Sao Jose do Safira
4.1 x 3.1 x 1.5 CM (miniature)
A single, blocky but somewhat tabular Colombite crystal. Distinct although rather crude, the crystal is fully terminated and moderately lustrous. An older piece from Sao Jose do Safira (Brazil) this is a very good miniature of this commercially important pegmatite mineral that is not often considered "pretty".
Sanda Hills, Mindouli, Mindouli District
Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)
2.6 x 1.2 .6 CM (thumbnail)
A killer thumbnail of gemmy Dioptase in elongated crystals. In perfect condition and with excellent form, this is from the recent finds in the Sanda Hills of the Republic of Congo. The Dioptase is all translucent and the termination areas are also transparent. The whole piece has a glassy-bright luster. It is hard to fully appreciate or see the rich emerald color of these crystals on a computer but the color in person is rich and saturated.
Impressive structure and textbook form on these hoppered Halite crystals from the remarkable finds at Polkowice (Poland). The Halite is colored green by the rare mineral Tolbachite and also has inclusions we are told of some Bitumen, Sulphur and Covellite. Inclusions aside these are amazing in form and well-presented as sharp, undamaged modified cubes that show the incredible natural structure perfectly. This is from a fairly recent find that we consider to be one of the best in the mineral world, with great esthetics and an excellent value.
Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer
4.2 x 3.8 x 2.8 CM (miniature)
Intense color and well formed crystals of Cobaltoan Calcite with a strong visual impact. From the mines at Agoudal (Bou Azzer, Morocco) which have produced some of the best of these, and many other important Cobalt minerals. Crystals on this reach 1.4 CM but most are smaller. Cobaltoan Calcites at Bou Azzer is found in zones every few years, most is more pale than this specimen.
Chrome Tremolite - gem crystal
Merelani Hills, Lelatama Mountains, Simanjiro District
5.7 x 1.5 x .6 CM (cabinet)
A large, choice and gemmy Chrome Diopside crystal. This comes from the best locality for this uncommon variety of Tremolite, the Merelani Hills famed for its Tanzanite. Very little has been available for the past few years and usually much smaller. This is a very large crystal for the specie, the color is slightly zoned from a bright apple green at the base to a more yellow-green below the termination. The termination is somewhat crude but complete with several separate points and some dark inclusions. The crystal is well-striated giving a silky look to the sides of the prism. This is fully transparent so it does not need any backlight to show off the color.
Topaz on Rhyolite
Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range, Juab County
6.4 x 5.6 x 5.7 CM (cabinet)
A perfect, gem clear sherry colored Topaz crystal perched on a hard Rhyolite matrix. This classic locality is famed for Topaz and this is an especially choice piece with unusual perfection and no fading to the rich color. Even under 20x magnification this is undamaged. This does not have dark inclusions or interior cleaving lines inside as most do, it is eye-clean gem. This zone continues to produce a few nice pieces each year to dedicated diggers but the quality of this piece is far beyond most found. Most crystals of this size or larger are far less clear or even opaque.
A super well-composed specimen with two main Azurite crystals one partly and one fully replaced by Malachite. Touissit is famed for its great Azurites the Malachite replacements are not as often seen. This piece with the largest crystal 3.1 CM tall dominating the matrix looks fine from all sides. No damage and very good contrast to the matrix. The largest crystal has an unaltered termination of lustrous blue Azurite, while the larger prism faces are a velvety chatoyant green Malachite. A few sharp Dolomite crystals also add contrast. At a high magnification a little Brochantite is seen along with some primary Malachite crystals, so this is certainly a complex miniature. The last operations closed in 2002 here, but the most important shafts which were the best specimen sources closed earlier. In a short period, this locality gained worldwide fame as one of the best sources of exceptional Lead and Copper minerals. These are prized today.
Minerva Mine #1, Rosiclare Level, Cave in Rock
3.2 x 2.9 x 1.8 CM (thumbnail)
Textbook perfect form and top quality Witherite crystal on matrix from the Minerva Mine. It is not often we see a super Witherite in thumbnail size, this is in perfect condition, no damage and looks fine from any angle. The form of this piece looks much like a classic English Witherite but it is from Illinois where this is a quite rare habit. There were just two important localities for fine Witherites worldwide, Cumbria in the UK and the Minerva Mine in the USA. Both locales are now classics and neither produces anything today. This piece is also intensely fluorescent.