Cuprite on Chrysocolla
Mashaba West Mine, Kolwezi Mining District
Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)
5.1 x 4.1 x 3.8 CM (small cabinet/large miniature)
Early summer 2021
Perfect and with fine form, dark red Cuprite crystals are perched on contrasting blue-green Chryosocolla. Modern classics, good Cuprites from this region are highly regarded. These crystals, besides being damage-free, are also gemmy, with any backlight they glow a ruby red color. The photos here are made with normal lighting to give a fair idea of the specimen without extra enhancing illumination. We have seen many specimens from this locality but very few are so perfect. The octahedral crystals here show both twinning and some elongation. An older piece, (we believe from the 1970-80 era), with several earlier labels from previous collections, including Paul Jung, James Lewis, Greg Kirby. This is certainly a choice specimen far beyond average quality.
A superb and very hard to find Barite with the sharp color zoning of red to orange Realgar inclusions that makes remarkable phantoms. This classic mine has been closed now for a long while, there will never be more of these and there were never many. Most of the Realgar included Barite found was not so transparent and the red color filled the entire crystal. This piece has excellent clarity and the inner zoning is very sharp and well-defined. Overall in fine condition for such thin and delicate crystals, these are also far larger and better isolated than most crystals. There are very small rough areas as seen in the photos but this is never the less a superb display specimen, and a standout in any suite of Barites.
Aurichalcite in Calcite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi
5.3 x 4.1 x 3.4 CM (small cabinet/large miniature)
new year 2021
A very colorful Aurichalcite specimen that was in the collection of Warren Johannson. The Aurichalcite is seen through a lustrous clear layer of Calcite that has crystallized on top. The Aurichalcite is clearly seen through the Calcite and the whole is vividly colored. An older Ojuela specimen from the late 1960 era.
Olivenite on Quartz - classic Cornwall
Wheal Carpenter, Fraddam, Gwinear-Gwithian
5.1 x 3.9 x 4.1 CM (small cabinet/large miniature)
new year 2021
Well-crystallized Olivenites are protected in a shallow vug lined with Quartz crystals. In excellent condition, ex Don Shultz collection. The Olivenites are deep green, glassy lustrous and many are doubly terminated. From Wheal Carpenter according to the original label, this is a small mine that operated sporadically from 1792-1855. We have never seen another example from this locality. This specimen is similar to other Olivenites from this region, though the crystals here are a bit larger than others we have seen.
Topaz - classic Russian, on Feldspar, Quartz
Murzinka Mine,Sarapulka Dist., Sverdlovskaya Oblast, Middle Urals
5.4 x 3.2 x 3 CM (small cabinet/large miniature)
new year 2021
A 2.5 CM tall gem clear colorless Topaz crystal rises above the contrasting Matrix. The Topaz is undamaged, in impeccable condition, the matrix has some bruising but it is the matrix and not at all a detriment. A very nice composition over all, good Topaz from the Urals is something of a mineralogical prize and highly respected by collectors. A very good value for the quality and esthetics.
A cluster of deep red Rhodochrosite crystals up to 1 CM long contrast with the dark matrix. Rich color and very good luster, this piece from late 1990's vintage mining at Uchucchacua. Scalenohedral Rhodos are much less common than rhombohedral habit and just a few worldwide localities have produced these. There are almost always some tip cleaves on these delicate crystals, this one is no exception but not too many and not distracting. This also keeps this affordable even though it looks like it should be much more expensive. A good intense red color and the crystals are translucent to transparent.
Euclase -blue crystals with Quartz
Lost Hope Mine, Mwami, Karol District
5.2 x 3.7 x 2.7 CM (small cabinet/large miniature)
A sizable cluster of Euclase crystals and sections of crystals on a nearly pure Euclase matrix. The color ranges from a light blue to a deep inky blue and the scattered Quartz crystals add a contrast. From the Lost Hope mine of Zimbabwe, this was found more than 40 years ago. The largest crystal is 2.6 CM in size but it must be noted it is closely encased in the matrix with only a few faces showing, and the better display angles do not present the best color zones. This is a sizable mass of Euclase with some gemmy areas and some nice striations on the larger faces, although the edges do have lots of cleavages and rough zones. Relatively affordable, the photos to me look a little bit better than the specimen in person but they are real with no photoshop tricks. A good value for this often very costly gem mineral.
A dark Galena cube with complex face structures rests on a mix of Ankerite and druzy Quartz. The Ankerite is in two generations the older is translucent the newer is nearly black with inclusions and some faces are iridescent. A cute small cabinet (or large miniature) in perfect, undamaged condition from the historic mines of Nenthead.