Galena on Quartz
Rucheng Mine, Caojia, Nuanshui, Chenzhou
8.6 x 6.4 x 3 CM (cabinet)
Early summer 2021
With all the great Lead minerals that are found in China it is surprising how uncommon are good specimens of Galena, the most common lead mineral. This is a nice Galena from anyplace and super fine from China, with two textbook perfect crystals on a bed of milky Quartz. Ex Shields Flynn collection, obtained from Bert Ottens, this is a 2004 vintage specimen with the largest crystal 2.6 CM across. The two crystals are both of different habits, perfect and undamaged. The Rucheng Mine is famed for the fine Sphalerites it produced about 15 years ago. This piece is about as fine as Galena is ever seen in China.
Galena - spinel twinned
Krushev Dol Mine, Madan, Rhodope Mts.
9.5 x 4.8 x 3,7 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
A killer Galena with very well defined geometric structures which are the flattened Spinel twinned crystals. Remarkably there is no damage and the luster is super metallic. From a remarkable find in 2010, this comes from a single pocket that had especially well developed sharp edged Galenas that were sprinkled with some Quartz crystals. The look is similar to some Spinel twinned Galenas from Dalngorsk but also distinctly unique. These are more tabular crystals with thin sharply crystalized edges. These have been described by some as "star wars" Galenas. they do look like spacecraft structures in person. We have been keenly interested in the Galenas from Bulgaria for years, this particular find and the few specimens of this caliber are to my taste the best.
Galena - classic locale
3.9 x 3.6 x 2.7 CM (miniature)
new year 2021
A very fine miniature of a pair of intergrown modified octahedrons. This habit is classic and distinctive for this ancient German Silver mining locality. In excellent condition with a dark metallic patina, this is clearly a very old specimen though without documentation. Worldwide the vast majority of Galenas are crystallized as simple cubes or modified cubes. Octahedrons are far less common but were more frequently seen in central and eastern Europe, especially from a few of the ancient German mines. An excellent textbook clean example.
Stacked skeletal cubes and modified cubo-octahedra forming a curved "monster" of Galena. Remarkable geometric structures in a complex structure. This is mostly Galena but dark Sphalerite and white Quartz are a nice contrasting matrix. Matte metallic luster and slightly melted edges on one side of the specimen with a brighter and sharper display on the opposite side. In fine undamaged condition, this is a far better in person, a striking and unusually esthetic Galena from finds in 2015. A choice modern classic.
Galena - spinel twins, USA
Fletcher Mine, Big Bear orebody, Vibernum Trend, Reynolds County
6.1 x 4.4 x 3.8 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
A flat habit spinel twinned Galena perched on Dolomite, Chalcopyrite etc. From the Fletcher Mine (Missouri, USA) the Galena is perfect, undamaged and huge for the mine at over 4 CM across. it is very unusual to see from the USA, there have been a few US finds of these over the past decade but never many. The Fletcher Mine is perhaps the most important locality for these twins and this specimen is top notch for the locale based on crystal size and esthetics. In person there is a slight iridescent patina and a slight golden hue mixed with a gunmetal silver.
Geometrically aligned Galena crystals dominate this complex multi-specie piece from the famed Madan area. We have been awed by the diversity and quality of Galenas and Sphalerites from Madan, which is probably the world's best source for these. Every few years a new habit or style is found. This was mined in 2009, it is in perfect, undamaged condition. The Galena Luster is dull metallic which is contrasted by the bright Sphalerite and Chalcopyrite. It is easy to understand why some collectors love Sulfides and especially Galenas.
Incredible,an older (1952) Mexican Galena with textbook perfect hoppered, skeletal form crystals. This specimen is from the San Carlos Mine, which in the late 1950 era produced some world class Vanadinite. After many years with no specimens, the mine again produced fine Vanadinites and Wulfenites in 1980 and 2018. We have never seen any other good specimens of Galena from this locale, and this is a choice piece from anyplace. The Galena has a dull luster from micro a micro druze of Anglesite and some Calcite. The forms range from deep hoppers with geometric ridges to intersecting boxes and even spirals. From the collection of Skylar Alverson obtained from G. Hixon in 1952. Outstanding condition and form, just a super Galena and a choice Mexican specimen.
Incredibly perfect spinel twins of Galena showing mirror bright luster standing on edge. In my own opinion the top spinel Galenas from Bulgaria are the best on the planet, and every serious collection should have at least one. From the 2011 find at the Krushev Dol Mine these Galenas were instantly big news in the mineral world. Aside from obviously fine esthetics, this piece is even more remarkable for the damage free condition. Under good magnification the galena edges are all complete (some have a more jagged edge crystallization but no damage or chipping) even the slender Quartz crystals are all perfect. The faces of the Galenas are a super brilliant metallic even brighter in person. The crystal forms are incredible too, the largest sides show fantastic geometric growth structures and textbook twinning. This was a large find so the cost of a nice piece was quite reasonable but very few pieces were this good, and now they have become uncommon.