4), a glimpse into the sourcing of petrified wood from Madagascar (p14), an informative article from Paddy on Irish minerals(p16). Whilst Barry shares with us some of his zeolites from India(p28). Also theres a sneak advanced peek at Judy Hall’s latest publication entitled crystal mindfulness(p45)
So as we head towards the busy festive season I hope you’ll join us not only on but also in the workshop, out hunting for minerals & fossils and sharing your passion.



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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 64

Published Summer 2014

rockngem magazine issue64

dear reader

Despite having a few days overseas and hearing that it was as sunny in the UK our worries that we may have missed ‘summer at home’ were to be unfounded. However true to form we’ve managed to get caught out under more than one heavy shower whilst ‘rock & fossil’ exploring.
I’m sure I’m not alone but I seem to keep running out of space in the workshop, perhaps a complete empty out and start again is in order however I’ll need to build a little more enthusiasm for that. Do you have any layout or storage tips for making the most from your lapidary/jewellery making space?
Although I’m sure the Egyptians would envy the tools we use today, on page 34 Andrea Whytock tells us more on ancient lapidary.
We learn about rare earth metals Rubidium and gallium on page 30, whilst Ruby reminds us why we like opals so much and the myths & legends behind them.
Barry Taylor puts us right on Pseudo-Sedimentary Agates (page 14) with some lovely images as always.
Do you ever think about all the asteroids out there and the impact they’ve had on the earth and other planets, well David Bryant shares some of his knowledge on the subject (page 24).
We also have Tracey from Craftworx with a project for you using metal clay on page 38, have you tried yet or have some unopened packets sitting on your bench (like me).
I hope some of you are planning exciting fossil or mineral hunting trips over the summer months, if you’d like to share your exploits or recommend specific areas please get in touch.
Luckily the brief docu-soaps on gem hunting seem to be in the off season and we’re left with yet another season of Gold Rush on Discovery, having learnt that gold mining has to be adapted to the location and big equipment sinks in mud the ‘not so novice miners’ no doubt will rescue the poor season performance so far.
We’ve updated the show page on the website to be easier to view we list shows for the UK, and further afield if you organise or know of an event please let us know.
Oh my tumbler seems to have changed its melodic tune and I need to investigate so have a great summer and we’ll have more ‘Rock & Gem’ articles and news next time.

Fossil, gemstone & general news, crystal shop & website directories, listings

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 56

Published Summer 2012


Rainbow Obsidian

Golden Goethite

in-depth article on Boron minerals

Libyan Desert Glass

healing stones - V

Fossil, gemstone & general news, crystal shop & website directories, listings

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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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