Category: CabinetOfCuriosities

I originally purchased this to take photos of it and eventually dismissed it as a bad purchase since it seemed to have what i thought of at the time as a layer of sediment rendering the clear cubes really ugly looking- it turns out to be the previous owners scuzz which came off quickly with a nice scrubbing. This is another in the macro series as the fractal detail of fluorite has always been one of my favorites. Most of these photos were shot with a 1:1 macro lens fully zoomed in so its rather small details. As with all the Cabinet of Curiosity post these photos are released with a Creative Commmons license which make them free to use for artistic / non-commercial purposes. If you use these in a project please link back to this page. Oh yeah if you want to purchase this piece make me an offer =)


clear fluorite plates


Ocean Jasper is the tradename for a form of Orbicular Jasper which is only found in one locale in the world – off the northwest coast of Madagascar. The mine is now closed and not producing any more Jasper, however when it was being mined the vein was only accessible at low tide. I was told that Ocean Jasper formed due to a unique geological event several millions of years ago: a lava flow being covered by a secondary flow from a neighboring cone which extended the cooling process beyond what it would have normally been. What initially got me collecting stones was was my first encounter with a museum grade ocean jasper. It was literally jaw dropping in its geometric perfection and stunning colors. Since that fateful day ive been searching for something even close to the same grade and the other day on ebay I stumbled across a piece close enough to suit my taste, however the downside is that it is rough and it means I need to polish it. For now Ive taken some macro photos of the raw stone and I’ll update this page as I make progress on polishing it. The side with the bright orange on green poppies is the side I plan on polishing.


druzy vugs - quartz filled ocean jasper

Close up detail of Ocean Jasper

ORCA ocean Jasper - bright orange poppies on green


quartz face close up macro

In the details

I would like to start this post with my favorite piece of prose; the beginning of William Blakes Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

An ode to the things that pass by our notice undetected in the bustle of our day to day lives. If we slow down occasionally and explore the details in which god supposedly dwells we are rewarded with a renewed sense of wonder and awe.

Below are some macro photos Ive taken which capture this sense of beauty and depth. All were shot with a nikon d70 with a micro nikkor 55mm with a 2x tele-extender.

Water Drop on leaf

Water acting as an additional lens magnifying the leafs cellular structure

Mushroom Gills and Spores

Mushroom Gills and Spores

Orgeon Coast Glass Sponge

Glass Sponge from the Oregon Coast

Shell does anyone know what kind?

Unknown seashell does anyone know what this is?

Not a dandelion

Not a dandelion but you get the idea – five inches in diameter

Pyritized Ammonite

Pyritized Ammonite Fossil


Chicoreus Nobilis (2 inches in length) 120-140m (Shikama 1972)

A second drop

Another leaf photo

Fluorite and Barite - Berbes Spain

Fluorite and Barite – Berbes Spain


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 While I was at the 2006 Tucson gem show I was proud to have found this little 2″ wide mineral that managed to baffle just about everyone I talked to, to the extent that people were referring me to their mineral nerd friends with scary encyclopedic knowledge of minerals and gems to check it out and try to figure out just what it is, even then I didn’t get any definitive answers, unfortunately.

All I know of this piece is what was passed on from the dealer I bought it from and that it was supposedly found in the Arctic Circle. Which may be a big hint as to why this piece is so unique. It also came with a specimen of what appears to be Glendonite which was paired together by locale, which upon further research makes sense as Glendonite is a calcite pseudomorph of Ikaite found in the Arctic areas. Some people I talked to say this piece is a pseudomorph itself but I’m not convinced of that just yet. (For the non-mineral nerds out there a psuedomorph is a mineral compound resulting from a process by which the primary mineral component is replaced by another, although the compound maintains constant appearance and dimensions.)

I did a bunch of research trying to find anything remotely similar and all I can say is that it looks like Calcite in its overall form. I would love to hear your comments if you have any ideas about what this might be or just how rare/special this piece might be. Dimensions are about 2″ wide X .75 inch thick X 1.25 inches

Check the photos and descriptions below. (the photos are creative commons in case you want to do something cool and non-commercial in nature with them)

Staked hexagonal plates as well as what appears to be the place it was connected to rock on the bottom right. The faded blue/white on the bottom segment probably holds a clue as to what this is.

This is the flip side of the previous photo which features smaller hexagonal stair step snowflake platters and some really interesting 3 dimensional hexagon discs on the left.

A close up of the hexagonal discs as mentioned in the previous description. For a higher detail photo click any of the images. (there are even higher resolution photos available from that page as well)

Here is a top view of the piece in all its glory. It is very snowflake-like in its appearance and have thought perhaps the formation might have something to do with the supposed local this specimen hails from (Arctic Circle)

Close up of the staisteps which form the back side of photos 2 & 3.

Another shot of the Alien micro-chip.

Please don’t hesitate to leave comments with your ideas or pass it on to someone who you know that might be able to help figure this out.

Check out the archive of other Cabinet of Curiosities posts

Heres what people speculate: Add your expert opinion to the list ;)

Tyler/KC:  it has cleavage like a feldspar.. i think its a amazonite…



Welcome to the first Cabinet of Curiosities blog post. This new blog is essentially a way of showcasing photographs of interesting things I pick up in my travels, sometimes simply for the explicit intention of photographing them for this blog. All photographs on this page are licensed with a creative commons license, meaning you can remix it and use it in your artwork as long as it doesnt have a commercial purpose.

So I just procured the macro lens I needed in order to do these high res close up photos. I am using a manual focus Nikon Micro Nikkor 55mm f2.8 for these photos. (scored for $18 dollars on ebay!!) A 105mm would be ideal as the bokeh (or so the blurry background is called) wouldnt be so dramatic as with these photos, but Ill simply reshoot and update the pages when I get that lens.

Angeline Chalcedony

This first photo is the whole specimen of Angeline Chalcedony where the details range from liquid-like motion on the left to mineral popcorn on the right. I picked this up in Tucson Arizona at the gem show two years ago.  According to Chris, the kid I bought this from, this was the nicest of the lot, which apparently grows inside of a hollow vein, hence the Chalcedony, However I failed to dig up any information on this particular variation of Chalcedony. If you know anything about it please contact me.


Angeline Motion Flow

This is a top down photo of the flowing part of the stone. When you view the close up you can see much more of the stalctite-like formations.


Popcorn Chalcedony


This is a close-up from the popcorn side of things. It resembles cave popcorn to me. I wonder what was going on with this piece that half of it has very strikingly different features than the other?

Im meltingggg

This close up shows some of the best detail from the liquid motion side of the specimen and has a intensely organic feeling to it.


A river runs through it apparently.


 chalcedony close up

 …and finally, a slightly zoomed out macro shot of the whole liquidy side of things. Thanks for reading, be sure to sign up for the RSS Feed If you like you this, as I have plenty more to photograph and document.

View the rest of the Cabinet of Curiosities Posts

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