We had a busy time in Morocco travelling from Fez over the Atlas mountains to Midelt where our Moroccan friend has his minerals/selenite works.
We are trying a few new candle-holder designs this time as well as keeping up with the old favourites. We also got some eggs and spheres this time in different sizes and some slightly different sized towers. Also in selenite, masssage wands, hearts in different sizes plus a few orange selenites and spirals.
Also, the best little desert roses we have had, all perfect rounded roses and a few selected BIG specimen pieces too.
Aragonite sputniks, and some different sizes in sharks teeth this time, from very small to quite large ones. A box of metacantini trilobites, mosasaur teeth, and some very ancient stramatolites (oldest fossil algae).
On the mineral front we have an amazing collection of blue Barytes which are fantastic, a large fresh haul of Vanadanite and some lovely velvet malachite/azurites as well as azurite roses. We also managed to get hold of the last of the best cobalti-calcite from mines that are now closed. The selenite mines are also closed at the moment , as they have been off and on over the years, due to various ownership disputes/mining rights issues.
From Midelt we travelled south to Erfoud where the Orthocerus is worked. We saw a couple of small factory/workshops with lots of big saws and polishers busy cutting and polishing big slabs for table-tops, and made into our sculptures, plates and bowls etc., so we are WELL stocked up with all things Orthocerus-wise!
A couple of people also had other things for sale here and we got some special fossil pieces here including the wickedest biggest spiniest trilobite I’ve ever seen! We got a few large trilobites here which will all cause a bit of excitement when they arrive along with a crocodile skull. We also got our first ever fossil starfish plates and the first for 20 years specimens of Crinoids.
Another first we picked up en route were some pretty little Jurassic/Cretaceous sea urchin fossils from a complete urchin-geek who knew everything there was to know about fossil urchins! Yet another new product…………beatifully polished fossil coral pieces, some quite large but most palm -sized and very pretty. We also got 6 or 7 large goniatite/ orthocerus polished sculptures as well as a big collection of more gift-sized ones, all very fresh and well prepared.
Onwards into the desert, past our first sand-dunes to a small town where the Berbers bring all their trilobites found in the desert to be expertly prepared in small workshops using dentists air-drills. We bought the best prepared trilobites we have ever had here………really perfect with no repairing or remodelling. Some of these are quite rare species so we will have an amazing selection of unusual and perfect trtilobites.
Our final adventure was out into the arid lands to visit a Vanadanite mine in a landscape out of Star Wars ( there’s a village nearby called Tatouine) where low stony huts and heaps of red stone dot the area along with simple holes in the ground with a winch- rope and wooden ladder going down 90 meters into the tunnels. The miners came up and showed us the various collections they had come up with over the last couple of weeks………so direct from the miners we got some stunning Vanadanite and also some lovely fresh Wulfenite.
We expect to see all of these amazing fossils and mineral specimens sometime around mid June and in the shops throughout the summer.
PB & AM