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A fabulous collection of rocks, gems and
minerals, gathered from all over the earth.

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A collection
to share with
The world’s most beautiful rocks, all the family

gems and minerals for you to treasure

Authentic pieces gathered by our specialists from all corners of the earth.



· Full-size samples
· Wonderful variety
· Spectacular display Chyrsoprase

Aragonite Lapis lazuli


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Don’t miss out on this FREE
display box for
unique collection! your collection
with issue 2

. The most fascinating rocks, gems and

minerals of our planet, including amethyst,
rose quartz, agate and tiger’s eye
. Learn how to identify them, how they were
formed and where to find them in every issue
of your magazine, and in the comprehensive
A-Z cards that accompany the collection.
. Protect your precious collection in
exclusive and specially designed
display boxes.

Since it was founded in 1888, this scientific and educational not-for-profit

organisation has supported more than 9,000 explorations and research
projects, contributing to our knowledge of land, sea and space.

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Amazing minerals… MAGNETITE

According to legend, a Greek shepherd discovered

this mineral when he noticed the nails in his
sandals were sticking to the rocks. It is a natural

magnet that attracts iron.

o u k n o w
Did y

This mineral has amazing optical

• A mineral is a natural substance, found on the surface properties. Looking through it is like
or within the layers of the earth’s crust. having double vision.


In dry conditions, gypsum crystals grow

so that they resemble petals. These
beautiful formations are like blossoms
set in stone.
This form of iron sulphide is
sometimes called ‘fool’s gold’, due
CALCITE to the way it sparkles and glistens.

Used by the Romans to make cement,

this mineral dissolves in acidic water and
forms stalactites and stalagmites in caves.


This form of muscovite, or common

mica, owes its intense green colour
to the chromium oxide it contains. It is
often found alongside emeralds.

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…and stunning gemstones AMAZONITE

Also known as the stone of the Amazon, this

rare mineral’s rich blue-green colour has
made it highly valued by collectors.

u k n o w ?
Did yo • A gem or precious stone is a rock or mineral that can be cut

A variety of quartz with a unique appearance,

and polished to use in jewellery making or arts and crafts. this gemstone is distinctive due to its beautiful
Man-made versions are created with resins and pigments. layers of colour and characteristic sheen.


This purple crystalline mineral is a sought-

after variety of quartz and has been used
as a gem for centuries.


The quality of this aggregate of different

minerals is dependent on the proportion of
lazurite, which produces the intense blue colour.
Formed inside cavities in rocks,
these are like miniature crystal
caves and highly prized in

One of the most sought-after precious
Playing an important role in stones, this is a variety of beryl. It
Buddhism, and in Feng-Shui, this owes its green hue to the chromium or
stone is said to represent purity, vanadium within it.
innocence and integrity.

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Everything you need to know


about the world of precious GEMS


rocks, gems and minerals

Discover why the world of geology has fascinated man since the dawn of time, with these
fact-packed magazines and A-Z reference cards, developed by experts and designed for
the whole family to use.

Blue agate
PLANET EARTH Plate tectonics: in constant motion 45

1 Plates separate: oceanic ridges

Where plates pull apart beneath the ocean submarine SiO2

Plate tectonics:
mountain ranges form. Running down the centre of these 3 Plates collide: collision of two continental plates
ranges are deep fissures through which magma continuously
When two continental plates collide they thicken at their

BlUE agaTE
flows. As this magma hardens it forms new rock, which is
edges, creating huge mountain ranges. The Himalayas
added to the separating edges of the plates.
was formed in this way. Here, the thickened crust

in constant motion
2 Plates move sideways: transform faults prevents magma from reaching the surface. Instead, it
There are places where plates neither collide nor cools within the newly created mountain chain.
separate, but instead move sideways past each other.
These places are called transform faults. Most transform
faults occur beneath the ocean’s surface. The fault
The outermost part of the Earth (its crust) consists of a series of rigid plates that are in constant between the Iberian Peninsula and north Africa is
of this type.
movement. This movement is almost imperceptible to us, ranging from about 2 to 6 cm a year. 3
Although this movement may seem insignificant, over millions of years continental masses can split
and may become separated by thousands of kilometres.

he theory of plate tectonics was developed by a number of
people at the end of the 1960s and in the early 1970s. It
explains most of the geological processes that take place
on Earth. The development of the oceans and continents,
the location and types of volcanoes and earthquakes, the
formation of mountain ranges or places where there
is sedimentation are all processes explained by this
theory. According to the theory of plate tectonics,
Oxides and
B lue agate, a sub-variety of
quartz, is a very attractive gem
with concentric bands alternately
mineral bands. The best way
of distinguishing natural agates
from treated ones is to examine
the Earth is divided into rigid plates which move hydroxides
on top of another, more fluid, layer called the coloured blue and white. Its beauty the uniformity and clarity of their
asthenosphere, or upper mantle. The System depends on both the intensity blue colouring, as both of these
plates vary greatly in thickness, from Trigonal and the extent of its blue colour. properties are better defined in
a few kilometres in parts of the Blue agate forms in volcanic rocks natural agates.
ocean basins to up to crystal infiltrated by hot silica (SiO2)
20 km beneath large solutions. Variations in the dissolved n THE BUDDHIST MInERal
mountain ranges. 5 impurities and the conditions in Nowadays, agate (particularly blue
As the plates 4 which the minerals are deposited agate) is highly prized in China
move some pull
apart, whereas 1 Hardness give rise to the different layers. If and India, owing to the importance
others collide. Plumes 7 the solution cools slowly, quartz of the stone in Buddhism and its
Still more move Beneath the oceanic ridges columns of magma macrocrystals can form in the role in feng shui. In the West, blue
sideways, sliding called ‘plumes’ emerge from great depths. These central section. If cooling is rapid, agate was a much sought-after
spill out to form the underwater mountain ranges however, the crystals that form are
past one another. Conchoidal gem during the Renaissance. This
of the ridges themselves and in places break
through the surface of the sea to form volcanic microscopic. period gave rise to the majority
islands, such as Iceland. Exfoliation of blue agate cameos, which
None n aRTIFIcIal coloUR were extremely finely cut. Due
Many of the blue agates offered to their great beauty and historic
lustre for sale to collectors are artificially importance they remain highly
4 Plates collide: collision of two oceanic plates Vitreous coloured, having been impregnated valuable today.
When most plates collide, one sinks beneath the other in a
in a vacuum with a blue dye
process called ‘subduction’. As it sinks it melts and the
8.850 m

Hot spots Streak solution. This solution penetrates

Sometimes hot material rises from the centre magma generated rises to the surface, where it erupts from White
volcanoes. Where subduction occurs beneath the ocean island the network of quartz microcrystals
of the Earth and raises the temperature of the
underside of a plate, producing magma. This chains are created by these volcanoes, marking the boundary. to a lesser or greater extent
Sea level The Japanese archipelago and the Philippines are both examples
process leads to volcanic activity both on land according to the porosity of the
and beneath the ocean. of this kind of volcanic island chain.
Extremes of height and depth
11.022 m

Diagram comparing the height of 5 Plates collide: collision of a continental and an oceanic plate
the Himalayas with the depth of the Oceanic plates are thinner and more dense than continental 4 3 Where it is found:
Marianas Trench Oceanic trenches plates. When the two collide, the oceanic plate is subducted. The
In places where one oceanic plate sinks beneath 5 The most outstanding pieces of blue agate come from mines
magma produced by this process rises through the continental
another plate (subduction), trenches form. These 1 in Asia, Africa and the Americas, specifically: 1. Brazil (Minas
plate forming mountains and volcanoes. The Andes was formed 2
trenches may reach depths of more than 10 km. Gerais), 2. Uruguay (Artigas), 3. China (Tibet), 4. Mexico
by this type of collision.
(Chihuahua), and 5. Democratic Republic of Congo.

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