Fluorite - vivid red Alpine
Pointe Kurtz, Mt Blanc region, Chamonix, Benneville,
5.1 x 4.7 x 1.9 CM (miniature)
Early summer 2023
A rare and super impressive dark raspberry-red Fluorite from the high Alps. This rich color is incredibly rare and this is a fine example that looks much like a Rhodochrosite from a distance. This piece has minimal Quartz matrix and is mostly all Fluorite, it is fully translucent and will glow a deep red-pink with backlighting. These photos are not backlit so they show typical display conditions for this piece. These octahedral crystals are slightly frosted and have a wet look. These are mostly over 1 CM across in a tightly clustered grouping. From the find at Pointe Kurtz above Chamonix (French Alps), very few had this deep color, most were a typical pale pink. In very good condition, even though there are some small typical rough spots as usual in these clefts. As seen in the photos this is minor and not distracting. Overall an excellent display worthy specimen. The Pointe Kurtz is near the summit of Aguille Rouge in the Mt Blanc zone with an elevation of 3680 meters though the Fluorite was found a bit below that height. Collecting in this region is incredibly technical and requires impressive dedication as well as excellent mountaineering skills. Such specimens are the rare rewards.
Quartz on Barite (Sugar Bowl pocket)
Murray mine, Sugarbowl pocket, Independance Mts. District, Elko Co.
3.6 x 3.1 x 1.9 CM (miniature)
Early summer 2023
Bright and sparkling Quartz crystals have sugar-coated the front sides of Barite crystals. A distinctive find this was called the Sugar Bowl pocket. It was discovered almost 20 years ago, deep in the Murray Mine of the Elko gold mining region. As far as we know there was nothing else like these specimens ever found anyplace else in the USA. These are now only available from older collections. The front of the specimen is perfect, there are some side rub points and the back is the area of attachment. Pretty and bright.
Topaz - classic German gems
Schneckenstein cliff, (Konigskrone Mine) Kielberg Mt.Klinginthal, Vogtla
8.8 x 6.5 x 4 CM (cabinet)
Early summer 2023
A superb specimen from this ancient locality, ex Paul Fitte collection. The Schnechenstein Topaz have been prized for centuries and mined starting in 1727, shortly after it was taken over by Augustus the Strong and the site was renamed Konigskrone (Kings Crown). The best Topaz were found in the next two decades and some minor production up until 1796. The finest yellow gem crystals have been prized in collections worldwide ever since. These have also been studied and described by many of the early mineralogists, they are quintessential classics. The area has been completely closed since 1938, any large and fine specimen like this is very old and very rare in such quality. The display face is covered with transparent sharp Topaz crystals most of which are a good yellow, a few are colorless, nestled in Quartz crystals. The largest Topaz is 2 CM, big for the locality. More unusual is the many terminated gem crystals on the matrix, most specimens only have two or so. Overall in fine condition this is the very best example we have had from this famed place.
Leadhillite - USA classic
Beer Cellar Mine, Newton County, Granby
3.6 x 3.1 x 2.5 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
Early summer 2023
A very rare classic example of this uncommon mineral from the long gone Beer Cellar Mine. Nicely crystalized with several habits showing but mostly the flat hexagonal type protected in a vug along with tiny Hemimorphite blades. Leadhillite is only known from a small number of localities worldwide, one of the most legendary finds was this very small one in 1895. This was also the last time the mineral was found in this entire region. From an old French collection, this was probably one of the few specimens that were collected by AE Foote and sold in his French shop at that time. This specimen is certainly not pretty (except to lovers of rare Lead minerals) and is not the coveted blue green color. It is also not over 20,000 USD (as have been the last ones in this size to be auctioned). These crystals are a good pearly white, mostly about 3-4 MM but one is about 1 CM across. Two faces of this cherty Dolomite matrix host the Leadhillites with the largest zone being 2.8 CM across. While not conventionally pretty this is a real holy grail for Tri-state and Lead secondary collectors. Such classics are almost never available and always greatly prized.
Stacked and clustered Calcite crystals with triangular cross sections and triangular faces. In excellent condition as seen only some bruising to note on outside edge and backside contact. The color is a salmon pink to orange hue. From a small quarry in Guiyang the specimen has a second generation of tiny Calcite crystals on the lower faces of the main crystals.
Hanson Aggregates Midwest Inc., Silica, Sylvania Twnship, Lucas County
4.5 x 3.6 x 2.8 CM (miniature)
Blue Celestite (Celestine) on matrix in an aesthetic arrangement. The condition is excellent, this from the famed Finley Arch region where this association on Dolomite is especially classic. In excellent condition and with gemmy transparency, this is a choice miniature of the specie from a little known quarry.
Classic Illinois Fluorite with no matrix, mostly a cluster of sharp yellow cubes on massive Fluorite. The crystals are very slightly zoned with thin outer edge lines that are quite subtle. In very good condition overall, sharp edges, corners and good transparency. The color is mostly yellow but with a hint of orange in person. The larger crystals are over 2 CM on edge, and the luster is quite glassy. Specimens of this quality have become quite hard to get at reasonable prices if at all.
Pyromorphite - classic British
Roughtongill Mine, Caldbeck Fells
4.8 x 3.8 x 3.7 CM (miniature)
From the Roughtongill Mine this is nearly all Pyromorphite with almost no matrix. A solid crystal mass with two generations the larger crystals are more green, the smaller more yellow. Ex Les Hitchings collection, obtained in 1974 during a collecting trip to the mine with Richard Barstow. A choice piece with crystals to 1.3 CM and in very good condition. The tiny bit of matrix is crystallized Quartz so the specimen is quite heavy and sturdy.