Bright and lustrous Azurite crystals in a vug with scattered balls of blue-green Allophane and darker green Malachite. A few small Cuprite crystals are seen with good magnification as well. From the Kelly Mine (New Mexico) which is famed for its great Smithsonites, but also had some very nice Copper minerals which are less often seen. This was collected in 1966 by Les Hitchings and was #741 in his collection.
Azurite - new find
Bou Nahas Mine, Oumjtane, Anif Cercle, Tingir Province
5.8 x 4.8 x 3.3 CM (cabinet)
Early summer 2023
A very fine, sharp and lustrous Azurite specimen from a new small find at the Copper mine of Bou Nahas. This find was made in the fall of 2022, and had some very good Azurites and native Copper. This is one of the best Azurites, it is in excellent condition, the largest crystal is perched at the top and is over 2 CM across. This locality has been known for a while for several interesting minerals but these very fine Azurites are something completely new. So far no similar pockets have turned up but we are hopeful. Meanwhile this is a choice piece from anyplace and exceptional for the locality. Even more impressive in person.
Azurite crystals with deep blue color in a complex cluster. Several different terminations are noted here, many are flat or chisel tipped, some are more prismatic. The luster ranges from dull to moderately bright, with some faces very reflective. The back side is contacted but seems to have been recrystallized or healed. On the display side the main crystals are undamaged but a few have either contacts or adhering bits of other minerals that give some roughness. Azurites from Tsumeb took many forms and habits, this piece has several of them. The largest crystal is just under 3 CM.
Malachite after Azurite - classic locality
Chessy Copper Mines, Chessy-les Mines, Villefranche-sur-Saône, Rhône
5.4 x 4.7 x 2.8 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
From the famed old locality of Chessy-les-Mines (France), this is a well-defined pseudomorph. There are also some unaltered small crystals of Azurite and sprays of primary Malachite as well. The matrix is the classic sandy rock with micro bits of Cuprite. The form is distinctive and for knowledgeable collectors this is instantly recognized. The front side in is good condition, the back side is contacted but not visible from the front.
Great form and intense color on this toenail sized pseudo. The original crystals of Tetrahedrite are very distinct, sharp and well-defined. The replacement by royal blue Azurite seems to be fully complete. An ancient locality dating back to the 1700's, the finds at Le Gardette are unique in the mineral world and prized by advanced collectors for good reasons. They are rare, beautiful and unique classics.
Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Municipio de Santa Cruz
7.1 x 5.1 x 3..4 CM (cabinet)
New Year 22
Sharp, highly lustrous Azurite crystals in a cluster on a contrasting reddish matrix. An early find Azurite specimen at Milpillas that is rather different in habit from later material. In excellent condition, clean and with bright "electric" blue crystals that are up to 1.6 CM and translucent to transparent. This mine is certainly a modern classic locality, and is now closed. During the short working life of the mine it became the world's greatest source of fine Azurites. The many diverse styles, habits and forms continue to make Millpillas a highly collectible locality. This is both a pretty, choice piece and a rather different esthetic. Excellent value.
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.
Incredible color and esthetics from the amazing find of 2010 at M'Ssici (Morocco). Since then only a small find in 2017 produced any specimens those with a very different habit. This cluster of stalactitic growths is encased by small sparkling crystals and rosettes of bright blue Azurite with some small Malachite balls. The matrix is a mix of green Malachite and red Hematite gossan. The Malachite is replacing textbook sharp Azurite crystals and rosettes. Excellent condition, the blue stalactites are standing up to 5.5 CM tall above the green. This locality produced many specimens of Azurite encrusting Quartz crystals but very few pure (hollow) stalactites where there is no inner Quartz crystal. In terms of color intensity, form and condition this is one of the best pieces and is far better in person.