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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

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

Curiosity Finds Conditions Once Suited For Ancient Life On Mars: An analysis of a rock sample collected by Curiosity shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. The data indicate the Yellowknife Bay area the rover is exploring was the end of an ancient river system or an intermittently wet lake bed that could have provided chemical energy and other favorable conditions for microbes. The rock is made up of a fine-grained mudstone containing clay minerals, sulfate minerals and other chemicals. This ancient wet environment, unlike some others on Mars, was not harshly oxidizing, acidic or extremely salty.

Hole Drilled in Windjana Sandstone


Rover Drill Pulls First Taste From Mount Sharp: Curiosity has collected its first taste of the layered mountain whose scientific allure drew the mission to choose this part of Mars as a landing site. The rover's hammering drill chewed about 2.6 inches deep into a basal-layer outcrop on Mount Sharp and collected a powdered-rock sample.
Curiosity Arrives at Mount Sharp: Curiosity has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination. Curiosity is starting this process at an entry point near an outcrop called Pahrump Hills, rather than continuing on to the previously-planned, further entry point known as Murray Buttes.
Mars Rover Team Chooses Not to Drill 'Bonanza King': Evaluation of a pale, flat Martian rock as the potential next drilling target for Curiosity determined that the rock was not stable enough for safe drilling. The rock, called "Bonanza King," moved slightly during the mini-drill activity at an early stage of this test, when the percussion drill impacted the rock a few times to make an indentation.
Curiosity Prepares for Fourth Rock Drilling: The team operating Curiosity has chosen a rock that looks like a pale paving stone as the mission's fourth drilling target, if it passes engineers' evaluation. They call it "Bonanza King."
Two Years and Counting on Red Planet: During its first year of operations, Curiosity fulfilled its major science goal of determining whether Mars ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. During its second year, Curiosity has been driving toward long-term science destinations on lower slopes of Mount Sharp.
Curiosity Nears Mountain-Base Outcrop: As it approaches the second anniversary of its landing on Mars, Curiosity is also approaching its first close look at bedrock that is part of Mount Sharp, the layered mountain in the middle of Mars' Gale Crater.
Images Show Laser Flash on Martian Rock: Flashes appear on a baseball-size Martian rock in a series of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the arm of Curiosity. The flashes occurred while the rover's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument fired multiple laser shots to investigate the rock's composition.
Curiosity Marks First Martian Year: Curiosity completed a Martian year - 687 Earth days - on June 24, 2014, having accomplished the mission's main goal of determining whether Mars once offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.
Curiosity Wrapping Up Waypoint Work: Portions of powdered rock collected by drilling into a sandstone target last week have been delivered to laboratory instruments inside Curiosity, and the rover will soon drive on toward its long-term destination on a mountain slope.
Curiosity Rover Drills Sandstone Slab on Mars: Portions of rock powder collected by the hammering drill on Curiosity from a slab of Martian sandstone will be delivered to the rover's internal instruments.
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:
October 02, 2014:  Opportunity Preps for Comet Siding Spring Encounter
September 27, 2014:  Opportunity Heading to a Small Crater Called 'Ulysses'
September 23, 2014:  Back to Driving
September 12, 2014:  Flash-Memory Reformat Successful!
September 03, 2014:  Flash-Memory Reformat is Underway
August 29, 2014:  Flash-Memory Reformat Planned
August 21, 2014:  Opportunity Suffers a Series of Resets
August 12, 2014:  Ground Control Restored Quickly After Reset
August 07, 2014:  Opportunity Heads to 'Marathon Valley'
July 31, 2014:  Opportunity Holds the Off-Earth Driving Distance Record
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

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."

'Sailing Stones' Mystery of Death Valley Solved: Racetrack Playa is home to an enduring Death Valley mystery. Littered across the surface of this dry lake are hundreds of rocks - some weighing as much as 700 pounds - that seem to have been dragged across the ground, leaving synchronized trails that can stretch for hundreds of meters. The rare combination of events causing the rocks to move is now known.
Exceptionally Well Preserved Insect Fossils From The Rhône Valley Found: Now, for the first time, researchers have found fossil insects in the French equivalent of the Tithonian Konservat-Lagerstätte lithographic limestone - discoveries which include a new species representing the oldest known water treader.
World’s Largest Dinosaur Discovered: The newly discovered dinosaur species Dreadnoughtus schrani makes Tyrannosaurus rex look like a munchkin. The towering behemoth, which stretched a bit longer than a 25-meter swimming pool and as tall as a two-story building, weighed more than seven T. rexes. And the animal was still growing.
What Happens When A Volcano Erupts Under A Glacier?: Nobody will really know the answer to that until Bárðarbunga actually erupts.
Neanderthal 'Hashtag' Carving Found In Cave: The hashtag may be a symbol of modern life, but its origins can be traced back to Neanderthal carvings. Scientists have discovered the first evidence of artwork by this species etched into the walls of a cave in Gibraltar.
Peru's Petrified Forest: Tucked high in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru is a remarkable fossil locality: a 39-million-year-old petrified forest preserved in nearly pristine condition. Since its discovery, scientists and other concerned citizens have been working to study and preserve the spectacular site and its unusual and diverse fossils.
World's Biggest-ever Flying Bird Discovered: Scientists have identified the fossilized remains of an extinct giant bird that could be the biggest flying bird ever found. Pelagornis sandersi was an extremely efficient glider, with long slender 20-24 foot wings that helped it stay aloft despite its enormous size.
Rare Fossil Eggs Reveal How Pterosaurs Lived: The spectacular discovery of three dimensional 120-million year old pterosaur eggs provides a unique insight into the ancient flying reptiles' lifestyle. Until now, only four pterosaur eggs had ever been found, and all were flattened during the process of fossilisation.
Original 'Early Bird' Really Could Fly: Archaeopteryx - considered Earth's oldest-known bird - was completely capable of flying, a new analysis of fossil remains has found. The findings dispel suggestions the creature's feathers were too weak to support flight.
Animals Built Reefs 550 Million Tears Ago: Researchers have discovered that one of the world's oldest reefs - now located on dry land in Namibia - was built almost 550 million years ago by the first animals to have hard shells.
Salt Water On Titan: Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, might be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea.
Staking a claim: Deep-sea mining nears fruition: Deep sea hydrothermal vent systems contain untapped mineral wealth that would have been beyond any prospector’s wildest dreams just decades ago.
More Rocks in the News

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.

Gemstone Beads Galleries:   Agate Beads   Amethyst Beads   Apatite Beads   Aventurine Beads   Azurite/Malachite Beads   Blue Chalcedony Beads   Blue Lace Agate Beads   Bone Beads   Botswana Agate Beads   Carnelian Beads   Charoite Beads   Chrysoprase Beads   Copper Beads   Crazy Lace Agate Beads   Fiery Agate Beads   Fluorite Beads   Green Chalcedony Beads   Hypersthene Beads   Jasper Beads   Lapis Beads   Magnesite Beads   Malachite Beads   Moonstone Beads   Multi-Stone Beads   Pearl Beads   Petrified Wood Beads   Quartz Beads   Rhodochrosite Beads   Rose Quartz Beads   Ruby Beads   Rutilated Quartz Beads   Sagenite Agate Beads   Sapphire Beads   Sardonyx Beads   Seraphinite Beads   Spiderweb Serpentine Beads   Sunstone Beads   Tiger Eye Beads  
Turquoise Beads Galleries:   Graduated   Misc. Shapes   Nuggets   Rondelles   Rounds   Spiderweb Turquoise   Square and Rectangular  
Pendants Galleries:   Pendants  

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
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Entry Details - Browse the Current and Prior Contest Winners

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Black Matrix Stabilized Turquoise   Blue Green Stabilized Turquoise   Blue Ice Stabilized Turquoise   Cameo Stabilized Turquoise   Campitos Stabilized Turquoise   Campitos Azure Stabilized Turquoise   Chinese Stabilized Turquoise   Chinese Stabilized Spiderweb Turquoise   Cumpas Stabilized Turquoise   Mixed Stabilized Turquoise   Nacozari Stabilized Turquoise   Nevada Stabilized Turquoise   Red Skin Stabilized Turquoise   Sleeping Beauty Enhanced Turquoise   Sleeping Beauty Natural Turquoise   Sleeping Beauty Stabilized Turquoise   Turquoise Preforms  

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

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: Rose Egg 168a-96 - A Rose Cut Egg
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

Rose Egg 168a-96 Rose Egg 480a-80 Rose Egg 624a-96

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

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

Click Here to Visit Wright's Rock Shop
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Serving Rockhounds Since 1971
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!

RockTumbler.com - The Internet's Leading Rock Tumbler Source and Tumbling How-to Resource

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
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Sections
Slabs and Cabs

Rock and Mineral Display
Cases, Easels & Stands


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Index to Advertisers
Arizona Mineral Company
Cutting Rocks
DesignerStones.com
John Betts Fine Minerals
Lawrence H. Conklin, Mineralogist
CR-Scientific
Extinctions Fossils
FacetingAccessories.com
FacetingRough.com
Gemart Services
GreatCabochons.com
GreatRough.com
GreatSlabs.com
LapidaryMachines.com
The Mineralogical Record Magazine
PrettyRock
Rock of Ages
RockTumbler.com
Rocks and Minerals Magazine
RockWare Earth Science Software
Safe Collecting Supplies
Shannon & Son's Minerals
Simkev Micromounts
The Sunnywood Collection
TumblingMachines.com
TurquoiseBeads.com
TurquoiseRough.com
Tysons' Fine Minerals
UC Minerals
UVTools
Dan Weinrich Fine Minerals
Wilensky Mineral Video
Wright's Rock Shop

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Bob Keller