Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Strange and Amazing Animals

The mantis shrimp is found in the warm waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The shrimp's eyes contain millions of light-sensitive cells with upwards of 12 to 16 colour-receptive cones.
The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is the largest arthropod on Earth. This crab lives on islands throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Penis snake. This strange-looking creature is called Atretochoana eiselti and is a type of caecilian, a limbless amphibian.
Pacu fish have a mouth full of human-looking teeth. They are found in South America and feed mainly on plants and other fish.
Tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus) are a small species of deer characterized by a prominent tuft of black hair on its forehead and fang-like canines for the males.
Coelopleurus exquisitus is a species of sea urchin discovered in 2005 in New Caledonia. This picture shows two sea urchin skeletons stacked; the upper urchin is Coelopleurus exquisitus.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Silvercorp Metals Inc. - SVM.t

Silvercorp Metals Inc. - SVM.t is the largest primary silver producer in China through the operation of four silver-lead-zinc mines at the Ying Mining Camp in the Henan Province of China.

On August 26, 2016 the company released News

"Silvercorp Metals Inc. (TSX: SVM) (“Silvercorp” or the “Company”) announces that the Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal brought on behalf of shareholders seeking to certify a securities class action originally filed in May 2013 against the Company, its Chairman and Chief Financial Officer at the time. In October 2015, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the plaintiff’s motion for leave and certification of the claim as a class action, and awarded the Company costs in the amount of $500,000. The plaintiff appealed the decision and costs award to the Ontario Court of Appeal. On August 24, 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the rulings made by the Ontario Superior Court and has awarded a further $75,000 in costs to the Company for the appeal.

A copy of the reasons issued by the Ontario Court of Appeal can be found here (

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Emerald with Pyrite, Calcite
In geology, beryl is a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3). Beryls come in a number of varieties including the blue-green aquamarine, yellow-green heliodor, pink morganite, deep green emerald and the extremely rare red beryl.

The name comes from the ancient Greek word beryllos describing a blue-green stone the color of the sea.
Emeralds are a form of beryl, showing the deepest and richest green which is caused by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Emerald has been a favorite of royalty and the wealthy throughout history and was worshiped by Incas and Aztecs. Its attributes include the ability to foretell the future, bring good luck and protect against illness.

Emeralds in antiquity were mined by the Egyptians and in Austria, as well as Swat in northern Pakistan. A rare type of emerald known as a trapiche emerald is occasionally found in the mines of Colombia. A trapiche emerald exhibits a "star" pattern. It is named for the trapiche, a grinding wheel used to process sugarcane in the region. Colombian emeralds are generally the most prized.

Golden beryl can range in colors from pale yellow to a brilliant gold. Unlike emerald, golden beryl has very few flaws. The term "golden beryl" is sometimes synonymous with heliodor.

Both golden beryl and heliodor are used as gems.
Morganite, also known as "pink beryl", "rose beryl", "pink emerald", and "cesian (or caesian) beryl", is a rare light pink to rose-colored gem-quality variety of beryl. Orange/yellow varieties of morganite can also be found, and color banding is common.

Pink beryl was first discovered on an island on the coast of Madagascar in 1910. In December 1910, the New York Academy of Sciences named the pink variety of beryl "morganite" after financier J. P. Morgan.
Red beryl (also known as "red emerald") is a red variety of beryl. It was first described in 1904 for an occurrence at Juab County, Utah.

Red beryl is extremely rare and has only been reported from a handful of locations. The greatest concentration of gem-grade red beryl comes from the Violet Claim in the Wah Wah Mountains of mid-western Utah, discovered in 1958. While gem beryls are ordinarily found in pegmatites and certain metamorphic stones, red beryl occurs in topaz-bearing rhyolites. It is formed by crystallizing under low pressure and high temperature from miarolitic cavities of the rhyolite.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

1891 US Silver Certificate worth plenty

The certificate was issued in 1891, at a time when silver miners, Western mining companies, and some Western banks were objecting to the government's decision to essentially adopt a gold standard.

A law passed in 1878 required the government to buy several million dollars' worth of silver bullion and mint it into coins. Because the silver was so heavy, the government decided to issue certificates like this one that could be exchanged for the same face value in silver dollar coins.
The US government no longer prints silver certificates, and it hasn't exchanged existing ones for silver since the 1960s. But even now, those that remain outstanding are still legal tender and can be spent, according to the federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

$ 1000 in silver is a bargain. The note is one of only 2 known in existence and sold at auction in 2013 for $2.6 million.
William L. Marcy (1786 - 1857) was a 19th century politician and statesman who served as secretary of war, secretary of state, a senator, and governor of New York.

He is also noted for saying, during a congressional debate over a nomination, “To the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.”

Friday, August 26, 2016

Billy the Kid photo, bought for $2 - appraised at $5M

Billy the Kid, the Wild West gunslinger, is usually associated with a Colt single-action.44 not the genteel English elegance of a varnished oak croquet mallet. However an extremely rare photograph of the legendary outlaw leaning on a croquet mallet has emerged – only the second known photo of The Kid, whose real name is Henry McCarty, known to exist.

The photo shows McCarty playing croquet with his gang of Lincoln County Regulators in late summer 1878. It was bought by collector Randy Guijarro for US$2 from a California junk shop in 2010.
The photo was authenticated by a San Francisco-based Americana company, Kagin’s, which identified Billy the Kid along with several members of the Regulators, as well as friends and family. It was taken after a wedding in the summer of 1878, just a month after the gang took part in the brutal Lincoln County war.

The only other known photograph of McCarty was sold for US$2.8 million in June 2011. Florida billionaire William Koch placed the winning bid in person at Brian Lebel’s annual Old West Auction in Denver, Colo. The metallic photo, taken outside a Fort Sumner, N.M., saloon in late 1879 or early 1880, depicts the outlaw gripping the upright barrel of a Winchester carbine, with a Colt .45 pistol strapped to his hip.

Born Henry McCarty, but also known in New Mexico as William Bonney, the Kid was shot dead at age 22 by lawman Pat Garrett in 1881, months after a jailbreak in which Bonney reportedly killed two deputies.
Henry McCarty (September 17, 1859 – July 14, 1881) was a 19th-century gunman who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier outlaw in the American Old West. According to legend, he killed twenty-one men, but it is now generally believed that he killed eight, with the first on August 17, 1877.

McCarty was relatively unknown during most of his lifetime, but was catapulted into legend in 1881 when New Mexico's governor Lew Wallace placed a price on his head. In addition, the Las Vegas Gazette and the New York Sun carried stories about his exploits.

Frank Abrams believes the photo shows Pat Garrett, at far left, and Billy the Kid, second from the right.
Four years ago at Smiley’s Flea Market, Frank Abrams bought five tintypes, including a group of cowboys and a man on horseback. All the seller knew was that the photos may have come from the famed Root family of Connecticut.

Abrams kept the cowboy photo at his office, always wondering who were those tinhorns in the tintype. “Maybe it’s Jesse James,” he joked with his wife. Five men in hats, with cigars and whiskey bottles. One of them brandishing a Colt pistol. Their cheeks have been rouged by pastel crayon and then the print varnished, preserving the brightness of the men’s faces for more than a century. Only two photographs to date have been authenticated of the man born Henry McCarty, alias William H. Bonney, best known as Billy the Kid.
Abrams is trying to build the case that Garrett and Billy the Kid could have been together on Jan. 14, 1880, at a double wedding in a town called Anton Chico, some 85 miles east of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Garrett and another rustler Barney Mason (center) were the grooms that day, and Billy the Kid was known to have attended the festivities. Garrett and Billy had not always been on opposite sides of the law, but had rode together as cattle rustlers. A year later, they became sworn enemies. The man twirling the Colt revolver on the end of the photo could be the notorious Dirty Dave Rudabaugh, who rode with the Kid.

Rudabaugh met his fate in Mexico, where he shot two men in a cantina and was then shot and decapitated with a machete. Abrams believes the fifth man may be Joshua John Webb, another outlaw and colleague of Rudabaugh.