Fluorite with phantom zoning
Okorusu Mine, Otjiwarango District
5.7 x 4.3 x 3.7 CM (small cabinet/large miniature)
Gemmy Fluorite cubes of blue-green color in a cluster on minimal matrix from Okorusu. This Fluorite has well defined inner phantoms of a darker violet-blue color and some cubes have a thin color zone extra near the outer edge. This specimen displays well from either side. The main crystals are prominent, sharp and clean, the only damage seen is minor on the outer edges where this was removed. Most Okorusu Fluorites are damaged, or the crystals are very tightly packed together, this is a nice exception. The mine has been inactive now for about three years and may be gone forever.
Choix, Municipio de Choix
6.2 x 3.9 x 3.7 CM (cabinet)
"Wet-look" luster on bubble-gum pink Smithsonite from Choix. In undamaged condition, this is from the early finds made by Benny Fenn. This locality in Sinaloa is not currently producing, it has however in the past yielded many great colors and forms of Smithsonite. This is a good clean small cabinet size that shows the color and habit well. A thick layer with nice luster shows the inner structure on the edges.
stock #SOLD 8.1-397
11.6 x 4.8 x 2.8 CM (cabinet)
Simply put this is a really ugly mineral that can even have an unpleasant odor. A natural paraffin wax-like substance derived from Hydrocarbons, this looks much like a rotted banana, it is translucent and has a density less than 1 so it floats. This is an old specimen from Poland with a 1930-40 vintage Schortmann label, this piece is now almost completely odor free perhaps because of its age. However the literature tells us that heating to a moderate warm temperature or any rubbing will again produce the bad smell along with a negative electric charge. The name comes from the Greek meaning "stench wax". This is a super strange mineral that is never seen for sale (and I have never been asked for any either). This locality is not listed in Mindat but that may be due to the many changes to the names and geography of that area over the past hundred years. Certainly not a specimen for a collector of fine esthetics, but a large example of a legitimate mineral almost never seen in any collection. Weird.
Chuquicamata Mine, Calama, El Loa Province
6.3 x 4.4 x 4 CM (cabinet)
A superb very well crystalized example of this rare Copper Sulphate from Chuquicamata. Good Antlerite in prismatic crystals from this long ago find is not often available. These crystals are in the 3-4mm range which is about as large as any known from this legendary locality. Under magnification a variety of forms are noted and most of the individual crystals are well isolated, gemmy and brightly colored. This locale was at one time the source of many incredible rare copper minerals including rare copper Halides and what were for a century the worlds best Antlerites. A small newer find at Milpillas has since produced larger crystals with a different habit (and a far higher price). Chuqui was developed into one of the worlds largest open pits with efficient mechanized processes that now of course destroy any specimens at great speed. I have visited the site several times in the past decade but never found even a crumb worth obtaining, nothing is coming out. This piece is obviously from long ago.
Gem clear terminated Beryl crystal that has several inner channels or tubes. There is one small tube that opens in the middle of the termination but the others are closed inside the prism. In excellent condition a nice pale green crystal with a termination that has both a tapering form and a flat top. It is incredible how many variations and modifications of Beryl that have been found over the years, and Brazil in particular has been the source of many unique habits.
Pyromorphite -very old classic locale
Bleistadt (Olovi), Sokolov District
Karlovy Vary Region (Bohemia),
5.6 x 3.9 x 3.8 CM (cabinet)
A choice historic Pyro and a very uncommon locality piece that is quite a lot nicer than just a "reference" specimen. From the ancient lead mining area in Czech Republic, Bleistadt (or Olovi) in Bohemia has been mined for centuries beginning in the early 14th century. This specimen was in the Moritz Lechner Collection (1850-1903) of Austria which was made up of several much earlier collections going back to the early 18th century. Much of this collection was later obtained by the Schortmann brothers (Massachusetts, USA) who sold this piece in 1969 to John Marshall. John was building a comprehensive Pyromorphite suite and seeking as many rare locality pieces as possible. The labels are included along with the Marshall collection card. The specimen itself has several blocky, dark brown, lustrous crystals to almost 1 CM on a vuggy Quartz matrix. In very good condition the matrix has been crudely sawn long ago on the back and sides. A few older labels and numbers are affixed on this specimen which predate the Lechner collection number. While we do not know the earliest collection history of this piece it is clearly very very old and a very nice bit of mineralogical history.
Muiane Pegmatite, Alto Ligonha District
7.3 x 2 x 1.8 CM (cabinet)
Tourmaline from Mozambique can be incredibly choice and this is a very nice example. Mostly a purple- red color with a yellow green zone, this crystal is strongly dichroic. The Elbaite exhibits a striking color change when rotated in front of a computer screen. Mostly all good gem grade, transparent and very lustrous, this crystal weighs 42.9 grams. The backside of the termination shows some areas that were recrystallized and some small bruises so it is not perfect but this is can be fully hidden by display angle and keeps the cost much lower as a result. Excellent value for a pretty tourmaline that is much better in person
Prehnite- gemmy large crystals
Merelani Hills, Lelatama Mountains, Simanjiro District
5.8 x 4.6 3.4 CM (cabinet)
A large rosette of sharp Prehnite crystals that are translucent to transparent, lustrous and colorful. Green exterior with a more yellow core area, a fine example from the amazing finds at Merelani, Tanzania. This area is incredibly rich mineral wise, it is best known of course as the source of Tanzanite but also incredible fine Diopside and these unusual but beautiful Prehnites. Most of the Merelani Prehnites have considerable damage or bruising, this piece is a more choice example, far better than average, with esthetic and distinct crystals. In excellent condition except at the bottom where this was attached.