Mineral Scams, Fakes, and Tricks: Calcite or Onyx?

Mineral Scams, Fakes, and Tricks: Calcite or Onyx?

This one has been coming for a while. I see it on Facebook groups on an almost daily basis... the posting of a picture, a request for identification, and the stream of "onyx" "Mexican onyx"... a misidentification and commonly used 'trade name' for banded Calcite from...

read more
Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: Amethyst with Pyrite

Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: Amethyst with Pyrite

I'm going to preface this post by saying that this does not appear to be common - and that Pyrite does naturally occur with Amethyst.  This post is written as a reminder to look a little closer.  This could be an art piece, a one off. I just don't know. I saw it...

read more

Coronavirus

Please note that until further notice, orders from Albion Fire and Ice will only be dispatched twice weekly. Orders can still be placed and your items will be reserved, but they will not be shipped until either Tuesday or Friday. I recommend washing your hands after...

read more
Bizarre bits: Derpy Dinosaur Toys

Bizarre bits: Derpy Dinosaur Toys

Terrible dinosaur toys from museums, gift shops, etc... I started noticing these a few years back. Tacky Chinese dinosaur toys that not only look like unrealistic dinosaurs, but frankly don't really look like... anything. Some of them are really just...

read more
Testing and Identification: The Mohs hardness test

Testing and Identification: The Mohs hardness test

So, what is the Mohs hardness scale? The Mohs hardness scale is, unsurprisingly, a hardness scale, invented by someone called Friedrich Mohs. Specifically, it defines hardness by the ability to scratch, or to be scratched by other minerals. This gives us a very quick...

read more
Fossil hunting: Llandudno and the Great Orme

Fossil hunting: Llandudno and the Great Orme

Another fossil collecting post with no actual collecting, eh? I'm getting rather good at those. The Great Orme is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and collecting rocks, fossils, plants, etc is not permitted! Where these fossils are concerned,...

read more
Fossil hunting: a riverbed in Wales

Fossil hunting: a riverbed in Wales

You might be wondering why I would write an article about a collecting trip, and not actually tell you where. Have a look at the photos and read on to find out.  I managed to find some quality fossils, including brachiopods, bivalves, coral, and crinoids -...

read more
Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: Glass as a Gemstone

Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: Glass as a Gemstone

Some of these pieces are more 'fake' than others. Goldstone and Opalite are often sold as glass by trustworthy merchants - but not always.Some are easy to spot, but unfortunately, some are not. This page just lists a few common fakes. Andara AKA: "Golden Light...

read more