Interesting Stuff

Interesting Website on Diamonds

https://beyond4cs.com/

Check out the above link, a very interesting website with lots of information. Toprock does not sell diamonds in any shape and form, but this is none the less interesting.

Very informative stuff,

Regards

Alex

Azurite

Azurite

AZURITE. We have certainly had a variety of Azurites over the years, and they are most definitely one of the most strikingly coloured Minerals in the Mineral Kingdom. Originally we had Tsumeb material in our earlier years..and folks complained about paying R30-R80 ($3-$8) for a decent 1-3 inch specimen..can you believe it.....now these same specimens run into the hundreds and thousands for the exact same specimens..IF they are ever available from old collections. Tsumeb closed many years ago, with a couple of efforts to mine the old workings for mineral specimens and more recently, the dumps are being reworked. For a few years, we didn't see more than a handful of older specimens and we thought African Azurite was a thing of the past. The Mineral Miners that pulled out a few pieces from Tsumeb were selling Rosette plates that looked like Jakka Mine specimens for R500-R1500 that would be R50-R150 from Jakka. None of the earlier prismatic Azurite crystals were found. Jakka Mine in Congo came up with the most beautiful ball and rosette Azurite specimens in the early 2000's. These were a fraction of the cost and very beautiful once we learned how to clean them properly..gorgeous,. We had a fair quantity of these for a couple of years, but eventually the mine collapsed....many folks died in the collapse, and it was closed down. That made us think a little too! We sometimes forget that these places are sometimes unsafe to dig. Recently, we have had lovely drusi and bladed crystal specimens from Kambovi..also at a fraction of Tsumeb prices, but the very well crystalline ones have also escalated again in price..but they are all very bright blue, very beautiful and are still very reasonable pricewise running at between R300-R800per kg ($28-$75). Production has slowed down and it can be a few months between batches, but they are still coming out sometimes. We have been attempting to mine Copper in Madagascar for the last couple of years and have found some beautiful drusi blue vug Azurite specimens, but logistics and paperwork from Madagascar make it very difficult..we will hopefully be bringing these in soon.

Old Toprock Shop

Old Toprock Shop

We have had several Retail Rock Shops over the last 24 years. Having retails shops allows us to keep in touch with things as wholesalers and also we get to meet some interesting people along route in every area that we have lived in. Here are a few photo's of a couple of them. Siler Hills Gemstone Shop(one of the oldest Rock Shops in South Africa(Hartebeesport Rd, Pretoria/NW), Randburg Waterfront (Johannesburg)Blue Hills, (Midrand Johannesburg,), Heart Of Stone(Hermanus, W.Cape) Phoenix AZ(USA), Crocodile Farm and Phezulu Safari Park(KZN Natal), Heritage, Hillcrest (Kwazulu Natal) and our final resting place, Lower Mpushini Protected Area (Pietermaritzburg Kwazulu Natal). There's a pic of the Las Vegas show in there somewhere as well (Prim Nevada)

Stone Tools and Paleoanthropology

Stone Tools and Paleoanthropology

Some stone tools that we found, a 450 thousand-year-old skull, Sterkfontein caves and ancient sandstone holes at Mapungubwe.

Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood

We get a vast range of Petrified Wood products out of Madagascar. Malagasy Poducarpus poducarpus is beuatifully patterned, often with red and green colouringThe items featured in the photos are from a chap named Sela. Sela is a fine guy indeed. He started off working for Toprock in our factory for many years then set up some machines at his own house and now he is a very successful producer of everything from slices, bowls, spheres, eggs, skulls, branches, freeform art and anything you can think of. Look at the size of these spheres!!! Sela has become a master craftsman. We sell a lot of Sela's production. Of course, Petrified wood is not exactly the softest material in the world to cut, but it is certainly one of the most classic looking stones and cannot be beaten for stylish home decor purposes. We also get some lovely Combreatum Peterified Wood and occasionally dome sinks and tables made up. We even have a couple of these items in our house.

Funny Pics

Funny Pics

Just funny photo's from various places while on rock routes.

Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things

More beautiful items

People who bring us stones

People who bring us stones

A short cross-section of a few of the different folks and families all over Central and Southern Africa who make and bring us some of our beautiful stock. We have around 20 folks in the Congo on the look out for us, a dozen in Zambia, another 20 or so in Zimbabwe, a couple of hundred around South Africa, a dozen in Namibia, a handful who bring in from Mozambique occasionally, a few in Swaziland, 25 or so in Malawi, random folks who bring stuock down from Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and elsewhere and over 1000 in Madagascar. We have mined in most of these countries and either help set up small factories small scale mining and all sorts of arrangements from a vast array of people over the years...and, even though we live in South Africa, we have been set up in Madagascar for over 20 years as well.

Fossils

Fossils

Some Fossils that have passed through over the years or that we have been lucky enough to play with!