Mindingi Mine, Kambove District
Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)
7.3 x 5.2 x 4.1 CM (cabinet)
A sizable mass of radiating fibrous crystals of Plancheite on matrix. The Plancheite specimens from the Congo are remarkably rich, considered by many the worlds best come from the Katanga region. This specimen is from an old find at the less well-known Mindingi Mine in Kambove. It is similar to other good specimens from the region and has the silky to chatoyant luster that is distinctive for the specie. Most often Plancheite is seen as an associate mineral, being the matrix for other Copper species, but it can be a very attractive specie in its own right. This looks especially impressive under magnification.
Fine glassy thumbnail with two main crystals that both have green terminations and light pink to violet bodies. The whole piece is translucent and when backlit glows a bright green to yellow with little of the pink showing. This sort of pastel Vesuvianite from Jeffrey is unique in the mineral world. There were several finds of this style there with the elongated blocky habit and pyramidal termination, but those were years ago and there will never be more. Already specimens of average quality are getting expensive and top pieces are nearly priceless. In very good condition, broken only from the base and back edge the terminations are perfect with no damage.
A tree of crudely crystallized Copper 3.5 CM tall branches from this blocky matrix. A few small chunks of colorless Calcite are on some branches as well, adding some contrast. The Copper branches are locked in the matrix along a line of small holes and are able to be moved several degrees but are still firmly held. The movement of the copper on the matrix is an oddity and not at all common.
Glassy stacked hexagonal crystals of the rare Strontium Apatite variety Fluorstrophite. These are fully translucent to slightly transparent on thin edges, and overall are very sharp. Some edges show a complex recrystallization but aside from one small chip there is no damage. This rare variety of Apatite is also known as Strontiapatite and it seems that the crystals from Karnasurt Mountain are the best ever found. The color ranges from green to yellow and there is a faint fluorescence. Choice and large example of this rare Apatite.
Linarite with Fluorite
Blanchard Mine, Bingham, Hansonburg District, Socorro County
7.7 x 3.2 x 2.3 CM (cabinet)
A rich electric blue Linarite that has grown on top of several green-blue Fluorite crystals. From the Blanchard Mine which was a fine source of both minerals though they were not often together. The Fluorites reach to 1 CM and some are almost fully encrusted while others are clearly exposed. Close exam shows the slender habit Linarites on the Fluorite are translucent and glow brightly when backlit. Fine color and a USA classic locale, collected in 1977 by Les Hitchings.
A superb cluster of gemmy Celestite crystals encrusting a Sulphur matrix which adds a bright yellow between the smaller Celestites. In perfect condition all around, which is impressive with such delicate form and fine slender crystals. From the famed Sulfur deposits in Agrigento, Sicily, a choice Celestite from anyplace, this is so bright it is hard to capture in photos. Top glassy luster and presentation, this is a specimen that looks great from all angles and has a great impact for its size.
Chittanango Falls, Fenner Township, Madison County
2.7 x 2.3 x 1.7 CM (thumbnail)
A nice thumbnail from this classic USA locality. Good color and condition as seen, the crystals are sharp and transparent. The matrix is covered with tiny Calcite scalenohedra which was the typical association from here.
Chuquicamata Mine, Calama, El Loa Province
5.6 x 4 x 2.7 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
Bright blue to blue green masses of glassy Krohnkite from the type locality at Chuquicamata. A very colorful and rare mineral, this Copper Sulfate was only found in display grade specimens long ago. From every other locality worldwide I am unaware of any specimens over a few millimeters in size. This specimen is rich and colorful on all sides, there are no distinct crystals just masses and seams of Krohnkite.