Calcite (pineapple type)
Shangbao Pyrite Mine, Leiyang
11 x 5.1 x 3.4 CM (cabinet)
Post Tucson 2022
A thin shard on matrix hosts a doubly terminated Calcite crystal with the famed "pineapple " habit. From the Shangbao Mine (Hunan, China), these were found some 15 years ago and only rarely seen since. This crystal is large for the style at 5.2 CM tall and is translucent to transparent. No damage or chipping, a very choice piece ex.collection of Doug Ervin, a modern classic and very esthetic.
The "pineapple" type Calcite from the Shangbao Mine were found in the 2004-7 era but not seen in more recent mining. These were mostly translucent to transparent and the color looks just like pineapple. This piece is a single doubly terminated crystal on etched Fluorite that is both light purple and blue. In good condition overall, there are some very small contact points and rough spots but no chipping or real damage. This is in remarkable shape for one of these as most have considerable damage. An attractive Shangbao specimen and a very good example of this very cool habit.
An early Shangbao specimen with very unusual color. The Fluorite is an iridescent, yellow to orange, and has well-defined faces. The color seems to be due to an oxide coating that is only partly inside the Fluorite. The back of the specimen is cleaved and shows that the Fluorite is colorless inside. Most Shangbao Fluorites have been typical purple and green, so this is very unusual. The cleaved backside keeps the costs of this piece much lower but is not visible on the display side. We have never seen another with this habit/ color from Shangbao.
A killer quartz "tree" or tangled shrub of slender Quartz crystals with a mint-green color perched on a matrix of large Dolomite crystals. Mined in 2006 at the famed Shangbao Mine, this is a really distinctive display piece. Many of the Quartz are doubly terminated and the condition overall is excellent. Shangbao is justly famous for some of the best Fluorites in the world. However, there were also a few finds over the years of highly esthetic and often odd Quartz. A unique piece that mixes fine quality, good size and display impact.
Calcite (Pineapple) on Fluorite
Shangbao Pyrite Mine, Leiyang
3.7 x 3.2 x 2.0 CM (miniature)
Late Summer 2018
Almost 20 years ago the Shangbao mine in China encountered some pockets of "pineapple" look Calcites. The best of these were on contrasting Fluorite and had (to my eye anyway) great esthetic appeal. This is a small but perfect example of that find. The color, luster and habit are distinctive for these Calcites and unlike any others from anyplace. The Calcites are transparent and undamaged (a small contact is on the backside, but no damage). A fine small modern classic piece.
The distinctive "pineapple" style Calcite from Shangbao came out sporadically in the 2000-2008 era, this is a very choice example of the habit. Set on a matrix of sparkling Quartz the addition of a few scattered purple Fluorites adds extra contrast. In fine condition as seen, the terminations of the Calcites are transparent and the body of the prism is more milky, all with the "pineapple color". Top Shangbao Fluorites are now regarded as some of the worlds best (and most expensive). 15 years ago at the mine the Calcites were more expensive from the miners than Fluorites because they were more rare and hard to extract intact. Times change.
A fine and esthetic cluster of zoned Fluorite cubes in a delicate array. Minimal matrix, the cubes are very well separated and freely formed. Some faces show a light frosting others are more transparent and inside the cubes are swirls of deep purple with many inclusions of micro quartz prisms. With good magnification small movable bubbles are noted and the interior landscape is impressive too. Overall in outstanding condition damage wise, the corners and edges show some stepped growth but no damage. Several angles for display work well and have a quite treelike form. From mining in 2006 this style of specimen is no longer produced.
The ball like stepped cubo-octahedral Fluorites from Shangbao have become highly desirable and often quite expensive. This is an excellent and unusal specimen with fine display surfaces on front and back, almost a perfect floater. The individual Fluorites reach 2.7 CM and are a little deeper green than seen in the photos. In the square central windows of the crystals the interiors can be clearly seen as mostly glass clear, gemmy. Distinctive specimen from the finds vintage 2005, ex Terry Szenics collection. Very three dimensional and far better in person, this came from a short period when these could be obtained, prior and later specimens are quite different and to my eye not nearly as unique.