news - issue 68

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Asteroid watching
Asteroid watching may have been given a boost as astronomers are testing a ‘digital shifting’ techniques on short snapshot exposures of the sky, the outcome could provide images of asteroids 10x fainter than current techniques.

rock n gem magazine issue 68
rock n gem magazine issue 68


mine launch
Countdown to space mining...recently a platinum loaded asteroid passed by estimated worth in the trillions of pounds, researchers bounce radar off the near ether objects in order to determine their composition.

still your best friend
The diamond market continues to stagnant with a slump in demand and purchase of rough material, suppliers relying on current inventories should push the price of rough down. How forecasts are bleak for the pre-Christmas buying season.
On the upside new technology has provided more powerful and safer lasers utilising diamonds surpassing original material both in performance and safety.

Geoscientists warn that in a few year scarbon dating may become rather unreliable due to the amount of fossil fuels being consumed. The level of radiocarbon in the fuels has naturally decayed, whilst the output of CO2 has increased in the atmosphere effectively diluting the current levels of radiocarbon available for organic matter to absorb.

still standing
Researchers puzzled as to why naturally standing 18000 year old fragile stones are...still standing near the notorious earthquake San Andreas fault, think the answer is because they’re located in a ‘step over’ area mi way between the San Jacinto fault and they’re connected causing lower movement in the specific overlapping area.

Not another gold find in Australia...but this one’s a little different say geologists, the ore is classified as upper amphibolite to granulite facies meaning it has been exposed to 7 to 10 kilo bars of pressure and massive temperatures. Located on the margin of two tectonic plates the Yilgarn Craton and Glenburgh Terrane its thought that the gold was formed prior to the tectonic collision.

Skywards NASA researchers are using a previously decommissioned Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) to hunt specifically for potential near earth objects; it’s currently monitoring thought to be dark fragments from the Euphrosyne asteroid after its 700 million year ago collision which now have a tilted orbital path.

South African gold mines are proving to struggle for profitability at the moment, blame is suggested due to interest rates and current pricing along with aging mine costs.
Anglo American have just sold some of their loss making platinum mines in the country to consolidate their business.

Cumbria’s west coast yielded an early example of carved quartz jewellery, the discovery was from an early Roman Settlement (1AD), the carving was of a bearded man’s head.

The Birmingham Assay Office has reported that Hallmarking has slumped by an average of over 10% across the metals except Platinum which has actually increased by 1%.
Interestingly whilst gold jewellery demand is down, demand in the US & Europe has increased(investment purchases) whilst The Indian and Asian market it’s reduced, possibly due to less consumer demand.

The South Australia Museum is launching a spectacular opal exhibit being one of the most recognised symbols of Australia.
see page 34

Did you catch the annual Perseid meteor, late July to August, coinciding with a new moon should’ve helped with visibility!

The end of October will see the largest annual trade fair in Europe for minerals, gemstones, jewellery fossils & associated gifts, with over 1200 exhibitors, more commonly known as the ‘Munich Show’ further details on page 25.

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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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