Celestite on Calcite
Cave-in-Rock, Hardin County
3.9 x 2.6 x 2.3 CM (small miniature)
new year 2021
A small but very esthetic specimen from the prolific Fluorospar region of Southern Illinois. Ex. Larry White collection, the Celestite (or Celestine for many) is a terminated flat prism set on light yellow Calcites. Unusual in its composition, this piece has considerable display impact despite the small size and is in excellent condition. This zone produced many thousands of great Fluorite specimens but very few good Celestites were saved.
Bright lustrous Linarite crystals on a contrasting matrix. From the Grand Reef Mine, this specimen has numerous species on board. The Gearksutite is is present as porcelaneous green masses. Linarites are very sharp and transparent with typical vivid color. A modern USA classic locale, this is a mid sixties vintage specimen.
Faden Quartz (gemmy yellow)
Barranc del Cargoi, Arestul Llavarsi, Pallars Sobira, Lerida
5.2 x 2.4 x .4 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
new year 2021
A perfect, gem-clear yellow Quartz crystal that has tabular form and a distinct faden line inside. Excellent, undamaged and with textbook form. Certainly a very choice faden from anyplace, this important small locality has alpine type veins and distinctive tabular forms. The color is a nice yellow to light orange at some angles, this seems to qualify as a Citrine. A clean floater, this is doubly terminated and the nicest specimen I have seen from this interesting locality.
A historic specimen of Lazulite crystals well-exposed on a small matrix. The second photo includes the original label from Charles U. Sheppard Jr which indicates this was from a brief period of mining at this site specifically for mineral specimens. Sheppard's father was one of the great early USA mineralogists, he studied this deposit and published in 1856. His son (Jr.) later was a part owner and mined this locality for the international specimen trade and exchange with institutions. Sheppard Jr died in 1915, though the specimen is likely over 150 years old. This Lazulite thumbnail has several crude crystals on it the largest and best is 1.6 CM tall and covers much of the front or display side. This locality produced a very few exceptional world class Lazulite; this one is not that exceptional but is certainly above average and has the rare original label that dates back to one of the first specimen mining operations in the USA. An affordable and nice classic.
A killer Beaverite in a highly esthetic and important specimen. This fairly rare Lead Iron and Copper specie is almost never in display grade specimens, it is usually just tiny crystals that are attractive only under the microscope. The Beaverite is in green and yellow botryoidal zones but also is in the rare red color balls and crystals which are dominant on this piece. The Beaverite is nicely contrasted with two generations of Calcite, the smaller being glass clear rhombs with the Beaverite visible through the crystals. Microscope exam finds areas of reddish Jarosite and what looks like Chenevixite in olive-green needle crystals. The first photos show what I consider to be the front as the Calcite make a great contrast, but the Beaverite is on all sides and the back (last photo) is super rich also. No matter the display side chosen this is a world class specimen. Ex John Marshall collection, I have not seen any better.
An excellent old Cornish Cerussite with sharp crystals to 2CM long. The crystals are all twinned with most showing a complete sixling habit. These look like six spoked gears when seen on end. The matrix is mostly a vuggy Quartz with micro crystals sparkling on most surfaces. For such a delicate mineral this is in good condition. Hard to know the exact age of this specimen, it has an old collection number on it, the mine was most active in the mid 1800's but there has been collecting activity in more recent years.
San Antonio Mine, Santa Eulalia, Aquiles Serdan
9.5 x 7.4 x 3.9 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
A superb Smithsonite from the San Antonio Mine at Santa Eulalia, Mexico. An older specimen that ranks among the best for the locality. This could easily be mistaken for a fine Kelly Mine Smithsonite as the vivid color and silky chatoyance on the Smithsonite is a perfect match. The only clear differences from a Kelly piece is the matrix which on this specimen is mixture of Gossan with blebs of Smithsonite. It is also far less expensive than usual for a Kelly of this quality. Simply beautiful and even better in person, the luster and deep color are exceptional from this locale. A great addition to any Mexican collection or Smithsonite suite.
A classic form from the Herja Mine in Romania, this is a flawless and very sharp Stibnite ball. The individual crystals are highly lustrous, gun metal blue-black to silver that reflect colorful highlights in person. The matrix is a solid crystalline Silicate that is a complete floater, micro crystallized on all sides. Unusual and especially eye-catching in person. The ball is 2.3 CM across and impressively undamaged.