Indicolite - Elbaite on Lepidolite
Barra do Salinas Mining District, Coronel Murta
3.1 x 1.6 x 1.3 CM (thumbnail)
Early summer 2021
A gem clear, blue and highly lustrous crystal of tourmaline on a small Lepidolite and Feldspar matrix. The crystal is sharply terminated at the top and also at the bottom but the lower termination is partial and somewhat covered by the matrix. An older thumbnail with fine form viewed from any angle. This is a darkish blue without backlight but is very bright with light behind. In excellent condition, no visible damage.
Quartz with Hematite
Lechang Mine, Lechang County, Shaoguan Prefecture
6.7 x 4.5 x 3.7 CM (cabinet)
Early summer 2021
Red Quartz crystals are clustered with bladed Hematite in an esthetic presentation. This piece has 6 terminated free standing prisms, all with some orange to red color. From the display side there is no visible damage, however, on the back some damage can be seen. The Quartz has very good transparency and the terminations are clean and sharp. This find was big news in the mineral world about 15 years ago, but no new material has come out for quite a while. We have handled quite a lot of the Quartz from Lechang and it is rare to find any without considerable damage; this is much better than typical.
Quite old German specimen of Wavellite spheres on slate matrix. The balls of Wavellite are up to 1.4 CM across are translucent and most have a amber brown color. A few broken spheres show the radial structures well and the color of those is a golden greenish hue. A few tiny spheres are nearly black as well. This is a choice piece that has been in the USA for over 60 years, (ex TL Baskin and Dick Hauck with old labels) but is probably far older. The slate outcrops of the Langenstriegis were productive in the mid to late 1800's and these classics are almost never seen on this side of the Atlantic.
Vivid blue color on this slender transparent Kyanite crystal perched on a Quartz shard. An older piece from Barro do Salinas, the crystal measures 4.2 CM. Kyanite is common at several localities in Brazil but complete transparent crystals are quite rare. This piece is in excellent condition, one termination is slightly crude but complete. Even without backlighting this is a pretty piece and a very good value.
A rare example of crystalized native Copper from the Ducktown Mines of Tennessee. A major copper mine that closed long ago, there are very few specimens known from this region. Mindat lists Copper on the mineral lists for the locale, but there are no photos. This specimen has a great provenance, coming from the old Ossining School collection which was purchased by Peter Zodac in 1936 later obtained by Larry Conklin in the late 1960 era this was purchased by John Marshall in 1970. All labels and collection card are included. The Copper itself is composed of very small rounded crystals and botryoids on one side, and more elongated branching crystals on the other side. Any rather pure Copper that is crystalized from the Eastern USA is remarkably rare.
A quite old specimen from early finds at Choix, with fine pink color. In some lighting the pink has a slight purplish hue but under most conditions this is really pink. Worldwide there are not many pink botryoidal Smithsonites found (pink crystals from Tsumeb are well-known but none botryoidal), Choix is one of the very few localities and these were never common when the zone was producing. Since this locality is now abandoned there may never be more. A very pretty addition to any Smithsonite collection.
Descloizite with minor Calcite
Berg Aukus, Grootfontein District
5.5 x 4.7 x 3 CM (cabinet)
Early summer 2021
Perfect blades of sharp textbook habit formed in a fine and well-composed specimen. Well beyond the usual quality for the specie. The blades have a scattering of tiny Calcite rhombs that add a nice contrast. The largest crystal is over 3.5 CM and all are quite lustrous with the edges slightly translucent. The color, when backlit, is slightly red-orange but overall this is a golden brown to dark brown. Very close to perfect with no damage visible to naked eye but with good magnification some very very tiny bruises are found. These spots are well under 0.3 mm and not on any of the main crystals, so this is as near to perfect as this delicate mineral gets. Every angle of this is esthetic, it can be shown from any side which is unusual. An excellent small cabinet piece from the world's best locale for the specie, Berg Aukus.
Cuprite with Miersite and Marshite
Rubtsovsky Mine, Rubtsovshy District
4.3 x 3.7 x 2. CM (miniature)
Early summer 2021
This is mostly a fine Cuprite specimen with a main octahedron over 3 CM across, which is very sharp and defined. There are several other smaller crystals and between them are some excellent small crystals of Miersite that are bright yellow, gemmy and well-formed. The Marshite is smaller and less distinct but still a nice addition. From the great find at Rubtsovskly Mine in 2010, these were instant classics when found. The Cuprite is especially lustrous and has geometric growth structures well displayed on the larger faces. Aside from the unavoidable broken area where this was removed, the specimen is perfect, the main crystals are in undamaged condition and are in textbook forms.