Elbaite -multi color zoned
3 x 1.5 x 1.4 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A glassy, clean and many colored crystal of Elbaite from an old find (1970 vintage) at Santa Rosa. I count four or five colors at least with some gentle gradations. The termination is the flat basal type and has a hint of blue in some lighting but not so strong as a classic blue cap. In excellent condition though there are some tiny rough spots that are sub millimeter in size and not easy to see. A very nice gem crystal with a choice color pallet zoning from this get locale.
Wulfenite "windowpane" type
Rowley Mine, (Reliance Mine), Theba, Painted Rock District
1.8 x 1.6 x 1 CM (thumbnail)
A smaller thumbnail that has a super presentation. Two main Wulfenite windows are nicely perched on a sliver of crystalized Calcite matrix. Very tiny balls of red Mimetite add color so that at certain angles the Wulfenites are a more reddish or yellow depending on the perspective. In fine condition as seen, this looks great from several angles. The Rowley mine tended to have smaller and more delicate Wulfenites but they could be incredibly esthetic. A choice little piece with more display impact than might be expected.
Spinel on Quartz and Calcite
Pein Pyit, Mogok, Sagaing District
2.8 x 2.3 x 1.3 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
Well exposed, complete octahedron of ruby Spinel perched on a sliver of matrix. A few tiny flecks pf Pyrite are present as well, but mostly this is about the deep red Spinel crystal. This has some of the typical pitting, rounded edges and adhering matrix but is otherwise a very pretty dark red gem crystal, There are a few small gemmy Spinel seen with magnification on the flat sides of the matrix, they are almost invisible by naked eye. Myanmar has a well deserved reputation for exceptional gem crystals, especially for Rubies. However for hundreds of years Spinel were often substituted for Ruby. The gem fields in Mogok produce far more Spinel than Ruby, and it has been increasing in acceptance as a legitimate and valued gem. This is a nice affordable crystal that is above average in quality.
Almandine on Schist
Otz Valley, North Tyrol
8.7 x 6.3 x 4.9 CM (cabinet)
A sharp 3.8 CM Garnet is nicely perched on a silver- green Schist from this classic old locality. The Garnet is in excellent condition, is well exposed (and absolutely not "glued on"!). This is an old specimen yet it has not been enhanced as was often done years ago with faces polished or even painted on to add color. This is fully natural and quite esthetic, with no damage or edge wear.
Smithsonite -"sky blue"
Choix, Municipio de Choix
8.3 x 4.8 x 2.2 CM (cabinet)
The Choix locality at one time produced a rainbow of various colored Smithsonite. The "sky blue" was one of the more rare colors, while the green blue was the most common. The area is no longer being worked and these have become more prized in the past few years, yet are still far less expensive than most other localities. This is a vibrant and deeply colored example with very nice texture and luster, it is in excellent condition as well. I recently saw a polished cabochon of this material that looked just like a fine gem Silica, the color in person is similar. This will add a rich color to any cabinet or suite of Smithsonite.
Incredibly transparent, clear cubes of Fluorite on a sparkling Quartz matrix. The details of the matrix are perfectly visible seen through the Fluorite. In excellent condition the cubes have typical small edge bevels and light violet color with a slight hint of zoning. The result is the Fluorite is nearly invisible from some angles. From a small but excellent pocket found in 2017, this is an especially fine example from this remarkable locality, and a great Fluorite from any place at all.
Kinoite with Apophyllite
Christmas Mine, Dripping Springs Mountains, Gila County
6.5 x 5.5 x 3.6 CM (cabinet)
Royal blue Kinoite like this is best known in specimens from the Christmas Mine, it is rather rare elsewhere and almost only known as micro specimens. This piece is a very choice example with a good, dense coverage of brilliant blue crystals associated with clear colorless cubes of Apophyllite. This Calcium Copper Silicate is never found in large crystals but sometimes the clusters are rich enough (like on this piece) to be eyecatching from a distance. Far better than average, there are several separate vugs on different sides of this matrix and the crystals under magnification are especially brilliant.
Covellite with Pyrite
Leonard Mine, Butte, Silver Bow County
5.4 x 4.3 x 3.2 CM (cabinet)
Several free standing crystals of Covellite on different sides of the Pyrite matrix are showing dark blue patina. From the remarkable collection of John Marshall who worked at the mine from 1950 to 51. John worked as a miner despite his Harvard education he enjoyed the direct contact and collecting during his lunch breaks. His hand painted mark is on the specimen #1294. The crystals are quite lustrous and in rather good but not perfect condition as is typical for this delicate mineral, far better than average. The Pyrite is in both small octahedrons and other more complex pyritohedrons. The Covellites of Butte have always been prized and are hard to find with any quality and often incredibly costly when they are exceptional A good value.