Pebble spotting with The Pebbles on the Beach

KEY TO IMAGES:

1 Ovoid pebble of grey granite
2 Grey granite with one surface cut and polished
3 Pebble of schist with one surface cut and polished. The laminations are more clearly seen on an uncut surface
4 Flattened ovoid pebble of crystalline limestone [unpolished]
5 Fragment of whitish chert. Its angularities show that it has not been smoothed by the action of the tides for long
6 Portion of a rounded flint pebble. Note the thick, white coating that the grey flint has acquired on the beach
7 Well-rounded pebble of fine-grained red sandstone
8 Flattened ovoid pebble of conglomerate
9 Highly polished ovoid pebble of red serpentine [white spot caused by a beam of light]
10 Fragment of jet from the Yorkshire coast, near Whitby
11 Ovoid pebble of red serpentine [unpolished]
12 Flattened ovoid pebble of schist [unpolished]. The wearing down of the stone has given the laminations on the upper side a quaint resemblance to two eyes looking through spectacles
13 Cut and polished surfaces of an ovoid pebble of dolerite from the Whin Sill. The glossy black of the polished surface contrasts with the grey, speckled and worn exterior
14 Pebble of black chert that has lost some of its angularities and is in process of being rounded on the beach
15 Evenly worn pebble of dolerite from the Whin Sill [Northumbrian Coast]
16 Fragment of basalt, strongly resisting the grinding and smoothing of tidal action
17 Piece of amber from the coast of Suffolk 18 Carnelian pebble, highly polished
19 Broken piece of chalcedony
20 Oval slice of onyx stained for commercial purposes
21 Amber pebble, highly polished
22 Pebble of onyx. The banding is faintly discernible through the beach coating
23 Ovoid pebble of carnelian [unpolished]
24 Pebble of ‘fortification’ agate. The ground plan for the ‘fortress’ can be seen on the polished side
25 Oval slice of agate pebble, polished and stained for commercial purposes
26 Pebble of citrine, with whitish beach coating
27 Citrine pebble, highly polished
28 Cut pebble of purple jasper [unpolished]
29 Group of quartz prisms
30 Flattened cylindrical pebble of green serpentine
31 Well-rounded pebble of opaque quartz
32 Fragment of gabbro with one side cut and polished
33 Ovoid pebble of grit, veined with quartz
34 Polished pebble of purple jasper
35 Ovoid pebble of quartzite with broken side uppermost, revealing the structure of tightly compacted grains
36 Ovoid pebble of slate, with a quartz vein running through it

Reissued with beautiful illustrations by Eleanor Crow, The Pebbles on the Beach by Clarence Ellis was first published in 1954. Here is a version of the pebble identification chart from the fold-out cover on the book. This newly reissued edition includes a foreword by Robert Macfarlane.

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