Ilvaite on Quartz
Huanggang Mine, Chifeng Prefecture, Hexigten Banner, Ulanhead League
Inner Mongolia Region,
7 x 4.9 x 4.5 CM (cabinet)
Late Summer 2018
The Inner Mongolian region finds in the past few years re-defined how we look at Ilvaite, these were huge news in the mineral world. This specimen is sharp and quite lustrous, the Ilvaite is undamaged and sits on greenish quartz needles (likely included by Hedenbergite). Very esthetic (for a black mineral, this is exceptional) the form is textbook and the contrast with the matrix is choice. These better pieces are world class for the specie and still very affordable, a good time to add a good example before these inevitably disappear. .
Apatite (CaF) on Pericline
stock #13.1 -163
Anemzi Village, Midelt Province
5.3 x 4 x 3.2 CM (small cabinet/large miniature)
Late Summer 2018
The sort of gemmy Apatite that is sometimes called "asparagus stone". Set on a complex Feldspar matrix, there are a few small Apatites there as well. The main crystal is textbook sharp, transparent and depending on the lighting looks either lemon yellow or asparagus green. Close exam reveals what looks to be a repair, if so it is well done. Of course the price is adjusted for that. A choice display piece regardless the contrast is especially nice.
A very rich specimen of several uncommon Copper species, most importantly Lavendulan. Also containing a sizable zone of Conichalcite, minor Azurite and what appears to be Barahenaite (not analyzed). The Lavendulan is present in thick bands, crusts and small crystals of several habits. The Conichalcite is in translucent green globules covering one entire face. Lavendulan is a Phosphate and also an Arsenate, with the complex formula ofNaCaCu5(AsO4)4Cl·5H2O. Not often seen on the mineral market except in small blebs or micromounts.
A choice historic piece from the classic Berezovoskii, Ekaterinburg an early gold mine and the type locale for Crocoite. See the Mineralogical record 2016 Vol 47 #4 for a fine detailed article. This is clearly a Pyromorphite and also is labeled as having (and looks like) Vanadinite. Vanadinite is not listed as a specie from here, however this may all be Pyromorphite. This was in the Bally Museum, later with Alain Martaud and last in the John Marshall collection. Old labels are included. The specimen is crystallized on every side, in fine condition. Most of the Pyromorphite I have seen from this famed old Gold mine area are mere green smudges, but this is much more substantial.
For many collectors, the most desirable Barites (Baryte) are the rare, classic Romanian specimens colored bright red by Included Realgar. This is a choice old specimen in excellent condition with delicate orange-red Barites on contrasting matrix. The crystals show sheaf-like bundles and rosettes well separated from the matrix and free standing. Crystallized on both sides this has very strong display impact. Almost impossible to find today even average specimens have become very expensive.
Lazurite pseudo after Sodalite
Fayzabad, Koksha Valley, Khash-Kuran Wa Munjan District
4.8 x 3.3 x 2.7 CM (miniature)
Late Summer 2018
A brilliant blue crystal of Lazurite nicely perched on a Calcite matrix. This is quite a fine Lazurite but it is in fact much less common, it is a partial pseudomorph of a Sodalite crystal. Both minerals are known to pseudomorph each other but can have similar crystal shapes so it is hard to detect. On this crystal there is some small zones where the brilliant blue is only partly covering the whitish to more pale blue interior. The core of the crystal can be seen and is still Sodalite, This is vividly Fluorescent in those spots but the exterior blue Lazurite has no response. The crystal is up to 2.7 CM across and contrasts perfectly with the matrix. A choice crystal and intense blue pseudo.
Free standing elongated crystals of Cinnabar in a well protected vug lined with small crystals of Quartz and Dolomite. Excellent bright red color and very translucent. The largest crystals have sharp terminations with distinct re-entrant notches, so they are in fact twins. Slender elongated crystals like these are much rarer than the blocky type and since the mines are closed for a few years, any good quality Cinnabar is now very scarce. In fine condition and with bright luster, Chinese Cinnabar crystals have always been respected and desired as the worlds best for the specie.
Bournonite, Quartz and Pyrite
Pachapaqui District, Bolognesi Province
7.2 x 5.4 x 5.2 CM (cabinet)
Late Summer 2018
Two-sided specimen with excellent sharp Bournonites on both sides. All the Bournonites show bright silver luster and twinning that in some crystals has the classic cogswheel habit. The side I consider the "front" or better display side has two main Bournonites that are perfectly formed and undamaged, set off by golden Pyrite and milky Quartz crystals. The "back" side has more nice Bournonites but there is some damage and contacts, (that is why it is the back of course). A few years ago matrix Bournonites of this quality were very rare and expensive when available but both China and Peru then began to produce these and they became very affordable. Now both these sources are not producing.