Fluorite on Stibnite
Banpo Mine, Dushan Co., Qiannan Pref.
6.7 x 6.7 x 3.5 (cabinet)
Purple to blue "melted" or tiny rounded crystals of Fluorite are covering a radiating mass of metallic Stibnite crystals from a find at Dushan almost 20 years ago. Similar to the Fluorite on Stibnite from Thailand that was found nearly 50 years ago, these are the only discoveries ever made of this sort. and both were small. Fluorite on Stibnite like this are only rarely found in the mineral market today. This is a choice small cabinet with most Stibnite having sharp terminations seen where they extend from the enclosing Fluorite. The backside of this piece has some minor bruises but that side is less attractive regardless, the front is showy and displays perfectly.
A killer classic form of a "drill bit" twin crystal of Cinnabar stands out well on the Dolomite and Quartz matrix. In great condition, no damage and with bright luster, this glows a ruby red when backlit. The photos here do not have backlighting so the look is a bit darker but shows the twin form clearly. The Tongren Mine was a great locality for many years but is no longer producing. This piece is far better than average with a much larger than average crystal and very choice esthetics. At one time before China was opened for export of minerals a top Cinnabar like this was nearly impossible to obtain and close to priceless, being only available from museum collections. One of the great prizes in the mineral world, these are by far the best Cinnabars ever found and this is a super example.
Free standing elongated crystals of Cinnabar in a well protected vug lined with small crystals of Quartz and Dolomite. Excellent bright red color and very translucent. The largest crystals have sharp terminations with distinct re-entrant notches, so they are in fact twins. Slender elongated crystals like these are much rarer than the blocky type and since the mines are closed for a few years, any good quality Cinnabar is now very scarce. In fine condition and with bright luster, Chinese Cinnabar crystals have always been respected and desired as the worlds best for the specie.
An early find Chinese Rhodo with a deep rich red color set on a mix of Sulphides including Galena, Acanthite and Sphalerite. The early finds of Rhodochrosites from this region were associated with Silver minerals and sometimes native Silver as well. Later finds were much larger but did not have any Silver species. This has a good amount of Acanthite (Silver Sulphide) crystals and Silver rich Galena with melted look. The contrast is excellent and the Rhodochrosite crystals reach 2.9 CM. No more Rhodos are being found and this is a choice example of the earliest type from the upper zones.
A choice deep red Rhomb habit crystal with a small amount of Fluorite and Pyrite. This looks very much like a good Sweet Home Mine specimen but it is from the Wuton Mine. A small percentage of these were quite fine as seen here. Sharp, well-formed, complete and undamaged this has a nice frosted surface showing etching surfaces. Choice and attractive but far less expensive than a comparable USA specimen. This quality has not been coming out in the past few years.
Calcite on Quartz fingers
Banpo Mine, Dushan Co., Qiannan Pref.
5.6 x 4.7 x 4.4 CM (cabinet)
Green Calcite in flattened disk-like crystals are perched on slender fingers of Quartz. When these were found the color was attributed to copper salts in the calcite, this was never confirmed though it is likely. An older specimen obtained in 2002 at the mine and formerly in the Shields Flynn collection. A very good example in fine condition from the one time discovery.
Tongren Mine, Wanshan District, Tongren Prefecture
5.8 x 5.5 x 4.4 CM (cabinet)
Post Tucson 2015
Twinned "drill bit" habit Cinnabar crystals on Quartz matrix with some Dolomite. A Chinese classic, for over a century Cinnabar was the only Chinese mineral seen in the western world. These were prized specimens in top collections and were the world's best examples of the specie. Things have changed and these are no longer priceless but they are still quite fine and this habit is the most desired. Crystals to 1.8 cm most of which are fully perfect however a small one has a backside cleave not seen on display. The dark color and habit are typical of older material that is not like any of the recent finds.
Calcite over Stibnite
Qinglong Mine, Qinglong Co., Qianxinan Pref.
7 x 5.2 x 6.2 CM (cabinet)
An odd, strangely attractive specimen with an interesting form, This is a series of finger-like growths studded with scalenohedral Calcite crystals. These have grown over slender crystals of Stibnite which are now completely covered by the reddish Calcite. It is possible to see on the bottom where this was broken off the Stibnites remain.