Seydar, Hoh Nala, Braldu Valley, Skardu district, Baltistan
5.2 x 3.2 x 2.3 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
Dark red-brown clusters of Grossular Garnets that are partly transparent and have minimal matrix. In very good condition, some of the Garnets have contacts or internal cracks that reflect light and in photos look like damage. Crystallized all around from a find at Seydar in the Braldu Valley, this is a not well documented locality.
San Juan de Rayas Mine - Level 407
2.2 x 1.3 x .6 CM (thumbnail)
new year 2021
Branching crystals of Acanthite forming a tree-like thumbnail with very bright metallic luster. Complete all around, undamaged and pretty. A very good yet still affordable Silver specie from the famed Guanajuato deposit. This area has been continuously mined for Silver since the discovery in 1585, and this was the world's largest producer for many years. Amazingly there are still a few operating mines and Silver minerals are still found though far less than before.
Danburite and Datolite
Dalnegorsk, Kavalerovo Mining District
3.4 x 2.1 x 1.8 CM (miniature)
new year 2021
Gemmy light blue Datolite crystals clustered on a gemmy colorless Danburite crystal. The Danburite has some small etched zones that show re-crystallization, but overall this is a sharp prism. From Dalnegorsk, this is a choice miniature of these two species that looks fine from practically any angle. Our background for this specimen does not specify which part of the mining complex was the source for this piece but it seems certain to be from the Bor Pit. No damage; esthetic and unusual.
Sparkling clusters of very clear crystals of Quartz in aligned groups that also have very small needle inclusions of red Rutile. This is from the remarkable deposits of Amethyst at Tamil Nadu (India), that are unique in the world. A few crystals also have sharp hexagonal voids replacing the point of the termination (negative termination). Unusual and attractive, better in person and in fine condition too.
A classic old Simplon Tunnel specimen from Valais (Swiss ) that is very well-crystallized. This piece dates to the period of 1898-1921, and these old pieces are very rare in any quality. The areas between the white Pericline crystals are lined with Rutile in reticulated masses. The Calcite crystals are sharp transparent scalenohedra which are also fluorescent orange in long-wave. One old label is included. In excellent condition with no visible damage, the Pericline has textbook perfect form.
Cerussite crystals in several habits with an unknown inclusion that gives a yellow-orange color. The matrix is typically complex and very three-dimensional. Tsumeb Cerussites were found in every imaginable form and sometimes colored by inclusions. This color is very unusual, and we have not seen this before. Under strong magnification the inclusions appear to be fibrous and aligned along the crystal axis. With Tsumeb minerals mysteries are a big part of the fun. The condition of this piece is also remarkable, there is no damage even though the Cerussites are well-exposed and prominent.
Bournonite is so often twinned or in classic "cogs-wheel" form that untwinned crystals are quite rare. This Quiruvilca (Peru) specimen is that unusual sort, here are many Bournonite crystals, some over 1.2 cm but no twins. In fine condition overall most crystals are perfect but with good magnification some small areas of rough edges are found. For this notoriously fragile specie that is impressive. Some bright golden pyrite adds contrast to the dark silver-metallic Bournonite. For some reason the Pyrite at Quiruvilca Mine is often especially bright and lustrous, it seems to be more stable than most and keeps the bright golden color much better than any other Pyrite I know. A fine addition to a serious Sulfide collection.
A flat habit rhombohedral crystal of Rhodochrosite sits aesthetically on matrix. Tiny purple Fluorite and Pyrite is also on the front face of the Rhodo adding some character. The matrix has clusters of elongated white Apatites (not visible in the photos) mostly on the backside. These are vividly fluorescent (yellow) in long wave. The condition is excellent and the Rhodo is partly transparent. Better color than is usually seen, this piece was from the earliest finds of Rhodochrosite at Wudong. I do not think any Apatites were found in the later pockets.