Rough Rock Shop August 2015 Update

Hi, this last week has been quite busy for us with the Rough Rock ShopRough Rock Shop home page!

We have a few changes in the Rough for Tumbling section:


Green Aventurine
Red Aventurine
Yellow Jasper


Extra Shipping Option:

We have introduced an additional Shipping option that offers very favourable rates to destinations in Europe. This will be shown in the checkout, just choose the best rate for your location.

Coming Soon:

Rose Quartz

The last few months have been a busy time rebuilding the Rough Rock Shop, a rebuild that was forced on us because the software we were using became unreliable and was causing havoc at our end. We now feel we have a good solid solution that will last us for a long time to come.

A new Direction and a new site for Shalini

Yes Shalini has a new site up and running now which really does a nice job of presenting the new skills she has been mastering with Copper. As you will see if you pay her a visit, aside from her Jewellery work she is also producing some really nice items using her new found skills, you never know you might find something to inspire you to try something new!

Please take a look at her new site here: Shalini Austin Designs


Dave & Shalini

Thunder Bay Amethyst Radio Interview

I can’t believe that I haven’t shared this so far. The day we launched our web site, Shalini tweeted about it. The very next morning there was a call from CBC Thunder Bay asking if we would be willing to do a radio interview with them, of course we would.

So the next day, late afternoon we got a call and the interview went ahead and it was aired the following Monday morning in Canada.

It will give you an insight into why we got interested in the Chevron Amethyst from this particular location, so if you are interested you can listen to it here on the CBC Thunder Bay web site.

Thunder Bay Amethyst Radio Interview


Dave & Shalini

Thunder Bay Crystals Shop Goes Live

We are proud to announce that our latest on line shop, catering solely to a range of minerals and crystals from Thunder Bay, Canada has now gone live.

At this time there is a quantity of Chevron Amethyst available Thunder Bay Minerals and Crsytalswhich you might also know as being called Auralite 23. It’s available in all shapes and sizes and we have more to add as time allows.

We will also be showing specimens of crystal clusters including Citrine,  Smokey Quartz and Amethyst, initially these won’t be available for sale until we can secure more stock direct from the mines in Thunder Bay.

We expect to have much darker Auralite in stock around the middle of October and more Crystal clusters as well.

So without further ado, here the link to our new web site:





The Rough Rock Shop goes Responsive

The Rough Rock Shop now on Mobile and Tablet

Mobile Phone EmulationThe brains of our outfit, Shalini has just spent the last week rebuilding the Rough Rock Shop into a responsive site, this means that it is now much easier to use on a Mobile Phone or Tablet and of course it still works on your desktop and laptop as well.

I think Shalini has done a smashing job on this and I would invite you to go a try it yourself on your portable device, it’s at the same place:

So a big public thank you to Shalini for all your hard work on this major update.



Thunder Bay Chevron Amethyst

Thunder Bay Chevron Amethyst, also known as Auralite

A sample of Thunder Bay Amethyst


A while back a friend of our who is a Crystal Healer asked us if we could source some Chevron Amethyst from the Thunder Bay area of Canada, in fact he called it Aurarlite, I said sure, but I must admit at that time I didn’t even know anything about Auralite, so I started searching and learning.

Our introduction to Auralite from Canada

About a week later I had an unexpected email drop into my inbox from a mine owner from that very area, coincidence or what! We get lots of emails like this, mainly from India offering us all kinds of rough rocks, but we aren’t big enough to import container loads at a time, anyway I digress.

I wrote back to the mine owner to ask for more information, pictures and prices and I also told our Crystal Healer friend as well, he was wildly excited to say the least.

So to cut a long story short we took the plunge and ordered 10Kg’s of the Amethyst, to keep costs down we had it shipped from Canada to the UK by sea and it arrived about 8 weeks later and as always there was excitement in our house, there always is when a new batch of rocks arrive.

This is another sample of Thunder Bay Chevron AmethystWhen we opened the package there was literally loads of the Chevron Amethyst, in all shapes and sizes, in fact I think there was more in there than we actually ordered, plus some other samples which were really good.

Now at this point I must be honest, I know nothing about Crystal Healing except that a lot of people believe in it and practice it and I don’t knock it in any way at all, it’s just that I don’t feel the energy from a chunk of rock, I can appreciate it’s beauty but that’s about as far as it goes with me.

What’s so special about Auralite?

We had been told by our friend that this Chevron Amethyst from Thunder Bay has fantastic energy stored within it, due to the fact that there are many different types of minerals within it, again I must stress this is what I have been told, I am no expert. In fact the name he used for it was Auralite or Auralite 23 and that it came specifically from Thunder Bay in Canada, so I can only assume that this is what we have and rely on the feedback from the people I have described below who have been given samples of it.

So we have given a few pieces to our friend and a few other people we know who practice Crystal Healing and I hasten to add none of these people know each other. We did this as a sort of experiment to see what sort of feedback we received. A week or so passed and we started get reports back about their experiences with the Amethyst we had given them, and do you know it was all along the same lines, lot’s of energy from the rocks. We have since asked them if they would write up their experiences so we can publish them.

As you can see, the samples we have now are quite light in their colouring, but the next consignment, due in September will have some much darker samples as well.

So I guess this rock won’t be meeting the saw at anytime, we may wrap some to make into pendants but we won’t be cutting it like we do with other rock as it seems to be pretty special for Crystal Healing community.

Thnder Bay Chevron Amethyst, also known as Aurarlite or Aurarlite 23 Now we are in the process of weighing, measuring and photographing the samples we have, these will be made available through a new site we are developing now which can found at at the moment the site has very little information on it but we have made a form on their so you can register your interest if you wish, and we will let you know as soon as it goes live.

But what I can say is that this new web site will be exclusively for this Rough Chevron Amethyst known as Auralite and any other minerals that come from these Thunder Bay mines.

So watch this space as they say!

Rough Rock Shop – Latest

Over the last week or so the camera has been working overtime as we have replenished some stock and added some new lines as well.

We have had the new stock of Zebra Stone for a while, but now it’s available, this time it came in smaller chunks so we decided to offer it as it is rather than slabbing it.

Also added are larger pieces of Bloodstone that will be suitable for cutting and cabbing and I have also broken some of it up to replenish the tumble stock which is now also available. For a while we though this was not a good batch of Bloodstone as there wasn’t much red fleck that was noticeable, but after I started breaking it up for the tumble packs, the flecks appeared, so they are there! But we will keep this batch at the reduced price that it’s at now.

What else, oh yes Moonstone, again this has been out of stock for a while, but it’s now back in both tumble and cutting sizes.

Chevron Amethyst, we have replenished the tumble size stock and also introduced a range that sits between the small tumble size and larger cutting size, and talking about the larger size, this has been shipped to us today so should be with us soon.

Our 100g tumble packs continue to be popular with our customers as they can mix and match the different types of rock and only buy what they need to make a up a barrel load.

We will continue to photograph and offer all our rough rock individually as we do now, excepting the tumble packs, because we believe that it’s right that you see the actual rock you are buying and we do not believe in forcing our customers to buy more than they want, for example by offering it in a minimum weight quantity, as we do realise that not everyone is buying for Lapidary purposes, Collectors and Crystal Healers also buy from us.

Other news, in the near future we hope to have some Ruby in Zeosite available and a new site too, this one will be dedicated to range of rough rocks from the Thunder Bay area of Canada only, more on this as things progress.

Well that’s about all for now, but thanks to our visitors and customers for dropping by and leaving comments and making purchases, we don’t aim to be the biggest, we just want to make sure you are happy with what we offer.

Finally please do remember that we will ship our rocks worldwide, but in order to ensure you get the best postage rates we ask that you use these guidelines they may seem a little long winded but they really do work and save our overseas customers a considerable amount.


Dave & Shalini


Rough Rock Shop Update

It’s been a while since I made a post, but I thought I should let you know that we have been busy in the background increasing our rough rock stock. We have recently added a number of new lines into the rough for tumbling categories, which you can see from the menu “Rough Rock Stock” to your left.

We are also eagerly awaiting new stocks of Zebra Stone direct from the mine in Australia and some rather special Chevron Amethyst, again direct from the mine in Thunder Bay, Canada.

We still have more rocks to get listed on the shop, these include two types of Moonstone, Rutilated Quartz and Chilean Lapis Lazuli, so it’s been busy, oh and almost forget we also have around 40 Kgs of Labradorite to list as well, so all you Labradorite lovers – watch this space!

Other news, we have for a long time been unhappy about the speed that this site loads into your web browser, so we have taken on a dedicated server and placed this site onto it, now I think you will agree it loads a lot faster!

Happy 2014 to everyone

Dave & Shalini

Slicing Up the Zebra Stone and Printstone Rough

Muddy Sunday – Slicing the Zebra Stone and Printstone

Just over a year ago we were asked by a client if we could work some Zebra Stone for her and create some pendants which we did, and ever since we have been looking for some Zebra Stone of our own to work with.

Not so long ago we ordered some Zebra Stone and Printstone rough from Australia and it’s been sat out in the workshop for a couple of weeks since it arrived. Well on Saturday we decided it was time to slice it up into slabs.

Pictures of the chunks of Zebra Stone and Printstone Rough

A block of Rough Zebra Stone
Zebra Stone #1

Our second block of Rough Zebra Stone unworked
Zebra Stone #2

a chunk of rough Printstone  from Australia

If you have ever read my previous post about Zebra Stone of 7th May 2012 you will know that I was wary of getting water, cutting oil or anything else near this stone so I got out my mitre saw and set it up.

After about two hours I had managed to almost cut one slice, this batch of Zebra Stone (as was the Printstone) was much harder than the first lot we worked with, as you can imagine I was pretty worn out after I got the first slice cut, and so was the saw blade, the teeth were all worn away, so obviously this method of cutting wasn’t going to be an option.

This was painful, dry cutting the rough!

Zebra Stone clamped on dry saw
Zebra Stone clamped on dry saw

Zebra Stone dry cut - almost half way
Zebra Stone dry cut – almost half way

First Zebra Stone Slab
First Zebra Stone Slab

The only other option we had to hand was our 8” diamond saw, but that uses “metprep” cutting oil, and as I said previously I was wary of letting anything like this near the stone in case of contamination. So, after some mulling things over we decided to empty out the sump and give it a thorough clean, then we reassembled the saw a refilled the sump with clean water only.

The reasoning behind this is that the Zebra Stone and Printstone would have been subjected to the elements before they were mined so clean water shouldn’t do any harm!

Little did I realise that I was about to embark on the mother of all mud baths! The biggest problem I was having was actually seeing what I was doing, because the dirty water was flying up and coating my safety glasses, so I had to keep stopping and dunking them in a bucket of water to clean them.

This was a mud bath – cutting the Printstone and Zebra Stone on the diamond saw.

Cutting the Printstone
Cutting the Printstone

Its a mud bath
Its a mud bath

cutting the zebra stone
cutting the zebra stone

Every time a new slab came off the saw Shalini was standing there waiting to go and clean it up, it almost reminded me of the nurse waiting to go and clean up the baby after it had just been delivered.

Well after almost 3 hours of cutting we ended up with a combined total of 28 zebra Stone and Printstone slabs of varying sizes and thicknesses.

So, was it all worth it – you bet!

Zebra Stone slabs
Zebra Stone slabs

Printstone slabs
Printstone slabs

A mixture of Zebra Stone and Printstone slabs
A mixture of Zebra Stone and Printstone slabs

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

The Zebra Stone and Printstone have arrived from Australia

The Zebra Stone and Printstone have arrived from Australia

Ever since we undertook a commission just over a year ago, we have been looking for some good Zebra Stone for ourselves, and we finally found it a little while ago. At the same time that we found the Zebra Stone we were also introduced to Printstone, another one we had never heard of or seen before, fortunately both of these are from the same supplier, so we ordered some of each from him.

It arrived last week, we were expecting it to take 6 weeks at least but it arrived in just over 3 weeks, must have been a very fast ship because it came by sea!

As I said above we were asked by a client to create 3 pendants for her, she supplied the Zebra Stone and to be honest I worried about working with it mainly because it wasn’t my rock and if I messed up it would be hard to replace it, if you are interested you can read more about this through this link:

How I worked Zebra Stone

Anyway I digress, here are some pictures of the new arrivals

Zebra Stone Rough

Rough Zebra Stone View 1 Zebra Stone Rough View 2 Zebra Stone Rough View 3

Visitors to the Kimberley Region of Western Australia leave with memories of a formidable, rugged landscape – an ancient land holding many mysteries and well kept secrets.
Some 600 million years ago when the only life on earth was simple aquatic organisms and Australia was still part of the super-continent Gondwanaland, layers of a striking red and while banded stone were formed near where Kununurra is today. The sparsely distributed seams of Zebra Stone are the only known deposits of this rare and beautiful material.
Zebra Stone is an indurated siltstone, altered from its original sedimentary form by unknown geological and chemical processes. It was first documented in 1924 following its discovery close to the Durack homestead on the Argyle pastoral lease.
Only a small portion of the total deposits remained above water following the construction of Lake Argyle in 1972. Reserves are measured in kilos rather than tonnes, with some patterns yielding only a few kilos. Seams are tightly enclosed in shale, varying in width from 25mm to 400mm. The regularly curved bands and rods disappear and reoccur at intervals within the seam, making recovery expensive and tedious.
The curved banding of red and white occurs at nearly right angles to the bedding plane. Analysis of samples has disclosed an extraordinary number and range of elements, including rare earths, adding to its wonder and contributing to its unique texture and qualities.
Although it is compact and fine grained Zebra Stone is soft enough to cut and carve with hand tools, lending itself to finishing with fine wet and dry emery paper. Coating with a clear spray-on sealer, either satin or gloss, avoids smudging of the iron oxides in the material. (Description courtesy of Aradon. PTY Ltd)

Printstone Rough

Printstone Rough View 1 Printstone Rough View 2 Printstone Rough View 3

Printstone is found in the Hamersley Ranges near the iron ore mining town of Tom Price in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
It occurs in the “Mount McRae Shale” within the Hamersley Basin. Age is approx. 2000 Ma.
Some studies indicate that the unusual markings possibly have stromatolitic origins, some even going so far as naming it as “Kinneyia Simulans”.
Another theory suggests they are Liesegang rings. Banded minerals and rocks, such as Printstone, were formed or rearranged by long-lasting processes of transport, chemical reaction and precipitation or crystallization. Due to this range of processes, a great variety of textures can occur. (Description courtesy of Aradon. PTY Ltd)

My next job is to slab it all into 10mm slabs, this will be done by hand with a hacksaw as I don’t want the coolant from my diamond saw to get soaked into the stone and ruin it.