A small cabinet Legrandite with great color contrast and many gemmy crystals. The red gossan matrix has a main open vug that is filled with bright yellow to orange crystals of Legrandite sitting on a light green druse of copper rich Austinite. Close exam with good magnification finds some tiny Kottigite, Adamite and other micro crystals as well. The main interest however is the Legrandite. The largest crystal sprays (which reach 2 CM) are pocket bound and so are not as well-defined, however the smaller crystals are impressively complete and perfect, many are free standing, sharply terminated, lustrous and transparent. Good Legrandites from Mina Ojuela are highly regarded, they are by far the best in the world and have only been found a few times in small numbers. This one is from the Benny Fenn find so is an early example and a good value.
Galenobismutite on Quartz
Yaogangxian Mine, Yizhang County, Chenzhou Pref.
6.4 x 5 x 3.9 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
A very fine rarity from Yaoganxian, this is a rich, significant and esthetic Galenobismutite. It is the most attractive specimen of the specie that I have seen. Ex Shields Flynn collection, obtained from Bert Ottens some years ago who confirmed the specie, this is superb from this famous classic location. This visually looks much like a fine Boulangerite and would be an excellent specimen of that but the analysis shows this to be much more rare. It seems that there may be other specimens labeled as Boulangerite that are Galenobismutite. The matrix is a cluster of clear Quartz crystals showing two generations. The metallic needle crystals are in large masses on several faces of the specimen and are also included inside the largest, earlier Quartz prisms. In excellent condition. Mindat lists Galenobismutite from Yaogangxian but there is not yet a single photo from there.
Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Municipio de Santa Cruz
7.1 x 5.1 x 3..4 CM (cabinet)
Sharp, highly lustrous Azurite crystals in a cluster on a contrasting reddish matrix. An early find Azurite specimen at Milpillas that is rather different in habit from later material. In excellent condition, clean and with bright "electric" blue crystals that are up to 1.6 CM and translucent to transparent. This mine is certainly a modern classic locality, and is now closed. During the short working life of the mine it became the world's greatest source of fine Azurites. The many diverse styles, habits and forms continue to make Millpillas a highly collectible locality. This is both a pretty, choice piece and a rather different esthetic. Excellent value.
Clinochlore is not often seen as a display quality specie, it is usually a minor associate or coating of other minerals. Here the Clinochlore crystals are sizable, well-defined and lustrous. The prismatic and sheaf-like crystals are unlike the more normal flat micaceous forms. The dark green crystals contrast well with the transparent to translucent white Adularia. Some micro species are noted in spaces between large crystals, most noticeable are gemmy Xenotime-Y with a yellow to orange color. A few spots of bright red Rutile crystals are also seen with magnification. Ex. Eric Asselborn collection, (France), this is a superb older Alpine specimen and exceptional for the specie, locality and habit.
A large crystalline mass of Galena is host to several cavities filled with brassy Millerite needles. A fine old German specimen from the Pfaffenberg Mine which is best known as a classic source of Galena, and rarely of Millerite. A druse of Quartz adds some contrast and sparkle as well, but the real attraction is the nests of radiating Millerites on several faces of the matrix. This mine was operated for Iron and was a major operation by the mid 1800's, though mining in the zone can be traced as far back as 1400. This was operated until 1962, the Millerites from here are uncommon on the market and are German classics.
Very large and welL-defined cluster of Sturmanite crystals with a patina that in some light shows a iridescent color play. Not long ago Sturmanite was a very rare mineral and such huge crystals were unheard of. The great finds from South Africa changed that, but this size and level of quality is still very uncommon. Very impressive in person and now very hard to get.
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.
Fluorite on Celestite
White Rock Quarry, Clay Center, Ottawa County
3 x 2.4 x 1.4 CM (thumbnail)
Killer thumbnail (or toenail) of of a single sharp zoned Fluorite esthetically perched on a Celestite crystal. Classic association from the Clay center area (Ohio, USA), this one from the famed White Rock Quarry. Very sharp edged and with no damage, what may look like damage in the photos is mostly internal inclusions. The Fluorite crystal is a flattened cube and also fluorescent. The zoning is subtle in person, best seen when viewed straight on, but it is well-developed and the faces are very glassy in person.