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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

Comet 67P Shows No Sign of Magnetism: If astronauts ever go on a walkabout around a comet, they can leave their compasses at home.
Rosetta Fuels Debate on Origin of Earth's Oceans: The Rosetta spacecraft has found the water vapour from its target comet to be significantly different to that found on Earth. The discovery fuels the debate on the origin of our planet's oceans.
Rosetta Orbiter Continues Into Its Full Science Phase: With the Philae landerís mission complete, Rosetta will now continue its own extraordinary exploration, orbiting Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko during the coming year as the enigmatic body arcs ever closer to our Sun.
Philae Completes Main Mission Before Hibernation: Just prior to depleting its batteries and falling silent, Philae returned science data from its instruments, including ROLIS, COSAC, Ptolemy, SD2 and CONSERT, completing the measurements planned for the final block of experiments on the comet's surface.
How (And Where) Is Philae?: Many of Philae's key instruments have been activated and are autonomously running while the lander is out of radio contact with the Rosetta orbiter. Collecting their precious data hinges on the state of Philae's exhausting batteries when Rosetta's orbit returns it above the comet's horizon.
Philae Lander Is Frantically Doing Improvised Science As Its Batteries Die: Less than two days after its historic landing, Rosetta's probe may be reaching its final hours, and the scientific team is racing to collect as much data as possible before Philae's batteries run out. It's do or die, and at this point there's very little to lose in terms of its lifespan.
Philae's Battery Might Die Soon: The lander isn't getting enough light to recharge its pack.
Comet Lander Stuck against Bottom of Shady Cliff: Philae's solar panels will get just three hours of light per day, hindering Philae's science goals.
Rosetta: Concerns For Comet Lander After Uneven Landing: After a historic but awkward comet landing, the robot probe Philae is now stable and sending pictures - but there are concerns about its battery life. After two bounces, the first one about 1km back out into space, the lander settled in the shadow of a cliff, 1km from its target site.
Three Touchdowns For Rosetta's Lander: The lander remains unanchored to the surface at an as yet undetermined orientation. The science instruments are running and are delivering images and data, helping the team to learn more about the final landing site.
Rosetta: Waiting Game After Comet Lander Glitch: Data indicates that the Philae lander may have bounced twice, taking a full two hours to come to a rest.
Philae Lander Stable on Comet, for Now: Philae seems to have landed, bounced and then settled back down again, even though its harpoons apparently failed to secure the craft to the surface.
Philae Lander Touches Down On Comet 67P: Philae has landed. The Rosetta orbiter on Wednesday 11.12.14 dropped a spidery, three-legged robot the size of a small refrigerator and watched as it tentatively set down on a comet - the first time that the surface of these primordial balls of dust and ice has ever been explored.
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's Weather Data Bolster Case for Brine: Martian weather and soil conditions that Curiosity has measured, together with perchlorate detected by Curiosity and previously by the Phoenix lander in Martian soil, could put liquid brine in the soil at night.
Curiosity Eyes Prominent Mineral Veins on Mars: Two-tone mineral veins at a site Curiosity has reached by climbing a layered Martian mountain offer clues about multiple episodes of fluid movement. These episodes occurred later than the wet environmental conditions that formed lake-bed deposits the rover examined at the mountain's base.
Curiosity Sniffs Out History of Martian Atmosphere: Curiosity is using a new experiment to better understand the history of the Martian atmosphere by analyzing isotopes of xenon.
Curiosity Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars: A team using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite aboard Curiosity rover has made the first detection of nitrogen on the surface of Mars from release during heating of Martian sediments.
Rover Arm Delivers Rock Powder Sample: Curiosity used its robotic arm to sieve and deliver a rock-powder sample to an onboard instrument. The sample was collected before mission managers temporarily suspended rover arm movement pending analysis of a short circuit.
Use of Rover Arm Expected to Resume: Mission managers expect to approve resumption of rover arm movements while continuing analysis of what appears to be an intermittent short circuit in the drill.
Testing to Diagnose Power Event in Curiosity: Curiosity is expected to remain stationary for several days of engineering analysis following an onboard fault-protection action that halted a process of transferring sample material between devices on the rover's robotic arm.
Curiosity Drills at Telegraph Peak: Curiosity used its drill to collect sample powder from inside a rock target called "Telegraph Peak", an exposure of bedrock that forms the basal layer of Mount Sharp that is expected to hold records of how ancient wet environments on Mars evolved into drier environments.
Latest Selfie from Curiosity Shows Wide Context: A sweeping view of the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover has been working for five months, surrounds Curiosity in the rover's latest self-portrait.
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:
April 07, 2015:  Examining Rock Outcrop at 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater
March 30, 2015:  Opportunity Explores 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater
March 27, 2015:  Flash Reformatted and Marathon Completed
March 19, 2015:  Approaching 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater
March 11, 2015:  Sampling Mars Rocks
March 10, 2015:  Taking a Closer Look at Purple-Bluish Rock Formation
February 27, 2015:  New Flight Software to Fix Memory Issues is Onboard Opportunity
February 19, 2015:  Solar Panels Get a Small Energy Boost
February 18, 2015:  Latest Drive Puts Opportunity Within Marathon-Distance Record
February 09, 2015:  Opportunity Continues Driving While Team Works on Memory Issues
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

Great Dying Caused By Ocean Acidification: The Great Dying - the largest mass extinction of all time - was likely triggered by a massive volcanic event that resulted in the acidification of the world's oceans, according to new research.
Early Earth Collision Could Clear Up Two Geological Mysteries: Two outstanding, seemingly unconnected geology problems - the unexpected ratio of two neodymium isotopes in terrestrial rocks and the energy source for the dynamo that creates Earth's magnetic field - could be solved by a single new theory.
Historic Colour Images Of Pluto And Charon: They may still look like fuzzy balls, but these are the first colour images of Pluto and its largest moon Charon captured by the New Horizons spacecraft on its historic mission to visit the dwarf planet.
A Journey To Pluto And Beyond With New Horizons: On July 14, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which was launched in 2006, will fly within 10,000 kilometers of the surface of Pluto. Once the primary mission is complete, project scientists hope to have the spacecraft visit a few other large icy objects - thought to be similar to Pluto - that lie in the Kuiper Belt.
China Rising - a Burgeoning Industrial Superpower Built on Coal: The Peopleís Republic now produces more than three billion tons of coal a year, and the fossil fuel has played a key role in accelerating the nationís growth, along with its carbon dioxide emissions. China surpassed the United States to become the worldís largest emitter of carbon dioxide in 2007.
Meteorites Key To The Story Of Earth's Layers: A new analysis of the chemical make-up of meteorites has helped scientists work out when the Earth formed its layers.The research by an international team of scientists confirmed the Earth's first crust had formed around 4.5 billion years ago.
Dating The Moon-Forming Impact Event With Meteorites: Through a combination of data analysis and numerical modeling work, researchers have found a record of the ancient moon-forming giant impact observable in stony meteorites
Sixth Extinction, Rivaling That Of The Dinosaurs, Should Join The Big Five: Earth has seen its share of catastrophes, the worst being the "big five" mass extinctions scientists traditionally talk about. Now, paleontologists are arguing that a sixth extinction, 260 million years ago, at the end of a geological age called the Capitanian, deserves to be a member of the exclusive club.
New Species of Terror Bird Discovered: Paleontologists have unearthed one of the most complete fossils of a phorusrhacid to date. The 3.5 million year old fossilized skeleton of the new species, dubbed Llallawavis scagliai, is approximately 95% complete, giving scientists the ability to study a terror birdís anatomy in unprecedented detail.
Moon's Magnetic Heart Still A Mystery: Today, the Moon has no global magnetic field. But billions of years ago the Moon had a magnetic field much stronger than the Earth does now.
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.

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

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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

 
Visit Our Online Store For Faceters!
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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!

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

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

Cabochons On Sale:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  
Cabochon Galleries:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79   80   81   82   83   84   85   86   87   88   89   90   91   92   93   94   95   96   97   98   99   100   101   102   103   104   105   106   107   108   109   110   111   112   113   114   115   116   117   118   119   120   121   122   123   124   125   126   127   128   129   130   131   132   133   134   135   136   137   138   139   140   141   142   143   144   145   146   147   148   149   150   151   152   153   154   155   156   157   158   159   160   161   162   163   164   165   166   167   168   169   170   171   172   173   174   175   176   177   178   179   180   181   182   183   184   185  
Calibrated Cabochons Galleries:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17  
Wholesale Cabochons Galleries:   1   2   3   4   5   6  
Faceted Stones:   1   2   3   4  
Pearls:   1  

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

Agate   Alabaster   Alunite   Angelite   Assortments   Astrophyllite   Aventurine   Block Simulant   Cacoxenite   Calcite   Chalcedony   Charoite   Chrysocolla   Chrysoprase   Coral (Fossilized)   Dinosaur Dung (Coprolite)   Dolomite   Eudialite   Fossil Shell (Coquinite)   Goldstone   Graphic Stone   Hypersthene (Bronzite)   Indian Paint Rock   Ivoryite   Jade   Jasper   Jet   Lapis Lazuli   Larimar   Lepidolite   Marble   Obsidian   Petrified Wood   Pipestone   Printstone   Psilomelane   Quartz   Rainbow Pyrite   Rhodonite   Rhyolite   Ruby-in-Fuchsite   Seraphinite (Clinoclore)   Serpentine   Shell   Soapstone   Sodalite   Tiger Eye   Todolite   Travertine   Tumbling Rough   Turquoise   Unakite  

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!

Select from Our Fine Materials for Your Special Lapidary Projects
Assortments      Agates   Alunite   Angelite   Astrophyllite   Aventurine   Bloodstone   Blue Lagoon   Cacoxenite   Calcite   Chrysocolla   Chrysoprase   Clam Chowder Stone   Coprolite   Crinoid Marble   Dalmatian Stone   Dinosaur Bone   Dolomite   Dumortierite   Eudialite   Flower Feldspar   Fluorite   Fossil Coral   Fossil Stone   Fossil Stromatolite   Goldstone   Hydrogrossular Garnet   Hypersthene   Indian Paint Rock   Jade   Jaspers   Lapis Lazuli   Lepidolite   Llanite   Magnesite   Mookaite   Obsidians   Onyx   Opalite   Petrified Wood   Picasso Marble   Pink Lace   Print Stone   Quartz   Rhodonite   Rhyolites   Ruby in Fuchsite   Ruby in Zoisite   Selected Materials   Seraphinite   Serpentine   Sodalite   Thulite   Tiger Eye   Todolite   Travertine   Turquoise   Unakite   Variscite  

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
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Slabs and Cabs


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Bob Keller