Hopeite - modern classic
Broken Hill (Kabwe Mine) Kabwe District
9.6 x 5.4 x 5.1 CM (cabinet)
A very large, well-crystalized specimen of this rare hydrous Zinc Phosphate. All sides of this specimen are encrusted with rust-red color orthorhombic crystals, most of which have distinct form and are coated with a sparkling druse of tiny crystals that seem to be a second generation of transparent colorless Hopeite. This locality had produced the very best of this specie most of which were found when Zambia was still called Rhodesia. No new finds are reported, these classic specimens are only available from older collections.
Outstanding color and luster, a super example of this famed find made about 13 years ago. We are told the locality flooded shortly after and no further work was possible. The top surface is densely covered with sharp Pyromorphites on a vivid green carpet of Malachite. Most pieces from this locale are quite flat, but this has a fine three dimensional presentation and is in perfect, undamaged condition. A modern classic locality, for several decades the Rum Jungle area had produced some fine Lead and Copper specimens. However this particular find is considered the best ever, and sadly was the last.
An incredible Vanadinite. This remarkable specimen is one of the very best from a single small find in 2022. The matrix is a complete elongated snail fossil with clusters of bright red, sizable Vanadinite crystals perched mostly on the tip area. The amazing mines at Mibladen are certainly the world’s best localities for this specie, and the huge quantity of production is amazing. However among tens of thousands of pieces extracted over the past decades, no fossils hosting good Vanadinites like this have ever been seen. We are only aware of a few pieces found two years ago with tiny druses on some marine fossils but those were micro-sized crystals. The Snail hosting these bright red crystals is complete and undamaged. Even in a collection with many Vanadinites this would be really different and a fine fusion of Mineralogy and Paleontology.
An incredible Vanadinite. This remarkable specimen from a very small find in 2022, the matrix is a complete Clam fossil with clusters of bright red Vanadinite crystals. The amazing mines at Mibladen are certainly the world’s best localities for this specie, and the quantity of production is amazing. Among tens of thousands of pieces extracted over the past decades no fossils hosting good Vanadinites like this have ever been seen. We are only aware of a few pieces found two years ago with tiny druses on some marine fossils but those were micro-sized crystals. In excellent condition and complete on all sides.
Gemmy bubble-gum pink Elbaite crystal from a new find in a little known pegmatite in the Pachigram (Afghan) area. Unlike earlier finds nearby, the crystals in this single pocket are more slender in proportion and can have a slightly colorless or blue zone at the termination. This is in excellent, undamaged condition, it is even fully recrystallized on the bottom end, so it is techically doubly terminated. Most of these were broken from their matrix in natural events long ago, but some like this have rehealed the original connection point. An attractive Tourmaline from an unusual locality.
A remarkable and pristine example of this rare Phosphate from what is unquestionably the best locality for the specie (Reaphook Hill, Australia). This has the very best esthetics and coverage of perfect slender crystals we have seen, including top collections and museums. It certainly is among the very top specimens of the specie. These crystals average 1 CM and the radiating structures are up to 3.3 CM in diameter. These were found in the 1960-70 era, nothing since has been seen. Pieces of this quality are only available from old collections.
Axinite - gemmy crystals
Puiva Mount, Saranpaul, Khanty-Mansi Okrug, Tyumenskaya Oblast
Pre Polar Ural region,
5.5 x 3. x 2.7 CM (cabinet)
Very sharp, complete and glassy, this is a flawless Axinite with many transparent sections. From the now famed discoveries in the Polar Urals, this is far more striking in person. Very few localities in the world ever produced Axinites of this calibre, the edges on this are razor sharp, it could easily cut skin or be cut as faceted gems. Usually crystals of this size have jagged edges or tiny chips, this one does not. The main crystal is 5.5 CM across. Backlighting adds a fine glow as well, but these photos are not backlit, this gives a true presentation of the specimen in a "normal" display. These have become quite uncommon over the past two decades and are now usually quite expensive. A very good value for quality in this size.
An unusual specimen ex Les Hitchings collection, obtained in 1963 as noted in his ledger; one of his earliest pieces. This is quite different from more recent pieces and has a fine composition overall. The Calcite and Quartz have a light mint-green color caused by the underlying copper minerals. A small area of Aurichalcite is noted on the matrix. The taller fingers or towers grade to a white to pale yellow color at the tips. Overall in excellent condition, the sparkle and luster are excellent. This dates back to the early years of Mexican mineral specimens being exported to the USA.