Stick type Byrozoan, Fossil Mountain Member, Kaibab Formation, Grand Canyon National Park Marine Worm Burrow Cast, Fossil Mountain Member, Kaibab Formation, Grand Canyon National Park Sponge in Chert Nodule, Fossil Mountain Member, Kaibab Formation, Grand Canyon National Park

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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

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  

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.


Curiosity May Drill Martian Butte: Scientists are eyeing a rock layer surrounding the base of a small butte, called "Mount Remarkable," as a target for investigating with tools Curiosity's robotic arm. A site on this middle unit may become the third rock that Curiosity samples with its drill.
Images From Curiosity Include Bright Spots: Images taken by Curiosity Mars rover include bright spots, which are most probably due to the sun glinting off a rock or cosmic rays striking the camera's detector.
Curiosity Scoping Out Next Study Area: Curiosity has reached a vantage point for its cameras to survey four different types of rock intersecting in an area called "the Kimberley," after a region of western Australia. The mission's investigations at the Kimberley are planned as the most extensive since Curiosity spent the first half of 2013 in an area called Yellowknife Bay.
Curiosity's Next Stop Has Sandstone Variations: Variations in the stuff that cements grains together in sandstone have shaped the landscape surrounding Curiosity and could be a study topic at the mission's next science waypoint.
Curiosity Views Striated Ground: Curiosity has reached an area where orbital images had piqued researchers' interest in patches of ground with striations all oriented in a similar direction. A location still ahead, called "Kimberley," where researchers plan to suspend driving for a period of science investigations, also features ground with striations.
Curiosity Adds Reverse Driving for Wheel Protection: Curiosity has undertaken the mission's first long trek that used reverse driving, making its farthest one-day advance of any kind in more than three months. The reverse drive validated feasibility of a technique developed with testing on Earth to lessen damage to Curiosity's wheels when driving over terrain studded with sharp rocks.
Curiosity Drives On After Crossing Martian Dune: Curiosity is continuing its traverse toward enticing science destinations after climbing over a dune spanning a gap in a ridge.
Curiosity Crosses Dune: Curiosity has crossed a dune that stands across a gateway to a southwestward route favored by the rover team for driving to future science destinations.
Curiosity Views Possible Westerly Route: Curiosity has reached the edge of a dune at Dingo Gap and photographed the valley on the other side, to aid assessment of whether to cross the dune.
Curiosity Checking Possible Smoother Route: The team operating Curiosity is considering a path across a small sand dune to reach a favorable route to science destinations, skirting some terrain with sharp rocks considered more likely to poke holes in the rover's aluminum wheels.
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 17, 2014:  Driving Up To Crater Rim
April 11, 2014:  Getting in Place for a Better View of 'Endeavour Crater'
April 07, 2014:  Further Southwest on 'Murray Ridge'
March 24, 2014:  Helpful Wind Cleans Solar Panels
March 14, 2014:  The Exploration of Murray Ridge Continues
March 06, 2014:  Investigating 'Cook Haven'
March 03, 2014:  Crushing Rocks With Wheels
March 03, 2014:  Exploration of 'Murray Ridge'
February 15, 2014:  Busy Week of Imaging and Robotic Arm Studies
January 31, 2014:  Work on Mystery Rock Continues As Opportunity Marks 10 Years on Mars
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

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."

Mars Rocks Wear Manganese Coats: Several rocks on the surface of Mars are coated with distinctive dark-colored surface layers enriched in manganese. Given proposed links between microbial activity and terrestrial manganese coatings, the evidence for high surface concentrations of manganese is an intriguing twist for researchers looking for signs of life on Mars.
Saturn-Like Rings Spotted Around Asteroid: The ring system around the icy asteroid Chariklo is the first found encircling anything in our solar system other than a gas giant.
Icy Planetoid Found Lurking At Edge Of Solar System: Newly found 2012 VP113 joins the dwarf planet Sedna as the only two worlds known to orbit beyond the Kuiper belt, where Pluto resides along with hordes of ice boulders left over from the formation of the solar system.
Tiny, Ancient Crustacean Preserved In Fool’s Gold, Legs, Eggs And All: Inside her cozy little fortress, she lived together with her children. There were nearly a dozen, some hatched, some not. Together, they lived in the deep center of a quiet, soft-bottomed marine basin, near some nice trilobites called Triarthrus. Their days were all numbered.
Diamond Reveals The Oceans That Lie Beneath: The first direct evidence of the vast quantities of water deep in the Earth's mantle has been uncovered by scientists studying a tiny diamond. The water was found in ringwoodite included in the diamond taken from Juina, Brazil.
Great Oxidation Event 'A Misnomer': Oxygen levels in Earth's atmosphere varied much more over the history of the planet than previously thought.
How Snails, Clams Survived The Great Dying: The most catastrophic mass extinction in the history of Earth had little effect on the lowliest of beasts living in the bottom-dwelling muck on the sea floor.
Earth's Oldest Crystals Found: Ancient zircon crystals discovered in Western Australia have been positively dated to 4.374 billion years, confirming their place as the oldest piece of Earth ever found.
Stuck In Slime For A Billion Years: Researchers have revealed ancient conditions that almost ended life on Earth, using a new technique they developed to hunt for mineral deposits.
Warring Trolls Explanation For Mysterious Basalt Pillars Revised: Peculiar basalt pillars found in Iceland - attributed in local lore to a pair of angry trolls hurling projectiles at each other - are having their origin story updated.
Water Detected On A Planet Outside Our Solar System: Water has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting the nearby star tau Boötes with a new technique that could help researchers to learn how many planets with water, like Earth, exist throughout the universe.
Volcanoes Contribute To Recent Global Warming 'Hiatus': Volcanic eruptions in the early part of the 21st century have cooled the planet, according to a study led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This cooling partly offset the warming produced by greenhouse gases.
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.

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  

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
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Rock&Gem Writer's Guidelines

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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

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

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


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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

The Shop's Link List
The Shop's Pick and Links to Thousands of Other Websites of Interest to Rockhounds

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  

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Bob Keller