Cabochons

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.
 As I update each store I’ll be sending email announcements so please send your name and email address to info@theagatetrader.com. 

                                                   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)

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.

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.

How I Began Collecting Plume Agates

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When I was a cabochon cutter in the late 1900’s I felt that plume agates were ideal for jewelry because most jewelers prefer to work on a smaller scale. Their frequent transparency and delicacy of pattern makes plume agates ideal for earrings, rings for the finger and so on. Here are some rings from my selection of antique agate jewelry in The Jewelry Shop that show how well suited plume agates are for fine jewelry.

I began to search for plume agates to cut but the ones I found seemed very rare and special to me and soon I decided I’d rather collect them than cut them.  I was living near Boston in those years and the market there was more interested in precious opal, tourmaline and other boring stuff like that… it was frustrating because I preferred to cut cabs with pictures in them.  As a result I still have my plume agate collection which after many years is now for sale.

I hope you will enjoy the talk I gave at The Celebration of Agates in Minnesota in 2012, it shows fine examples of plume agates from six different states in the western US.