Calcite and Realgar
stock #6.2- 1010
Shimen (Jiepiayu) Mine, Shimen County, Changde Prefecture
9.1 x 6.3 x 5.8 CM (cabinet)
From the incredible finds of 2002, this piece has a big gemmy lustrous compound twin Calcite crystal that stands nicely on a partial Calcite that makes a perfect base. The front side is dusted with micro xls of opaque white calcite and some brilliant red, gemmy crystals of Realgar that reach 2 CM. There is some chipping on this piece so it is very affordably priced as a result. Still it displays well and has good visual quality.
A big, sharp and well-formed single crystal of the rare "Mt St. Hilaire habit" of Rhodochrosite. Due to the thin nature of this piece it will fit in a thumbnail catagory but it looks bigger in person. The color is a brownish that can glow deep red with a backlight. In good condition damagewise, there are just some very tiny edge chips seen at 10x magnification on the front face and a bigger chip on the backside. For this delicate thin habit this piece is remarkable. A great addition to any good suite of Rhodochrosites or Canadian minerals.
We all miss the great Fluorites that were once common when the southern Illinois mines were still open. At last something NEW from the region! This little known Hardin County Fluorite locale (the junction area of the Victory and the Crystal Mine) recently produced a very few nice specimens for a small collector team. Here a super sharp 4.5 CM cube is centered on a mix of cubes and etched masses of bright purple and yellow. Nice phantoms are seen on the edges, but the overall impact is very good. One of the better small cabinet specimens from this find.
Carletonite is one of the most desired of Canadian minerals and it is incredibly rare, it ONLY occurs at Mt St. Hillaire which is also the type locality. This is an even more rare cabinet specimen with great esthetics. None has been found for years, and the original find was mostly thumbnail sized crystals or larger cleavage pieces. There were never many cabinet sized specimens and these are now only very rarely for sale. This has crystals to 3 CM (huge for the specie) with rich color and some distinct zoning. The condition is quite good with the typically crude cubes nicely contrasting with the matrix. For any good collection this is a very eyecatching specimen of a significant, rare mineral.
We all miss the great Fluorites that were once common when the southern Illinois mines were still open. At last something NEW from the region! This little known Hardin County Fluorite locale (the junction area of the Victory and the Crystal Mine) recently produced a very few nice specimens for a small collector team. This is a particularly fine example of the distinctive habit, it has a main elongated crystal with very sharp edges resting on a jumble of smaller etched yet sharp crystals all having the same yellow core. Dark purple color that shows clear phantoms when backlit. Fine condition, displays well and an uncommon locale.
Most "very Rare" minerals tend to be very tiny and very drab. This is an exception with bright blue sparkling masses of well formed crystals mixed with platy white Arsenolite crystals. This is similar to Chalcanthite but it has 7 H2O included making it "fully hydrated". This was part of the Ruth and Andy Palmer species research collection and was studied by Joe Mandarino. Almost never seen for sale and an exceptional example!
A well composed Rhodo thumbnail with great color from the Larry White collection. The piece is mostly just 3 rhombs juxtaposed with almost no matrix. Good translucency and luster this is a nice yet affordable example. The cost of any good Sweet Home specimens has consistently gone up every year, and since "they ain't makin 'em no more" the supply is now very small.
A well formed and undamaged specimen of the "stout" crystal habit found about 4 years ago at Milpillas. This locale is now world famous for some of the best Azurites, and the very best Brochantites ever seen. The Brochantites were mostly of the delicate "hairy" or fuzzy type, which were beautiful but incredibaly fragile. Only a few of the thicker crystals on matrix came out. The very best pieces sold quickly in the 5 and 6 figure range, few were available for collectors of "normal" means. This is one such- an excellent miniature example that is both esthetic and affordable. The largest crystal is 2.5 CM long and all have excellent luster.