Cuprite - classic Tsumeb
5.1 x 4.2 x 3.2 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
A rich array of stacked, aligned crystals of Cuprite from Tsumeb. Cuprite is not rare from this mine but this is an unusually esthetic and sizable cluster of crystals, the largest to almost 1 CM. Under average lighting this looks very dark, almost black, but with strong lighting the more red color is seen. Most of the crystals are translucent and can glow with a good backlight. In excellent condition the matrix hosts a few isolated crystals but the main pure cluster of Cuprite is a full 5 CM across. The epitaxial arrangement of the Cuprite (most of these are Octahedra and aligned) is also very evident in person. A much better than usual Cuprite from Tsumeb, this is ex Charles M. Noll collection.
A sharp and fully transparent gem crystal of Cerussite that is in exceptional, undamaged condition. This has a champagne colored phantom that is only seen on a few angles, otherwise the crystal has a very limpid interior. The termination is a complex, stepped chisel type and most of the faces are both lustrous and have some complex growth patterns that are well-defined. A Tsumeb classic that has the clarity and color like a fine Kombat Mine piece but has the habit of Tsumeb. Far better in person.
One of the most sought after Tsumeb minerals is Cerussite that has inclusions of Chalcotrichite that turn clear crystals red or orange. The most vivid examples tend to be very small crystals and incredibly costly. This is a choice Cerussite that has Chalcotrichite needles, both on the exterior and interior, however the color not super saturated but is a light reddish-orange. The crystals reach over 3 CM which is large for an included Cerussite, and are quite well-defined with obvious twinning. Several faces are rather jagged looking on close exam where is seen geometric stepped crystal patterns some of which have formed around needles of Chalcotrichite. The matrix is a mixture of Dolomite, Malachite, Calcite and there are some unidentified dark acicular crystals at the junction of the Cerussites with the matrix. The Cerussites are transparent and the faces are highly lustrous and glass-like. Looks fine from several angles, the main crystals are in fine condition with perfect tips. The backside has some minor broken areas but it is only on the back and not seen from the front which is in excellent shape. A hard to get Tsumeb rarity that is better looking in person too.
An unusually well-formed, sharp and distinct replacement of free-standing Azurites. Azurite pseudos were common from Tsumeb but really good ones are quite rare. The crystals here are quite slender and elongated, being over 3 CM long but the narrow dimension is just 2-3 mm wide. For such a slender and delicate mineral this is in fantastic condition. The wide faces show the classic "starbursts" of the Malachite replacements on the surface, which is especially chatoyant. The main Malachites are perfectly intact and terminated, but some smaller crystals were broken or contacted long ago, but have begun rehealing or recrystallizing. The largest crystals are also free-standing they are only attached at the base and do not lay on the matrix. An older specimen from Tsumeb that also looks a little like some of the best pseudos from the Sacramento Mine at Bisbee.
A choice example of Rosasite from Tsumeb, this is formed on and next to Malachite which has formed over Mimetite. Several Mimetite crystals have also formed on top of the Rosasite, adding a nice color contrast. The central "tower" of botryoidal Rosasite is about 2.5 CM (inch) tall, with a velvet luster that gives a nice focus to the specimen. Tsumeb is unquestionably the locality that has best mixed many beautiful secondary minerals of diverse elements, habits and forms.
Wulfenite on Dolomite
2.3 x 1.8 x 1.6 CM (thumbnail)
new year 2021
Wulfenite in isolated crystals are nicely perched in tiny Dolomite crystals. The Wulfenite habit is the beveled edge type with a lustrous orange color. A choice thumbnail from the William Severance collection (his label is included). Bill has always had excellent taste and high standards for esthetics, and this piece shows that good taste well. Tsumeb has been the source of many forms of Wulfenite but this particular style, color, habit and overall look is unique to Tsumeb and instantly recognizable.
Dolomite cast with Calcite
4.3 x 3.4 x 2.2 CM (miniature)
new year 2021
One of the many odd but amazing things found over the years in Tsumeb were hollow Dolomite casts. These are replacements or encrustations of earlier minerals which have since disappeared. Sometimes the casts have then been overgrown with other minerals as well. The forms are quite diverse and entire collections have been made of the many shapes, colors and associations. This miniature cast is a pale green color and is overgrown with gem clear, colorless Calcite rhombs. The walls are typically thin and the whole specimen is a delicate hollow structure. Looks great from any angle, an attractive example of a mineral oddity.
Blocky habit colorless, transparent crystals of Anglesite with a tiny amount of Sulphide adhering to the edges. In excellent condition there are several complex face modifications seen on close exam and a few inclusions that are likely Galena. The transparent crystals have internal iridescent "rainbows" and the luster is bright and glassy. Anglesite crystals are known from many Lead mines worldwide but only a very few localities have produced such fine large crystals, and Tsumeb is high on the short list. A very fine undamaged and esthetic example of the specie and for this habit.