Clear Quartz Brilliant and Barion Gemstones 13 to 24mm - Cut from Mt. Ida, Arkansas Crystal

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Chains by Becky Cabochon Cutting Grow Your Own Crystals Geodes Gemstones of the World Gem Trails of Utah Rocks from Space Gemstones Lapidary Drilling Tutorial Diamond Setting
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Product Reviews
The UVTools M100 Ultraviolet Light Kit
GemOro Stereo Microscope
Meiji Techno Binocular and Trinocular Stereo Microscopes
Raynox Video MicroExplorer
The Photo-Atlas of Minerals CD
OsoSoft MineralLabel 5.0 - Now Freeware!
Belomo 10x Loupe: An Inexpensive Russian Triplet
$8 BIRI Russian Radiation Detector


Philae Lander Touches Down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Rosetta Comet Mission Could Change Science Forever

Ride Along With Rosetta Through The Eyes Of OSIRIS: Rosetta's OSIRIS camera team has launched a dedicated website to showcase their recent images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The high-resolution images, taken either with the narrow- or wide-angle scientific imaging camera, will show the comet as recently as the day before.
Rosetta and Philae: One Year Since Landing On A Comet: One year since Philae made its historic landing on a comet, mission teams remain hopeful for renewed contact with the lander, while also looking ahead to next year's grand finale: making a controlled impact of the Rosetta orbiter on the comet.
First Detection Of Molecular Oxygen At A Comet: Rosetta has made the first in situ detection of oxygen molecules outgassing from a comet, a surprising observation that suggests they were incorporated into the comet during its formation.
How Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Got Its Shape: The origin of the comet’s double-lobed form has been a key question since Rosetta first revealed its surprising shape in July 2014. Did two comets merge or did localised erosion of a single object form the 'neck'? Now, scientists have an unambiguous answer.
Rosetta Reveals 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's Water-Ice Cycle: Rosetta has provided evidence for a daily water-ice cycle on and near the surface of comets.
Rosetta's Big Day In The Sun: At Perihelion on August 13th, 2015, Rosetta’s measurements suggest Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is spewing up to 300 kg of water vapour - roughly the equivalent of two bathtubs - every second. This is a thousand times more than was observed this time last year when Rosetta first approached the comet.
67P/Comet's Fireworks Display Ahead Of Perihelion: In the approach to perihelion over the past few weeks, Rosetta has been witnessing growing activity from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with one dramatic outburst event proving so powerful that it even pushed away the incoming solar wind.
Celebrating A Year At 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: On August 6th, 2015 ESA’s Rosetta mission celebrated one year at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with its closest approach to the Sun just one week away.
Science On The Surface Of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Complex molecules that could be key building blocks of life, the daily rise and fall of temperature, and an assessment of the surface properties and internal structure of the comet are just some of the highlights of the first scientific analysis of the data returned by Rosetta’s lander Philae.
Philae Lander Photos Show There Is More To Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Than Soft Dust: Comet lander Philae may be uncommunicative at the moment, but the pictures and measurements it took after it touched down on a comet have shown scientists the comet is covered with coarse material, rather than dust, and is harder than expected.
Philae Wakes Up From Hibernation: Rosetta's lander Philae has woken up after seven months in hibernation on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
More Rosetta in the News
Alone No More
Martian Meteorite ALH84001 Harbinger of Extraterrestrial Life
Check out Bob's Martian Touchdown - A Rockhound's Cosmic Encounter with Three Extraterrestrials


Curiosity Mars Rover

Curiosity on Mars
The Landing: Another Small Step for Man - A Giant Leap for Robot Kind
The Landing Site: The Geological Jackpot at Gale Crater
Curiosity: The Escalade of Mars Rovers
The Science Payload: Rock Zappers and the Search for Biosignatures
Want to Know More? References and Further Reading


Picture Perfect Proof That Mars Once Had Wet Seasons: Curiosity has imaged cross-bedded sandstones at the edge of a location called Hidden Valley, providing compelling photographic evidence there were regular cycles of water carrying plumes of river sediments flowing into the lake which once filled Gale crater.

Cross-Bedded Sandstone at Hidden Valley


Curiosity Rounds Martian Dune to Get to the Other Side: Partway through the first up-close study ever conducted of extraterrestrial sand dunes, Curiosity is providing dramatic views of a dune's steep face, where cascading sand has sculpted very different textures than the wavy ripples visible on the dune's windward slope.
Rocks Rich in Silica Present Puzzles for Mars Rover Team: Curiosity has found much higher concentrations of silica at some sites it has investigated in the past seven months than anywhere else it has visited since landing on Mars 40 months ago. Understanding the hydrology behind the silica enrichment is key to learning more about other conditions in ancient wet environments on Mars.
Curiosity Reaches Sand Dunes: Curiosity Mars has begun an up-close investigation of the "Bagnold Dunes", a band of active dunes up to two stories tall along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater. The rover is using its wheels, as well as its science payload, to investigate sand that forms active dunes on Mars. Plans call for Curiosity to scoop up and sieve sand for onboard laboratory analysis.
Curiosity Heads Toward Active Dunes: On its way to higher layers of the mountain where it is investigating how Mars' environment changed billions of years ago, Curiosity Mars will take advantage of a chance to study some modern Martian activity at mobile sand dunes.
Curiosity Explores Mineral Veins on Mars: Scientists now have a better understanding about Garden City, a site with the most chemically diverse mineral veins Curiosity has examined on Mars, including calcium sulfate in some veins and magnesium sulfate in others. Additional veins were found to be rich in fluorine or varying levels of iron. The diverse composition of the crisscrossing veins points to multiple episodes of water moving through fractures in the bedrock when it was buried.
Curiosity Team Confirms Ancient Lakes on Mars: Observations from Curiosity suggest that a series of long-lived streams and lakes existed on Mars at some point between about 3.8 to 3.3 billion years ago, delivering sediment that slowly built up the lower layers of Mount Sharp.
Curiosity's Drill Hole and Location are Picture Perfect: Curiosity has drilled its eighth hole on Mars, and its fifth since reaching Mount Sharp one year ago. Samples from the 2.6" deep hole in unaltered Stimson unit sandstone will be analyzed by Curiosity and used for comparison with samples of nearby sandstone which appear to be altered by fluids - likely groundwater with other dissolved chemicals.
Mars Panorama from Curiosity Shows Petrified Sand Dunes: This sandstone outcrop - part of a geological layer that Curiosity's science team calls the Stimson unit - has a structure called crossbedding on a large scale that the team has interpreted as deposits of sand dunes formed by wind. Similar-looking petrified sand dunes are common in the U.S. Southwest.
Curiosity Moves Onward After 'Marias Pass' Studies: Curiosity is driving toward the southwest after departing a region where for several weeks it investigated a geological contact zone and rocks that are unexpectedly high in silica and hydrogen content. The hydrogen indicates water bound to minerals in the ground.
Curiosity Inspects Unusual Bedrock: Curiosity has found a target unlike anything it has studied before - bedrock with surprisingly high levels of silica. Silica is a rock-forming compound containing silicon and oxygen, commonly found on Earth as quartz. High levels of silica in the rock could indicate ideal conditions for preserving ancient organic material, if present, so the science team wants to take a closer look.
More Curiosity in the News

Powerful new twin NASA Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have successfully landed and deployed on different regions of the Red Planet. With far greater mobility than the 1997 Pathfinder rover, these robotic explorers may trek as much as 40 meters across the surface in a day. Each rover carries a sophisticated set of instruments search for evidence about whether past environments at selected sites were wet enough to be hospitable to life. Rocks and soils will be analyzed with a set of five geology instruments on each rover, and a special tool called the rock abrasion tool, or "RAT", will be used to expose fresh rock surfaces for study.
The Mars Exploration Rovers Mission
Mars Rover Fact Sheet
Mars Rovers Take Baby Steps
The Athena Mars Rovers Science Payload
The Geological History of Mars
The Surface of Mars
The Search for Extinct Life
The Search for Extant Life
Mars Landing Site Catalog
Mars High Resolution Global Mosaic
Mars Image Navigator
The Interior of Mars
Panorama of the 'Payson' outcrop on the western edge of Erebus Crater imaged by the Opportunity rover 02-26-2006
Opportunity Rover Mission Updates:
December 17, 2015:  Opportunity On Steeper Slopes
December 15, 2015:  A Week of Robotic Arm Activities
December 02, 2015:  Arm Raised to Take in the View
December 19, 2015:  Returning to RAM
November 10, 2015:  Opportunity Dips Back Into Flash
November 03, 2015:  A Network Problem And An Amnesia Event Slows Down Robotic Arm Work
October 27, 2015:  A Week of Imaging From South Side of Valley
October 20, 2015:  Power Levels Low Due to Winter Setting In
October 19, 2015:  Opportunity Is Now On Northerly Slopes To Charge The Solar Panels For The Winter
October 14, 2015:  Opportunity Doing Work at 'Marathon Valley' Before Moving to Winter Location
October 14, 2015:  Opportunity Back to Normal Operations After Vehicle Reset Due to Flash System
September 25, 2015:  Opportunity's Current Location Makes Communications a Challenge
Spirit Rover Mission Updates:
May 24, 2011:  Spirit Remains Silent at Troy

Stack of sedimentary structures exposed at Payson Ledge on the western edge of Erebus Crater imaged by the Opportunity rover 03-03-26 Bolders of vesicular basalt along the edge of a lava flow at Lorre Ridge imaged by the Spirit rover 01-23-06 Coarse-grained layers of possible explosive origin from the edge of the Home Plate plateau inside Gusev Crater imaged by the Spirit rover 02-10-06 Volcanic rock fragments littering the slope of Low Ridge imaged by the Spirit rover 04-13-06

Rocks in the News
5-Day Silver Price History    5-Day Gold Price History
Detailed Silver Price Historical Chart    Detailed Gold Price Historical Chart

New Horizons Reveals Most Detailed Image Of Pluto Yet: The New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution enhanced colour view of Pluto during its flyby of the dwarf planet on July 14. Take the controls and zoom into NASA's biggest, boldest image of Pluto yet.
Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots Are Giant Salt Pans: New findings reveal the strange bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres are giant salt pans caused by the evaporation of water from a subsurface ocean.
10,000-Year Record Shows Dramatic Uplift At Andean Volcano: Ongoing studies of a massive volcanic field in the Andes mountains show that the rapid uplift which has raised the surface more than six feet in eight years has occurred many times during the past 10,000 years.
The Question Of Mantle Plumes: If the vast body of mantle plume research has done nothing else, it has revealed the difficulties inherent in trying to plumb the depths of Earth's interior.
Tiny Fossil Lends Insight On Flowering Plants: The discovery of exceptionally well-preserved, tiny fossil seeds dating back to the Early Cretaceous corroborates that flowering plants were small opportunistic colonizers at that time.
Solid Inner, Inner Core May Be Relic Of Earth’s Earliest Days: New simulations of the Earth's formation suggest that the innermost part of the inner core solidified shortly after the planet's assembly, rather than roughly 3 billion years later alongside the rest of the inner core.
Announcing The Carbon Mineral Challenge: The hunt is on for Earth’s undiscovered carbon minerals. Scientists, using statistical calculations, predict at least 145 of Earth’s carbon-bearing minerals remain undiscovered. They even have some ideas about where to look. But to find them, they need the help of the world’s mineral collecting community.
Largest Diamond In More Than A Century Found In Botswana: The 1,111-carat gem is only second in size to the Cullinan diamond, which was unearthed in South Africa in 1905. The 65mm x 56mm x 40mm stone is yet to be evaluated, but one commodities and mining analyst said it had the potential to be "one very expensive diamond".
10 States With Fossil-Hunting Sites For The Public: Fossil hunters have always been a combination of professionals and amateurs, dating back to the 19th century when 12-year-old Mary Anning and her brother Joseph discovered an ichthyosaur skeleton near their home in Dorset, England. Today, there are a number of well-known fossil beds within a few hours drive of some of the USA's largest cities.
Bite Marks Offer Best Evidence Yet Of Tyrannosaur Cannibalism: Tyrannosaurs were not the most discerning of carnivores. In addition to dining on other dinosaurs, like Triceratops and duck-billed hadrosaurs, it appears the fearsome apex predators weren’t averse to making a meal of their own kind.
Half-Billion-Year-Old Brains Preserved In Fool's Gold: A set of incredible fossils from southwest China reveals something amazing: 520 million-year-old brains, some preserved in fool's gold. The brains belong to shrimplike creatures just a few centimeters long named Fuxianhuia protensa, which scuttled around the seafloor during the Cambrian Period.
Who's In That Vomit, Anyhow?: Everyone likes "gross" fossils. Fossil poo always gets attention, and infected bones are cool to look at, but vomit is fairly unusual in the fossil record.
More Rocks in the News

Utah Goblin Topplers Sentenced To Probation : Glenn Tuck Taylor and David Benjamin Hall may have to shell out thousands to pay for warning signs telling future visitors to Goblin Valley State Park to leave the rocks alone. The men were sentenced to a year of probation without jail time and payment of restitution after pleading guilty to knocking over an ancient rock formation in the state park.
Ex-Boy Scout Leaders Charged With Felonies: It just took a little push to topple the delicately perched boulder - millions of years in the making - in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park. Then the man who did it laughed, high-fived his son, and flexed his muscles while being cheered on by a fellow Boy Scout leader. He is not likely celebrating now, nor is his friend who videotaped then publicized the episode, after both were charged with third-degree felonies.
Boy Scouts Toss 2 Leaders Who Knocked Over Goblin: A northern Utah Boy Scouts council has announced that former Boy Scout leaders Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall will no longer be allowed to lead scouting troops as a result of their vandalism of Goblin Valley State Park.
Boy Scout Leaders Destroy Ancient Formation In Utah's Goblin Valley: Boy Scout and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints youth leaders Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor and Dylan Taylor are potentially facing felony charges for destroying a rock formation nearly 200 million years old. The trio of vandals was adventuring in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park when they decided to film themselves knocking over one of the formations, known as "Goblins."

Drilling Down Into The Deepwater Horizon Disaster
What Happens When British Petroleum Executives Spill Coffee
What Happens When British Petroleum Funds Congressional Election Campaigns
Why This Is Going To Happen Again...

Letters to the Editor
Say NO to Akaka Governed Public Land: A bitter legislative battle is raging over collecting fossils on public lands.

CR-Scientific - New and Used Laboratory Equipment - Earth Science Supplies - Mineral Specimens
Chambers Fit For A Queen - A Quest For English Ammonites
Rock&Gem Feature Article
More Rock&Gem Online Features:
Anyone Can Carve
A Day in the Life of a Gemologist
Into the Caves - "California's Underground" at the Oakland, California Museum
Bingham Canyon Copper - Finding Chalcopyrite at "The Richest Hole on Earth"
Rockhound in Greece - A Great Destination for Geology... and Humanity
Honoring Mr. Jones - Our Senior Editor Gets What He Deserves
Faceting Fascinates - With an Experienced Guide, You, Too, Can Bring Gemstones to Life!
Tonopah and Goldfield - They Were the Hub of Nevada's Gold Rush
Agates from the Land of Pumas and Craters
Mexico's Mystery Stone
A Lesson in Channel Work
New England Pegmatites: They Have Been Mined Since America's Earliest Days
Turquoise: Blue Sky...Blue Stone
Faceting by Hand: Jack Lahr's Lap-Lap Relies on Primitive Power

Rock&Gem Magazine Article Search
Search Back Issues for Articles with Topics of Interest
Rock&Gem Writer's Guidelines

Rock&Gem Magazine Show Calendar
An Extensive List of Upcoming Gem and Mineral Shows
Submit Your Own Club's Show for Publication in Rock&Gem Magazine

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Entry Details - Browse the Current and Prior Contest Winners

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Software for Rockhounds
Mineral Database and Identification Software: Photo Atlas of Minerals - Lithos - MinSearch - MDI Mineral Database - Geolib - Topaz - Minrls - Digital Rockhound's Companion
Freeware Screen Savers for Rockhounds: Tucson Show V2001 - Grand Hikes - Minerals V1.0
Freeware Faceters Companion CD!: Featuring Over 250 Faceting Patterns
GemCad: Gemstone Design Software
Ososoft Mineral Label: Freeware Specimen Labeling Software for Rock Collectors!
RockWare Freeware: Erupt - GeoTrig - Mineral Mastery - Seismic - Magnetic
Freeware Mars Map: High Resolution Orbiter Camera Global Mosaic

Rock Identification Key
A Beginner's Guide and Key to Help You Identify and Put a Name on That Rock!
Learn to ID and Distinguish Basalt, Diabase, Diorite, Gabbro, Granite, Obsidian, Pumice, Rhyolite, Scoria, Gneiss, Marble, Quartzite, Schist, Serpentinite, Slate, Breccia, Conglomerate, Limestone, Sandstone, Shale...

Mineral Identification Key
An Online Guide and Key to Aid in the Identification of Field Collected Mineral Specimens
Covering Several Hundred of the Most Commonly Occurring and Collected Species

Bead Galleries:   Charoite Beads   Green Chalcedony Beads   Seraphinite Beads   Shungite Beads   Turquoise Graduated Discs   Turquoise Rondelles   Turquoise Rounds   Turquoise Spiderweb Turquoise Square and Rectangular  
Pendants Galleries:   Pendants  

Crystallography and Mineral Crystal Systems
An Illustrated, Nine-Part Primer on Crystallography and Mineral Crystal Systems

Mineral Nomenclature: Naming New Minerals
So You've Discovered a New Mineral and Want to Name It "Spottite" After Your Dog...

Changes In Mineralogical Nomenclature: Varieties
Why Rock Scientists Won't Understand the Question When You Ask "What mineral is amethyst a variety of"?

Grand Hikes
A Virtual Tour and Rockhound's Hiking Guide for the Grand Canyon
Stromatolite Fossils in the Hakatai Shale - A Day Hike from Phantom Ranch
Comanche Point Vicinity - An Overnight Hike to Spectacular Grand Canyon Supergroup Views
Genesis V2.0 - God's Grand Work Week - A Grand Canyon Geology Primer
The 1869 Expedition - An Account of the First Grand Canyon Float Trip
Grand Hikes Screen Saver V1.0 - A Complimentary Grand Canyon Screen Saver
Bob's Grand Canyon Backcountry Equipment Checklist - Don't Leave Home Without It!

Alcyone
A Faceted Gemstone Design for CZ Inspired by the Pleiadians - Designed by Bob Keller

Perfect Transfer
Interested in Faceting? Check Out this Feature for Faceters!
Featured Cut: Defibrillator III - A Heart for Your Sweetheart
Gateway to Gemstone Designs on the Internet - Download Over 300 Faceting Diagrams with Cutting Instructions!
Browse and Download the Freeware Faceters Companion CD
Currently Featured Article: A Graphical Presentation of Brightness in the Standard Round Brilliant
Index of Online Faceting Articles - Faceting How-to and Tips from Many Facetors and Gemstone Designers!
Online Tangent Ratio and Gem Weight Calculators
Content and Information for Faceters

Defibrillator III

Manuals for Vintage Lapidary Equipment
Need the manufacturer's manual for your estate sale find?

Greetings from Tucson
Our Shows, Museums, Clubs, Rock Shops, and Other Attractors

Snapshots from the Tucson 2007 Gem and Mineral Show

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Reports
Browse the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show with Bob!

How to Wirewrap
A Step-by-Step Pendant Design for Faceted Stones that Does Away With Claws

Sworn to Fun
A Club President's Perspective on the Decline of Rockhounding

Featured Articles by John Betts
Advice for Beginners
Anthony's Nose, New York
A Field Guide to Mineral Collectors  
Mineral Prices: Why so High?
Dealing with Dealers
Mineral Cleaning
Largest Mineral Crystals on Record
Display Lighting of Minerals

The Great Fresnoite Discovery of 1998
Scott's Big Score in California's San Benito Mountains

Rough for Faceters    www.facetingrough.com    Check Our Specials!
Natural:   Amethyst   Ametrine   Bytownite   Chrome Diopside   Citrine   Danburite   Garnet   Moldavite   Petalite   Quartz   Sapphire   Spodumene   Tanzanite   Topaz   Tourmaline   Zircon  
Synthetics:   Cubic Zirconia   Laser Gem / Glass   Quartz  

Rockhounding Graves Mountain
Collecting Rutile and Other Minerals at this Famous Georgia Locality

Collecting at the Bunker Hill Mine
Ron and Rose-Marie's Most Excellent Bunker Hill Mine Adventure

Gypsum Rosettes
Collecting at the Red River Floodway in Winnipeg, Canada

Micromounter's Mecca
A Visit to the Micromounter's Swap Room at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
Check Out Tim Jokela's The Top Ten Reasons to Get Into Micromounting

Anatomy of a Three-Headed Sphere Machine
Interested in Rolling Your Own?

Cabochon Making 101
Cabbing with Tucson's Old Pueblo Lapidary Club

Browse Our Online Gallery of Wilensky Quality Minerals - Order Our Video Catalog!

Feldspar
An Introduction to the Feldspar Minerals by Anita D. Westlake

Purple Passion Prospect
Wulfenite Collecting near Wickenburg, Arizona

Rock and Fossil Stamps of the United States
A Preview Page of the Shop's Topical Stamp Catalog for Rockhounds

Mineralogical Meanderings
The Hardness of Minerals and Rocks
Streaking Minerals - Streak Testing
Collecting Micrometeorites
Identifying True Amber
Some Surefire Signs You're a Rockhound
Collecting Rock Stamps
Gem and Mineral Phonecards
The Mysterious Power of Gemstones and Crystals

Bob's Rock Shop 1st WWW Specimen Image Contest Results!
Do You Take Pictures of Rocks? If So, You'll Appreciate These - Check Out the Winning Entries!
Winners competed for custom specimen mounting, mineral specimens, rockhound magazine and newsletter subscriptions, specimen labeling and mineral database software and more... These and other outstanding entries will also be featured in a new version of the Shop's ever popular freeware specimen image screen saver!

Book and CD Reports
Dana's New Mineralogy, Eighth Edition
Encyclopedia of Mineral Names, Special Publication 1 of The Canadian Mineralogist

Gallery of Mineral Specimen Images
George Campbell
Ken Colosky
Martin Friedlander
Bob Keller
David Michaels
D.E. Russell
Tim Schmanski
Stuart Wilensky
Wayne State University
Ron Zeilstra

Cut Rocks
Rock Knives by Stephen Hill
Sections from Brian Isfeld
Sections
Slabs and Cabs

Select from Our Fine Materials for Your Special Lapidary Projects
Assortments      Agates   Alunite   Angelite   Aventurine   Blue Willow Stone   Calcite   Cacoxenite   Charoite   Chrysocolla   Clam Chowder Stone   Coprolite   Crinoid Marble   Dalmatian Stone   Dinosaur Bone   Dolomite   Dumortierite   Flower Feldspar   Fossil Coral   Fossil Stone   Goldstone   Hypersthene   Indian Paint Rock   Jade   Jaspers   Lapis Lazuli   Lepidolite   Magnesite   Mookaite   Obsidians   Petrified Wood   Pietersite   Pink Lace   Printstone   Quartz   Rhodochrosite   Rhodonite   Rhyolites   Ruby in Fuchsite   Ruby in Zoisite   Selected Materials   Seraphinite   Serpentine   Sodalite   Thulite    Tiffany Stone   Tiger Eye   Tiger Iron   Turquoise   Unakite   Variscite  


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Gemart Services
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I am pleased to offer some of my finest mineral specimens. Some of them were released, many years ago, from major museums and significant private collections.

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Bob Keller