Spangolite with Quartz
Blanchard Mine, Bingham, Hansonburg District, Socorro County
6.6 x 4.6 3.3 CM (cabinet)
Bright, vivid blue-green crystals of Spangolite contrast with a drusy Quartz block. The Spangolite is prominent and presents well on the matrix. A choice older specimen of this colorful and rather uncommon Copper mineral not often seen as non-micromount display specimens. Crystals are easily visible with naked eye, this is an attractive display example from Bingham. Older labels included from several collections, among these are Danilo Rolando, Ch Dubois and Sandro Maggia.
Plumbogummite with Pyromorphite
Daoping Mine, Gongcheng County, Guilin Prefecture
3.9 x 3.8 x 2.1 CM (miniature)
Unusual flower-like group of radiating crystals which are about half Pyromorphite (yellow) and half Plumbogummite (powder blue). The pseudomorphing is roughly frozen in the middle of the process. Seen on one side the crystals all look like yellow Pyro and on the other side the blue color is dominant. The radial arrangement of the crystals makes this a nice esthetic miniature and a fine example of this classic pseudomorphing. The Plumbogummite of Yangshao Mine/ Daoping are widely considered to be be the best ever found in the world.
A somewhat sharp complete single cube of the rare earth specie Lueshite from the type locality. This Sodium-Niobium mineral is not often available, the metallic black to silvery color is typical of crystals from here, and the size is above average. This crystal has rough spots on some edges as seen but is overall in good shape, a nice crystal of this rare specie.
Really different and super attractive. Balls of blue Shattuckite sitting on crystals of bright green Dioptase. The color and contrast are very fine, this is in superb condition. We have handled a few nice Shattuckite balls in the past year but they are always on Malachite, never like this on lustrous Dioptase. This was the only specimen we saw of this quality and condition. It is much more vivid in person too, a very unusual and striking piece that displays well from most any angle. From a recent find at the Onderra Mine (Namibia), we had hoped there would be more but it seems this was a one time find.
An uncommon and attractive Yaogangxian specimen. Lustrous iridescent Chalcopyrite covers most of a stack of flat hexagonal crystals of Pyrrhotite. Only on a few edges are the original golden metallic Pyrrhotite crystals visible. In excellent condition, what may look like bruising on some edges is actually perfect and sharp. The multicolor patina on the Chalcopyrite is bright and sparkling which is both esthetic and very different for this famed locality. Individual Pyrrhotite hexagons are up to 5 CM across yet are unusually thin at just 2-3 mm on average. A choice Chinese Sulfide!
Sulphur - large hoppered crystals
El Desierto Mine, San Pablo de Napa, Daniel Campos Province
6.4 x 3.2 x 2.4 CM (cabinet)
Very pure Sulphur in textbook perfect crystals showing aligned prism forms and hoppered faces. Excellent bright yellow color and in undamaged condition, a modern classic. The El Desierto Mine is a rather small operation located on the flanks of a volcano at very high elevation. It has not been worked for a few years and when we visited the locality some time ago it was really inhospitable to say the least. However the best Sulphur specimens in recent decades have come from here. Better pieces like this have vivid canary yellow color, very bright luster and are rather transparent. The color is much brighter than most specimens of the other classic localities (Sicily and Russia) and there is no hint of Petroleum inclusions that are common elsewhere. These large crystals show very clear epitaxial stacking and exceed 5 CM. Choice for the locale and for the specie. Far better than the usual quality from this unusual place.
Elbaite with Orthoclase and Quartz
Beni Bouzra, Chefchaouen Province
Tanger-Tetouan-Al Haceima Region,
4.4 x 4.1 x 2.6 CM (miniature)
From the newest finds in Morocco, this is a superb red (Rubellite) Tourmaline with top color, luster and great esthetics. The first finds of Moroccan Elbaites made huge news a few years ago. Recently a new series of pockets was found with a much richer red color and impressive form. This miniature has a small, clean repair that is essentially invisible, it was professionally done. Nearly every piece needed some repairs in this find as the pockets were shattered long before the discovery. The habit, associations and style is very much like a classic Elba Tourmaline but the color is more intense. A killer from almost any angle.
A "purple cap" Tourmaline crystal set on contrasting white Cleavelandite. In fine condition, the termination is perfect and clear while the body of the crystal is dark and opaque. The Elbaite is 4 CM tall and the luster is very bright. Depending on the lighting used to display the piece the cap can look almost colorless or has a slight blue hue though in most settings the cap is a light violet. These are modern classics and as far as I know unique to this locality.