Silver - well-crystalized
Elura Mine, Cobar, Robinson Co.
New South Wales,
2.7 x 2.5 x 1 CM (thumbnail)
A super thumbnail of very sharp, complex Silver crystals from the Elura Mine (Australia). Most of the crystals are elongated spinel twins but there are also flattened octahedra and other forms in a sculptural cluster. The patina ranges from near black to bright silver metallic. In perfect condition, there is no damage and the whole is a complete floater with no matrix. A 360 degree piece that looks fine from any angle, and with magnification is an incredible array of elegant textbook perfect crystal forms.
Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County
1.4 x 1.2 x .8 CM (thumbnail)
A single Rhodochrosite crystal which is a rather small thumbnail but is quite unusual, having a "melted" surface with etching and coming from an uncommon locality. This was collected in 1966 by Les Hitchings, he gives only Idaho Springs, Colorado as the locality, he collected three thumbnails there while on an extended trip, he was very proud of these pieces. The crystal is mostly transparent and gemmy, has good luster and a nice red color.
3.1 x 2 x .9 CM (thumbnail)
The Baryte locality of Somers Connecticut (USA) is not very well-known outside the Northeast US region. The well-defined Barite crystals are some of the best in the region, and not often available. This is a well-composed thumbnail with the main crystal perched on top. Mostly a creamy butterscotch color with a few reddish highlights, the crystal has some pitting but is in quite nice condition.
Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos
3.3 x 2.1 x 1.6 CM (thumbnail)
A jumble of small, vivid crystals of Vesuvianite that is sometimes labeled "Manganoan". It seems that analysis does not show any Manganese so the purple color is a mystery, but no matter these are still incredibly pretty. One of the rarest of colors for Vesuvianite, the intensity of the deep magenta-purple is almost impossible to see on a computer screen. In person it is a bit lighter than a grape purple and very lustrous. The crystals are transparent, slightly zoned and in excellent condition. The display side of this shows no damage under 10x magnification which is remarkable. From the Jeffrey Quarry which is as far as I know the only place in the world where this deep purple Vesuvianite has been found, and only ever in a few pockets.
A ball or nodule of rhombohedral Arsenic crystals from this famed Japanese locality. In fine condition on all sides, this is not beautiful to many people but these balls are considered to be the world's best Arsenic crystals, loved by collectors of native element crystals. This specimen is a bit sharper than average, fairly sizable (the largest are only a few MM larger) and has a good color and luster, many are very dull or have a whitish coating.
Realgar - single crystal
Shimen (Jiepiayu) Mine, Shimen County, Changde Prefecture
2.2 x 1.1 x .6 CM (thumbnail)
A bright red crystal that is translucent to transparent, well-formed and distinctly striated. This crystal was mined in 2003, it has been stored in the dark so is fresh and bright. A few small rough spots are to be mentioned but overall this is in fine shape, well-terminated and a choice thumbnail. When these were found they were certainly the best Realgars available at that time, and are still about as fine as can be seen. Of special note, these Hunan Realgars seemed to keep their color and luster better than specimens from other localities.
A multi-specie thumbnail from Yaogangxian. Very sharp, transparent Fluorites are shot full of black to metallic Bismuthinite needle sprays. The Fluorites are clustered on a single clear Quartz crystal with some associated Siderite. In perfect condition by naked eye a good loupe finds only microscopic bruising. The Fluorites have a slight color zoning and again with magnification a few loops of slender Bismuthinites coils are seen inside. Hard to photograph, this is much better in person.
Yaogangxian Mine, Yizhang County, Chenzhou Pref.
3.1 x 2.6 x 1.5 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A super bright "gun metal" luster Bournonite crystal which is doubly terminated. Some of the faces are perfectly smooth mirror-like while other are striated. From the Yaogangxian Mine which had the reputation for providing more fine Bournonite than the rest of the world's localities together. Before these finds this was a rather rare and sought after specie. There seems to be no twinning on this crystal which is unusual for Bournonite which is almost always twinned. Displays well as seen, there are some small chips on the terminations and the back is contacted but not damaged. While not perfect this is far better than 99.9 percent of these, and the rough areas are not excessive. As a whole Bournonites are notoriously brittle and most often incomplete.