Agate

A Big Rock Show in Portland October 13 – 15th

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On Friday the 13th of this month the doors will open for the Portland Regional Rock and Mineral Show and some people say it’s the best yearly all agate and jasper show in the US. I’ve never been to this show before but I’ll post a report when it’s over.

I’ve been spending this summer west of Portland in Hillsboro which is where the show will take place. I was very happy to be included as a dealer and I’ve gotten some very nice pieces to add to my already large inventory. I went over to Denver and got fine Condors from Ana de los Santos and Mark Boche, the first really fine Polyhedroid I’ve seen for a long time and some nice Mexican and Moroccan agates… oh, on and on!

These are just a few of my striking new offerings, I hope you can join me.

Cheers,
Thom

Great Finds At The Denver Show

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I just returned to my summer home near Portland after spending four days at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show and it was wonderful. I added many new agates and they should arrive here tomorrow.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tomasz Praszkiera in the Merchandise Mart. Tomasz is the head of Spirifer Minerals and he told me they are no longer handling agates and just continuing as mineral dealers.  They were offering many fine Moroccan agates and Polish thundereggs.

Some early Lagunas and other Mexican agates came my way from Dr. John Leopold as well as the chance to select from his German collection.

I visited my friend Jeff Gallinger who had purchased the Hurst collection of German agates. I was surprised that there were two German collections to choose from since they are not easy to find.

Ana de los Santos and Mark Boche both provided choice Condor agates.

I was pleased to encounter Morrisonite slabs that the legendary miner, Jake Jacobitz, had sold to Betty Warrington in the late 1970s.

Polyhedroids were discovered in the dense jungles of Brazil in 1970 and mined briefly, the location was not found again and the available material is quite rare now. Imagine my surprise to find a real beauty.

Tom Wolfe Minerals has decided to stop carrying agate slabs to focus on cabochons and they were selling off some rare slabs such as wingate wash which delighted me.

I met many friends including Julian Grey, the director of the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon, and encountered the museum’s curator Leslie Moclock in the tent area outside the Coliseum.

These new agates will begin appearing in my stores at The Agate Trader in the next week or so.

I hope you have had a great summer and added some good agates to your collection.

70 Fine Slabs From 60 Years Of Collecting

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September 3rd, 2017

See them at The Slab Shop!

My passion for collecting fine agate and jasper slabs began early in my life when a neighbor began teaching me to cut cabochons. I became a professional lapidary in 1974 and still have a complete shop. As I searched for fine rough for my production I also kept an eye out for fine rare slabs which went into my collection. The time has come for me to find new homes for these pieces and I am offering these 70 ‘never seen’ slabs in that spirit.

There are jaspers from the US and agates from the US, Mexico and Madagascar. There are also Morrisonite jasper slabs and a collection of plume agates from the Bishop Ranch near Alpine Texas. The earliest are two slabs from The Agate Mine in Bloody Basin, Arizona which were purchased at the mine by Hans Gamma in 1952!

I hope you enjoy this unique offering.
Thom

Apache Agate, Ex Collection Roger Pabian

 

Picture Jaspers added to The Cabochon Store

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Fellow agateers,

I added two large offerings of Hans Gamma’s wonderful picture jasper cabs to The Cabochon Shop this May. Many of the cabochons are from rare jaspers and they are all identified. You can see pictures of all these varieties in Hans Gamma’s new book: Picture Jaspers of the Northwest. You can get a copy from Hans by visiting his website worldofjaspers.com.

I also posted eighteen Willow Creek jasper cabs in The Cabochon Shop. I cut them from an exceptional area in the deposit which was quickly exhausted. I liked it because the black strokes in the pale grey and tan backgrounds reminded me of the Sumi paintings made by Japanese Zen monks.

Now I’m settled in Oregon, my ETSY stores are open for business and new postings will be announced soon. Have a great summer,

Thom

A pillow cut cabochon
Owyhee Picture Jasper cut by Hans Gamma
large oval
a scenic desert beauty by Hans Gamma
Willow Creek Jasper Cab
Willow Creek cut by Thom Lane

The Tucson Show, January 24th – February 6th 2017

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I was a dealer at the Tucson Gem Show for two weeks. My room was in the Hotel Tucson (AKA The Inn Suites), the show of preference for many agate dealers.

My agates on display in my hotel room
just one wall of the showroom, a very nice place to show.

Please send an email to TheAgateTrader@gmail.com with the word subscribe and I’ll gladly add your email address and name to our emailing list so that you can hear about new material added to our ETSY stores and our schedule of shows in the coming months.

A gathering of agateers at Agate Corner, Hotel Tucson

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HELLO FELLOW AGATEERS,

Here’s a group photo from the show at the Hotel Tucson. Andres Carillo (on the left below) brought me polished agates from the Coyamito ranch in Mexico and next to Andres is another friend, Joshua Ritter, who sold me some superb Fighting Blood agates from China. The rest of the group are also agate lovers.

In the next couple of days I’ll be opening a new offering in The Agate Shop with many new specimens from Mexico, China, Argentina and Morocco. One by one I’ll rejuvenate the rest of the stores in this order: jaspers, thundereggs, slabs and then cabochons. If you would like to be on my mailing list for announcements, send me a note on my contact page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Peace,

Thom

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From left to right: Andres Carillo (Mexico), Joshua Ritter (Germany), Fady Kamer (The Netherlands), Ricardo Birnie (Argentina), Thom Lane (US), Hannes Holzemann (Austria), Dave Polson (US), Cedrine and Jerry Schaber (US)

Shipping Policy at The Agate Trader’s 6 ETSY Shops

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The Agate Trader has the following shipping policy as of 12/10/2016

Since I have six separate ETSY stores you may make separate purchases from several different stores or you may come back to a store more than once and make more purchases. Every time you make a purchase ETSY will charge you another shipping fee. I am glad to ship multiple purchases in the same box and refund the extra shipping charges but I also try to mail items out on the same day so the refund depends on the items being shipped in the same box. My goal is to have the customer cover my costs of shipping and I will refund overcharges if multiple orders are shipped in one box. The customer should be proactive in emailing me about combining shipments.

My method of boxing up specimens is safer and more elegant and costly than the bubble envelope that ETSY assumes I will use. The minor additional expense is worth it to me. When I pack even a single cabochon I use the same 8 x 5 x 4″ box. Each item is placed in a foam envelope with a hand written label and that is placed in a plastic bag. The bag or bags are packed in a bed of styrofoam peanuts. There is no charge for this service.

Shipping to customers in the US:

All boxes shipped to customers in the US are sent Priority Mail since it provides a tracking number which establishes that the box was shipped on a specific date and tracks its progress. I believe it has a guaranteed delivery of three days. The savings on first class are only a dollar or so and there is no tracking number and it’s slower. I want there to be a tracking number so I send orders in the US byPriority Mail.

Shipping to customers outside the US

Priority Mail International costs about twice as much as First Class Parcel International so I choose the less expensive method. You can give me instructions to use other methods and you can ask for insurance but you will be charged the additional costs. If you accept First Class Parcel International without insurance I will have a receipt to show I sent the parcel but that is the limit of my liability.

First Class Parcel International:  There is no guaranteed delivery date but there is a tracking number while the parcel is in the US.

Priority Mail International: There is a tracking number but tracking only extends until the box leaves the US. Delivery is guaranteed in 6 to ten days.

12/10/2016

 

 

 

 

The 2016 Agate EXPO in Wisconsin This Past July

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Here are a few photos of good friends at the 2016 EXPO, it was the best agate show of all times.

Back in my booth I'm with my new friend Chuck Mosher - Thom Lane
In the back of my booth with a new friend Chuck Mosher

Other good friends I saw were Jeffery Anderson, Veronica Woods, Uwe Reir, Holger Quelmaltz, Hannes Holzmann, Alan Meltzer, Pat McMahan, Eugene and Brent Stewart, Ana de los Santos, Joshua Ritter, Roger Clark, Lorie Peterson and Steve Wheeler to name just a few.

Most photos by my famous sidekick, Norman Eberhardt.

I must mention that Dr. Goetze was kind enough to allow me to make a selection of my favorite thundereggs from his outstanding exhibition of the agates of Saxony. I also obtained some fine Moroccan agates from Joshua Ritter and many other fine pieces which will be appearing in my stores.

Thom’s talk at the 2016 Agate EXPO About The Baker Mine and Thunderegg Genesis

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I had the priveledge of giving a talk on the Baker Ranch thunderegg deposit and the genesis of thundereggs at the EXPO Symposium on July 7th, 2016.

The presenters of this symposium, The Gem Shop, videotaped the proceedings and with careful editing produced a wonderful set of four DVD’s. This handsome set contains all twelve  presentations by many major figures in the agate world, a bargain for 99$! Find out all about it and order a copy for yourself at The Gem Shop.

Hans Gamma – Master of the World of Jaspers: Author, Collector and Artist

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I first met Hans Gamma when I was hanging out with Gene Mueller and Jake Jacobitz in the mid 1980’s at the desert rockshow in Quartzsite, Arizona. Han’s wife Esther took off to go rock snooping around the show with Jake’s lifelong partner Beverly Hardin and Hans joined us to talk jaspers.

Hans would often prospect with Jake and was building an amazing collection, one of the finest in the world, which he documented as only a Swiss gentleman would. The catalogue of his collection has photos of every important piece with the date he got it and the exact location of its origin and its number in the catalog is finely written in black ink on each piece.

Hans and Esther became interested in Jaspers when they began visiting from Switzerland in the 1950’s. They got a pickup truck and traveled around the western US collecting jaspers. In 1985 Hans retired from the family printing business and settled with Esther in the hills outside Phoenix where they raised their three daughters. Esther passed away in 2015 is sadly missed, she was a true lady. She was from an area in Switzerland not far from Hans birthplace and was working as a translator in Philadelphia when they met.

owyhee-jakeHans Gamma has always made his knowledge and collection available to the rest of us, a very great kindness. Many of the photos in Agates II and III in the section on Jaspers that he wrote at the request of Johann Zenz are from his personal collection. In 2011 Hans published his first book: Picture Jaspers, treasures of the Owyhee Area, Oregon. This book features over 75 recognizable varieties of picture jaspers from the Owyhee caldera and many of them were discovered by Hans’ close friend Jake Jacobitz. This book presents the many varieties and is also a tribute to Jake, they collected together in this area on numerous occasions. The specimens are all from Hans’ collection and the book shows Hans’ artistic eye.

In 2015 Hans published a second book with a wider scope: Picture Jaspers from the Northwest. This volume includes the jaspers from the areas of McDermitt, Blue Mountain, Bruneau Canyon and Willow Creek and has new locations added to the Owyhee area. Hans collection is so vast that none of the specimens in the first book were needed for his second! These books can be ordered from his website.

nwest-jaspersHan’s website, World of Jaspers, features jaspers from all over the world and is an introduction to the vast artistic resource of jasper. His website is an almost psychedelic experience on a par with the worlds great museums. His daughter Corinna participated in the design and implementation, they are a great team. In addition to being a museum of his visions in jasper it is also an orderly tour of the most beautiful jaspers from around the world, focusing of course on those from the western United States.

As a painter I enjoyed cutting Morrisonite more than any other lapidary material but when I saw Hans’ cabochons I realized I was in the company of a true artist.

He recently allowed me to acquire many of his morrisonite cabochons (above) and very fine collector slabs (below). Each one is a painting in stone. These pieces will be appearing in The Cabochon Shop and The Slab Shop. Having these historic pieces available to purchase is a unique opportunity.

I will always be grateful for the kindness of this gentle gentleman for the hours we have spent together, the education he has offered me and the beautiful specimens from him that are among my finest treasures.