Native Mercury - German classic
Moschellandsberg, Nordpfalzer, Donnersberg District
2.7 x 1.7 x 1.2 CM (thumbnail)
Early summer 2023
A super rich specimen of Mercury in a cluster of globules on matrix. The Mercury is trapped in vugs and held by surface tension. The size of the Mercury is remarkable, unlike the tiny balls usually seen this can be seen by naked eye even quite far away. From the very ancient mines of Landsberg (Bavaria, Germany) that began in 1440 and worked until 1942, This is the most Mercury I have seen on a single specimen. The matrix seems to be a mixture of massive Cinnabar and or Metacinnabar. Very tiny micro-crystals of Calomel are noted and in a very tiny vug what seems to be Moschellandsbergite. The main attraction though is a series of globs of silvery Mercury. A fine vintage specimen and a excellent native metal piece.
Choice, lustrous and quite rare, fine Sphalerite from the famed Neudorf Mines. This locale was worked for Silver and Lead mostly in the 18th century and closed in 1903. The mine is renowned for some of the world's best Galenas and Bournonites from that era which are among the world's great mineral treasures. Sphalerite however is far more rare from this locality, and good examples are almost never seen. This piece has a main crystal just under 2 CM in size, the Siderite is crystalized as yellow to brown rhombs and makes a nice contrast. The Sphalerites are mostly a lustrous black but at the right angles there are bright flashes of red color. A fine and very old miniature of this classic locale.
Topaz - classic German gems
Schneckenstein cliff, (Konigskrone Mine) Kielberg Mt.Klinginthal, Vogtla
8.8 x 6.5 x 4 CM (cabinet)
Early summer 2023
A superb specimen from this ancient locality, ex Paul Fitte collection. The Schnechenstein Topaz have been prized for centuries and mined starting in 1727, shortly after it was taken over by Augustus the Strong and the site was renamed Konigskrone (Kings Crown). The best Topaz were found in the next two decades and some minor production up until 1796. The finest yellow gem crystals have been prized in collections worldwide ever since. These have also been studied and described by many of the early mineralogists, they are quintessential classics. The area has been completely closed since 1938, any large and fine specimen like this is very old and very rare in such quality. The display face is covered with transparent sharp Topaz crystals most of which are a good yellow, a few are colorless, nestled in Quartz crystals. The largest Topaz is 2 CM, big for the locality. More unusual is the many terminated gem crystals on the matrix, most specimens only have two or so. Overall in fine condition this is the very best example we have had from this famed place.
A big, blocky dark matrix with an open cavity of contrasting bright Rhodochrosite crystals. These Rhodos are all scalenohedral and transparent, with glassy luster. Most crystals are quite perfect and complete but a few do have cleaves though not very easily seen. Classic old material ,this piece from the collection of the Delaware University Mineral Museum. The largest crystals are just under 1 CM in size, the color is an orange-red which stands out from the nearly black matrix. For many years the world's best locality of Rhodochrosite was the Wolf Mine. That is however no longer the case but these are still highly respected, easily the best Rhodos from Europe, and actually quite rare in this quality.
A hard to find and quite attractive Pyromorphite from the type locale! This is the best specimen we have ever had from the very old Zschopau locality. Ex Eric Asselborn collection, with older label as well. This locality is one of the most ancient and classic European sites with formal mining begun at this specific site in 1474. This specimen is unusual as it has a mine attribution and not just the general Zschopau zone. In relatively fine condition with crystals up to 1.2 CM and richly encrusted with vivid green Pyromorphites showing the classic form of Zschopau Pyros. There is a long history to the discovery and naming of the mineral as well that dates back to 1748. This is a very old specimen but we do not know all the details of its history. A fine example that is rarely seen for sale in this quality or size.
Fluorite and Quartz - classic locale
Oberwolfach, Ortenaukreis, Freibourg region, Black Forest
6.4 x 4.7 x 3.8 CM (cabinet)
Cubic Fluorite cluster on a rounded matrix of reddish color Quartz from the Wolfach area (Germany). The largest Fluorite is very lightly tinged a pinkish-purple, the smaller cubes are nearly colorless. This region has been a mining center for well over 100 years and some zones are still producing. This specimen is in good condition overall, there are some rough edge spots but it is unusually intact, well-formed and attractive in composition. The large crystal is 3.3 CM diagonal, quite large for a violet Fluorite from this region.
A three dimensional specimen with several fingers and crevices coated with small Siderite crystals which are in turn coated with small Pyrite crystals. From the famed and ancient Freiburg mining district, a very good representative Gangue specimen.
Cerussite, classic German locality
Friedrichssegan Mine, near Bad Ems, Nassau , Lahnstein, Rhien-Lahn Distr
6.9 x 6 x 3.2 CM (cabinet)
Jackstraw type Cerussite crystals on a contrasting gossan and Quartz matrix. From the old Friedrichssegan Mine near the classic Bad Ems Nassau area, a nice example for the locality and in a form that is a bit unusual. Ex John Marshall collection, obtained in a trade with Ernie Schlichter in 1995. Labels and catalog card are included. This mine closed in 1913 and was long ago a source of some excellent Copper, Zinc and Lead species, especially Pyromorphites. Older labels show this locale as a part of the Bad Ems district but today changes put this a few meters over the line in the Rhein-Lahn district.