An extraordinary Cuprite from Cuba that is well over 200 years old. Several very old labels including one from a museum in Sweden come with this piece. This mine is one of the oldest Copper mines in the new world, begun in 1532 under the Spanish. This is the only Copper mine of any note in the entire country, it has been flooded for some decades. The Cuprites fill a vug with sharp, lustrous crystals many of which are a gemmy red color. The crystals are tightly clustered and with magnification some small areas of native copper are seen. Very close magnification also shows what seem to be very tiny Cubanite crystals (not confirmed by x-ray) in two habits. Any Cuban Cubanite is very rare, the type locale is only about 80 KM to the east, though the specie is not listed by Mindat from Cobre. With or without Cubanite this is about as fine a specimen as exists, it is certainly larger and better than those we know of in US museums. Ex. John Marshall collection (and many others).
Fluorite on Quartz
Xianghualing Mine, Linwu County, Chenzhou Pref.
5.1 x 4.5 x 3.1 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
Early summer 2021
Mint-green cubo-octahedral crystals of transparent Fluorite on contrasting Quartz crystals. The Fluorites have some slightly frosted faces and are well isolated and perched well up from the orange and white Quartz. In excellent condition from the 2005 era finds at Xianghualing. These are no longer coming on to the market and they represent a very attractive yet still affordable display specimen. Looks fine from several angles.
Level 13, Potosi Mine, Santa Eulalia
6.3 x 4 x 2.3 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
Early summer 2021
Botryoidal green Mimetite in well-formed balls covering one face of matrix. From a quite old find at the Potosi Mine of Santa Eulalia, this is remarkably like the famed Mimetite of San Pedro Corralitos, but it is green instead of yellow. The Mimetite has two distinct tones of green and has a satin luster. This is in very fine condition, quite esthetic and with no evident damage on the display surface.
A small but perfect and well-perched flower-like cluster of dark green Epidote rests on a plate of included Quartz. The Quartz crystals have distinct phantoms and zoned inclusions of reddish Hematite which contrasts well with the Epidote. A specimen from the Hongquizhen Quarry found about 15 years ago; we do not see this material now from China, this is in very good condition, and quite lustrous in person.
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 complete 360 degree Garnet crystal fully replaced by the Ripidolite (var. of Clinoclore) with a tiny sliver of matrix. A classic from Michigan, these were at one time called Aphrosiderite, and the replacing materials were usually referred to as Chlorite. This thumbnail is quite sharp and has kept some small edge modifications seen on some faces. The source of this one is the Spurr Mine, most others we have seen do not have specific localities.
A lustrous but dark cluster of well-formed textbook crystals of Pyrargyrite associated with some Acanthite on a little Quartz matrix. Under strong lighting or with magnification the ruby-red reflections and highlights are seen and there are some translucent areas as well. This is a complex piece in that nearly every side has some attractive crystals and it is hard to pick a "best view". An older specimen from a very classic locality where silver was mined since the 1300's.
Cerussite - fine classic German
Freiberg District, Mittlesachsen
8.3 x 7.8 x 4.3 CM (cabinet)
Early summer 2021
A fine old Cerussite cluster with crystals to over 3 CM in a nearly pure cluster. A few thin shards of matrix host dozens of silky luster prisms in very good condition. Ex John Marshall collection with his label, he obtained this in Jan of 1972 from Ron Bentley after Bentley had purchased the stock of the famed Shortmann's minerals. The Schortmann Brothers handled many excellent European classics after the war from several important collections. This piece has a Moritz Lechner (Vienna, Austria) Number 7557 which puts this into the collection well before 1903. Lechner's collection was built mostly in the late 1800's and was one of the best at that time in the region. Lechner was wealthy enough to purchase several important earlier collections, some dating back to the early 1700's. This specimen is unusual and does not look like most other Freiburg Cerussites; it is especially well-crystalized and looks rather like more recent examples from Lower Saxony. We have no exact mine attribution but no matter the exact source this is an excellent vintage German Cerussite.