Dolomite cast with Calcite
4.3 x 3.4 x 2.2 CM (miniature)
new year 2021
One of the many odd but amazing things found over the years in Tsumeb were hollow Dolomite casts. These are replacements or encrustations of earlier minerals which have since disappeared. Sometimes the casts have then been overgrown with other minerals as well. The forms are quite diverse and entire collections have been made of the many shapes, colors and associations. This miniature cast is a pale green color and is overgrown with gem clear, colorless Calcite rhombs. The walls are typically thin and the whole specimen is a delicate hollow structure. Looks great from any angle, an attractive example of a mineral oddity.
4.6 x 3.5 x 1.4 CM (miniature)
new year 2021
A pair of fine, sharp and lustrous crystals of Epidote from Capelinha in Brazil. Most of the Epidote we see from Brazil is a more fibrous habit, this prismatic specimen is the best formed I have ever seen. Textbook perfect crystals with well-defined terminations and on the backside a few clusters of small Quartz crystals. Overall in excellent condition as seen, the faces are either well-striated or perfectly flat, mirror-like and brilliantly lustrous. The sharpness and quality of this could easily be confused with a fine Alaskan Epidote.
A classic purple, blue, yellow Fluorite with well-defined sharp cubes in a cluster. Some of the square faces of the cubes have distinct geometric voids or hoppers with complex cubic forms. This Fluorite looks dark without some backlighting (see the second photo) but the effect of that backlight brings out excellent color zoning, The cubes are complete, glassy and in very good condition, some faces are perfectly flat as well. From the Cave in Rock area of Southern Illinois, this is a very pretty yet affordable dark Fluorite with great colors hiding inside.
Fluorite on Schorl
Erongo Mountain, Karibib
6.8 x 5.3 x 4.6 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
Colorful zoned Fluorite crystals are perched on a jumble of lustrous Schorl crystals from Erongo. Close exam of the Fluorites shows they are also included by dark tourmalines some of which have areas of transparency. The Fluorites have some spots of deep purple set in a light blue background. These crystals are somewhat etched and show some spinel twinning as well. The Schorl crystals are in two habits some with the fibrous habit faces and others with prismatic forms. All are quite lustrous and with two different termination types. Overall very esthetic and striking specimen from a find in 2018. The pegmatites of Erongo have given up some remarkable pockets over the years many of which were unique having unusual habits and forms not seen in any other. We have not seen any more recent finds of this style.
Calcite with Fluorite
Denton Mine, Harris Creek Sub District, Hardin County
6.8 x 4.9 x 3.8 (cabinet)
new year 2021
A southern Illinois classic, a mass of transparent, gemmy Calcite crystals are the sparkling background to some small purple to blue Fluorites. The bright luster of these Calcites are hard to appreciate in photos but in person the visual impact is strong. This choice Denton Mine specimen is from the collection of Les Hitchings which he obtained in 1992, from the last period of mining there which produced some exceptional Calcites.
Blocky habit colorless, transparent crystals of Anglesite with a tiny amount of Sulphide adhering to the edges. In excellent condition there are several complex face modifications seen on close exam and a few inclusions that are likely Galena. The transparent crystals have internal iridescent "rainbows" and the luster is bright and glassy. Anglesite crystals are known from many Lead mines worldwide but only a very few localities have produced such fine large crystals, and Tsumeb is high on the short list. A very fine undamaged and esthetic example of the specie and for this habit.
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.