Berzelianite - rich, rare Selenide
Bukov Mine, Rozna, Zdar nad Sazavou District
7.8 x 7 x 3.1 CM (cabinet)
A fine and rich specimen of the rare Copper Selenide Berzelianite. While far from pretty (for many people an ugly specie) this is very large and fine for the specie and shows well the Berzelianite and its alterations to other Copper Selenides. The brown sooty material and the dark metallic versions of the specie are both well-exposed. It seems some associated Tiemannite is present also. There are not very many Selenides in the mineral world, and the deposit at the long closed Bukov Mine (Czech Republic) was perhaps the best known classic source of Copper Selenides. The mineral has a long and rich history being named by James Dana (father of modern mineralogy) for Jakob Berzelius who was the creator of the periodic table, symbols of the Elements and chemical notation, and often called the father of analytic Chemistry. Described in 1850 shortly after the death of Berzelius, in honor of his discovery of the element Selenium and at least 5 other elements. This specimen was collected in 1970 when this could still be found at the site.
A very well-crystallized classic specimen from the ancient mining district of Pribram. The silver-rich Tetrahedrites had been called Freibergite but this is now a discredited specie name but exists as a subgroup tin the Tetrahedrite family. This is a superb piece with well-defined crystals on sizable Siderite crystals. The cluster of Freibergite/Tetrahedrite crystals is 3.2 CM across and is overall in good condition though there are some bruises to mention. despite that this is still a killer for the locality and specie. Silver was chased in this zone going back for centuries, later lead and finally Uranium were sought. Silver species are quite prized and well-crystalized specimens are now rare from this famed mine.
A fine classic and very old specimen, ex Lechner collection (Austria) to Schortmann’s Minerals, Al Sebella, Larry Conklin and John Marshall. The Lechner number dates this to before the first world war, Moravia was a "crown land" under Bohemia until 1918. Early localities and specimens from there had German names (this piece does) later replaced by Czech place names. This has large lustrous terminated Epidotes on a mass of Prehnite crystals. The longest Epidote is 5.3 CM. This is in very good condition overall, the only damage is noted on the bottom of the specimen where it had been attached.
This is an exceptionally fine specimen from this region, and it is certainly quite old. The Moritz Lechner collection was begun in the later 1800s and absorbed many much older collections, mostly classic European minerals. His son inherited the collection much of which was eventually sold to the Schortmann’s and be came at that time the most important source of European minerals in the USA. The address on the Schortmann label gives this a date of about 1936. The specimen retains the original Lechner number but not the label. In the prewar depression years the price of 10.00 was a huge sum of money, this was considered a superb specimen. It is still a significant piece and to my eye equal or superior to any from this area we have seen in European museums.
Aragonite - classic, vintage
Cicov Hill, Horenec, Libceves, Louny District, Usi Nad Labem Region
5.1 x 1.9 x 1.6 (small cabinet/ large miniature)
A classic old Aragonite crystal that does look a lot like a Calcite. It has good yellow to amber color zoning and sharp form that are distinctive to this classic old find. In fine condition and well-terminated, lustrous and translucent. The original labels (see the second photo) do have a mis-identification for the locality showing the coal mining locale of Bilina. Since this find at Cicov hill is world famous, unique and well-documented we can correct this with certainty. The great finds were made at this locale in the 19th century, the George M English label included is from the 1893-1898 era based on the address printed. A true and choice classic specimen Ex Charles M Noll and G. M English
Fluorite, Quartz and Siderite
Krupka, Teplice District
Usti nad Labem Region (Bohemia),
4.1 x 3.1 x 2.7 CM (miniature)
new year 2021
A very dark purple cube of Fluorite nestled in a cluster of red and yellow Quartz crystals which are colored by Hematite inclusions. A small bit of Siderite is also noted. An old specimen from this important and very historic Czech locality that has produced many different Fluorites over the centuries. These are not seen for sale very often outside of the Central European region, but they are quite prized there.
Tennantite and Siderite - classic European
Barbora Adit, Knottei area, Krupka, Krusne Hory Mts
Usti nad Labem Region (Bohemia),
5.4 x 3.3 x 2.2 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
new year 2021
A very old and very rich Czech Tennantite from this historic mining region. The matrix is a sparkling Quartz with several large (for the locality) Siderite rhombs up to 2.5 CM. The Tennantites are in clusters of many small, distinctive crystals, up to 4mm - though most are smaller. The Tennantite masses are relatively bright, lustrous and includes many twins. A small amount of Chalcopyrite is seen with magnification. This can be displayed from several angles that show more Dolomite or more Tennantite depending on preference.
Pyromorphite -very old classic locale
Bleistadt (Olovi), Sokolov District
Karlovy Vary Region (Bohemia),
5.6 x 3.9 x 3.8 CM (cabinet)
A choice historic Pyro and a very uncommon locality piece that is quite a lot nicer than just a "reference" specimen. From the ancient lead mining area in Czech Republic, Bleistadt (or Olovi) in Bohemia has been mined for centuries beginning in the early 14th century. This specimen was in the Moritz Lechner Collection (1850-1903) of Austria which was made up of several much earlier collections going back to the early 18th century. Much of this collection was later obtained by the Schortmann brothers (Massachusetts, USA) who sold this piece in 1969 to John Marshall. John was building a comprehensive Pyromorphite suite and seeking as many rare locality pieces as possible. The labels are included along with the Marshall collection card. The specimen itself has several blocky, dark brown, lustrous crystals to almost 1 CM on a vuggy Quartz matrix. In very good condition the matrix has been crudely sawn long ago on the back and sides. A few older labels and numbers are affixed on this specimen which predate the Lechner collection number. While we do not know the earliest collection history of this piece it is clearly very very old and a very nice bit of mineralogical history.
Cerussite and Dundasite
Modra Stola, Ziate Hory, Olomouc Region
6.9 x 6.4 x 4.1 CM (cabinet)
A rich specimen of accicular Cerussite that is covered with tiny needles and micro balls of greenish to white Dundasite. The whole piece has a pleasing minty green hue due mostly to the Dundasite. Dundasite is a rather rare mineral and usually seen as an associate of Cerussite. This locality is an ancient abandoned mine dating to the fifteenth century which produced some good lead secondary minerals from the oxidized zone to modern (1980 vintage) collectors. Close exam of the Cerussite shows that the individual needles are sixling twins with a star-like cross section. Choice and very fine for the locale.