A classic pseudomorph of Malachite replacing and encrusting an Azurite crystal. The former Azurite shows the original crystal form perfectly, and is perched on a contrasting layer of bright Calcite crystals. No damage and a nice chatoyancy on the wide faces of the crystals. The matrix also has a few areas of Chalcotrichite on the underside but the Malachite is the real focus.
A very rich and super esthetic Pyromorphite from the great finds at Daoping in Guanxi, China. Two generations of well-formed Pyros have slightly different hues of green and all have excellent bright luster. The larger crystals are free standing and reach 1.3 CM. Terminations of the larger crystals are both hopper habit and prismatic with the larger being more the cavernous hoppered type. On a few sides of these prisms there are secondary alterations of rare pseudomorphing to a Galena sheath which is the overgrown by a third generation of extra bright green Pyro. This phenomenon is very rare worldwide, but well-known from just a few European locales and ultra rare from China. Overall this is incredible condition, it is even better in person and is an excellent example of the specie and the locality.
Topaz on Microcline with Quartz
Hohenstein Massif, Omaruru District
6.6 x 4.7 x 4.3 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
Small, perfect, gem clear Topaz crystals are perched on a Microcline crystal that is perched on a Smokey Quartz crystal. This association of species is a classic assemblage and very well-presented in this Erongo specimen. The condition is good, with some contacts and edge roughness on the matrix, the Topaz are fully perfect even under strong magnification. This was excavated by the "small miners" collective on Hohenstien in 2017.
Cuprite - Classic locale and form
Chessy Copper Mine, Chessy-les-Mines, Villefranche, Rhône
1.3 x 1.1 x 1 CM (thumbnail)
new year 2021
A perfect thumbnail crystal that is complete all around and has textbook perfect hoppered faces. The Cuprite is coated with Malachite as is typical from Chessy. This locality is famous, it is one of the oldest and most classic of European mineral localities. This example is unusually perfect, undamaged with no contacts or missing parts. This was in the collection of Terry Szenics who is well known for excellent taste in minerals, especially copper species.
A very clear, colorless Quartz crystal that looks like a Citrine due to it being included by golden Rutile needles. Very close inspection also shows a few inclusions of flat silvery-black Hematite crystals as well. Overall this is in much better condition than we usually see for Rutilated Quartz crystals, however there are some tiny rough spots so this is not for a strict perfectionist. Nevertheless it is hard to find any Rutilated that is this clean and gem clear. Sources in Brazil have been producing very little and anything this good is sold as cutting rough to the Asian market.
5.7 x 4.9 x 1.7 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
A radiating circular spray of Amethyst crystals that forms a flower-like form. These flowers or suns, as they are also called, are well-known from Irai in Brazil but less well-known from Tamil Nadu in India. The Indian examples often have richer color and brighter luster, but are smaller than the Brazilian pieces. This is a choice Indian piece with excellent form, vivid color and luster, in excellent condition. Very close examination will reveal that many of the crystals a included with tiny needle crystals of golden and red color Rutile. These are still sometimes found in small quantities but the best were found in 2012, this piece is from that period.
Very slender Tessin habit Quartz included by Chlorite. A very delicate specimen with the main crystal doubly terminated and hosting two branching smaller crystals. In excellent condition as seen, the proportions are remarkable too, the thickest part of the main crystal is just 2.5 MM. This piece is from a find in 2015 in the incredible Alpine clefts of Ganesh Himal. There were quite a few nice Tessins in the find but most had damage or were not complete. This is a textbook example of this rather uncommon habit.
Cerussite and Anglesite on Galena
Touissit, Touissit-Bou Beker Dist., Jerada Province
8.9 x 7.3 x 2.1 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
Cerussite has an incredibly bright refractive index (greater than diamond) so this plate of gemmy, unaltered crystals is striking in person. From Touissit the condition is superb, the crystals have glassy faces, a multitude of forms and contrast well with the dark matrix. There are a few Anglesite crystals present as well and the matrix is a heavy mass of Galena. Most Cerussite is milky or has an altered surface, but gemmy crystals like this are only found in a few localities (all of which are closed). Impossible to capture the brilliant sparkling in a photo but in person this is really impressive.