What is slag, anyway?

What is slag, anyway?

If you're a regular on mineral identification or discussion forums or groups, you'll have seen posts with photos of an unusual material, followed by a dozen comments of "SLAG!". It's not an insult, honest*. Fans of mineral identification and those who give their time...

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Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: Moldavite

Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: Moldavite

The tektite known as Moldavite has been a frequently faked item for years - and recently, the prices have risen further.To be perfectly clear - there is genuine Moldavite; it is a green tektite glass from the Czech Republic. The largest mine in Czechia is currently...

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What is *inside* this Ammonite?

What is *inside* this Ammonite?

This Ammonite came to me in a lot with other Ammonites - from experience, I can say it is probably from the Inferior Oolite of Dorset or at least South England.   What jumped out was that tiny circular inclusion - I didn't have a clue what it was - a tooth from a...

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Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: Rainbow Calsilica

Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: Rainbow Calsilica

Rainbow Calsilica is one of the more insidious fakes on the market today. It exists in a range of colours, shapes, and styles, and is intended to mimic genuine minerals and stones. The material was originally introduced to the public at the Tucson mineral show of 2002...

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Fossil Hunting: Charmouth and Lyme Regis

Fossil Hunting: Charmouth and Lyme Regis

When I go on fossil hunting trips, I tend to try and avoid knowing too much about the location. That probably seems nonsensical, but I can buy and sell fossils all day, and the real fun is in the hunt and finding one of your own. I spent a few hours walking between...

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Dangerous Minerals: Bumblebee Jasper

Dangerous Minerals: Bumblebee Jasper

'Bumblebee Jasper' / 'Mustard Jasper' An attractive orange, white, and black mineral - the contrasts of this piece make it a popular eye-catcher. However, it has a dark secret. First of all, this material is not a form of Jasper at all. Dripping acids onto the surface...

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Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: ‘Trapiche’ inclusions

Mineral scams, fakes, and tricks: ‘Trapiche’ inclusions

Another post to begin with a preface - there are genuine 'Trapiche' included stones. Trapiche stones are uncommon - and could be easily confused with 'star' stones. However, a 'Trapiche' included stone has visible inclusions formed in a radiating pattern, either from...

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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...

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