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page 19 of my online mineral museum: part 2 of the oddities, now we're getting strange

2011-01-15 - 11:49 a.m.


all photos 2011 by elaine radford
"the devil's dice"

Peachfront's Note: You can find part 1 of my discussion of Boji and Boji-like Oddities by clicking right here.

Ah, the devil's dice! At the top of the page we have a small gathering of Limonite pseudomorph after Pyrite cubes. Whew. That's a mouthful. Locality is Lancaster or York County, Pennsylvania, somewhere in that area. A gift from the collector, after I bought some other stuff from him to help him move house.

These stones are not the trademarked "Boji" stones that I discussed in part one. They were collected by a friend of mine who used to collect and sell metaphysical minerals from near his hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas. He collected these guys in Jessieville, Arkansas. I forgot to put a coin in the first photo to give you an idea of the size, so that's why I photographed one of them twice, with an American nickel in the second photo.

Remember how I said we didn't cut them open? That we didn't even know anyone who cut them open? Well, here is a Jessieville specimen that appears to have been naturally broken and then weathered by time.

Marcasite or Pyrite? I'm not that good, so don't quote me, as I always get these two confused. My guess is Pyrite.

To add fuel to the fire, at some point I bought some of these Boji-like Marcasite stones from England. I believe that the guy who sold them to me said they were from Dover. The local folks who bought them at gemshows were metaphysical folks and just looking for a nice big stone that fit well in the hand, However, when I sold the rest online, I'm pretty sure that stone-cutters grabbed them all, to cut them in half to show the marcasite inside. I don't plan to cut mine.

Now here's an interesting story. Before the internet -- even before the BBS! -- we had the rise of the so-called 'zines. People would self-publish magazines or newsletters, and some of these homemade items were pretty odd. One lady had a very unusual newsletter that crammed all kinds of conspiracy and "odd" information onto a large, oversized page, maybe a bit like a poster. I guess she wasn't trying to make any money off of it, because after she sent me a few mailers, I sent five or ten bucks her way, and pretty soon she sent me back a box that contained a large peanut butter jar of these stones. She also included a box of special top secret super power high holy Tibetan magical salt, which I have used from time to time whenever any special top secret super power high holy Tibetan magical salt is needed. It must happen more often than you'd think, because I finally used up the box in 2010. As for the stones, I wire-wrapped some and sold them individually. Then I sold the rest of the unwrapped stones to some better wire-wrappers, keeping an assortment of representative shapes behind to become a permanent part of my collection.

This is what the lady wrote me about these stones:

They were found under ten feet of "soils" near Douglas Landing, Newfoundland. Please help us figure out their mysterious origin in this strange world of riddles!"

Well, I have never been able to learn anything else about them, but if I had to guess, they look like primitive lapidary scrap, maybe from a Stone Age cutting operation. Or, for that matter, maybe from a more modern cutting operation, but I would expect a modern operation to use stones like granite or marble or whatever. In any case, they do make you stop and wonder.

Heck, now that we DO have the internet, I guess I know less than ever. I can't even find Douglas Landing, Newfoundland on Google maps. Pre-internet, I would just take it for granted that it was some town or mine in Canada but now? Who knows?

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