Topaz on Rhyolite
Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range, Juab County
6.4 x 5.6 x 5.7 CM (cabinet)
Late Summer 2021
A perfect, gem clear sherry colored Topaz crystal perched on a hard Rhyolite matrix. This classic locality is famed for Topaz and this is an especially choice piece with unusual perfection and no fading to the rich color. Even under 20x magnification this is undamaged. This does not have dark inclusions or interior cleaving lines inside as most do, it is eye-clean gem. This zone continues to produce a few nice pieces each year to dedicated diggers but the quality of this piece is far beyond most found. Most crystals of this size or larger are far less clear or even opaque.
A super well-composed specimen with two main Azurite crystals one partly and one fully replaced by Malachite. Touissit is famed for its great Azurites the Malachite replacements are not as often seen. This piece with the largest crystal 3.1 CM tall dominating the matrix looks fine from all sides. No damage and very good contrast to the matrix. The largest crystal has an unaltered termination of lustrous blue Azurite, while the larger prism faces are a velvety chatoyant green Malachite. A few sharp Dolomite crystals also add contrast. At a high magnification a little Brochantite is seen along with some primary Malachite crystals, so this is certainly a complex miniature. The last operations closed in 2002 here, but the most important shafts which were the best specimen sources closed earlier. In a short period, this locality gained worldwide fame as one of the best sources of exceptional Lead and Copper minerals. These are prized today.
Minerva Mine #1, Rosiclare Level, Cave in Rock
3.2 x 2.9 x 1.8 CM (thumbnail)
Late Summer 2021
Textbook perfect form and top quality Witherite crystal on matrix from the Minerva Mine. It is not often we see a super Witherite in thumbnail size, this is in perfect condition, no damage and looks fine from any angle. The form of this piece looks much like a classic English Witherite but it is from Illinois where this is a quite rare habit. There were just two important localities for fine Witherites worldwide, Cumbria in the UK and the Minerva Mine in the USA. Both locales are now classics and neither produces anything today. This piece is also intensely fluorescent.
The "grape" forms of these Indonesian Amethysts are well-known and still can be found on the mineral market. This top vivid color and bright sparkling luster is much less common. This is a complete floater piece with excellent form, definition and deep grape color, selected with care. These are still an excellent value. We understand the source is now mostly just producing dull or light color materials.
Cerussite - V twins with cat's-eye
Touissit, Touissit-Bou Beker Dist., Jerada Province
3.2 x 2.5 1.7 CM (thumbnail)
Late Summer 2021
A sharp and lustrous pair of "V" twins are conjoined along one edge. A super large thumbnail from the great mines at Touissit. The crystals are gemmy, transparent, and have the silky chatoyant "cat's-eye" inclusions that are so distinctive for these from Touissit. This is the quality needed to make the rare faceted or cabbed cats-eye gems, but the fine condition of the crystals would make that a real shame to cut. The color ranges from cognac to almost colorless depending on the light angle striking the crystals. Overall in fine condition from most every angle, this is incredible for such a delicate and fragile mineral. Close inspection shows ultra tiny edge roughness and small contacts but as seen the the condition is very clean. This specimen dates to the "golden age" of Touissit mining in the late 1970's era. This incredible locality is closed forever and no more of these will be found.
Copper - spinel twin crystals
Dzhezkazgan Mining District
7.5 x 1 x .6 CM (cabinet)
Late Summer 2021
Elongated spinel twin crystals of copper in a chain form are topped with a tiny "tree" of copper wire crystals. Super esthetic and in perfect condition from the amazing find about 12 years ago in Kazakhstan, this is a textbook perfect example. The Copper has a dark red patina on one side and a more metallic on the other. The red color may be the result of Cuprite coatings and alterations on those faces. An elegant and delicate form, this is very impressive in person and the little tree really makes this remarkable.
Some masses of native copper mixed with gem clear Calcite crystals, most of which are richly included. A complex specimen on an amygdaloidal basalt matrix having many cavities filled with micro crystals. These vugs hold many Epidote crystal clusters most being on contrasting salmon colored crystals of Microcline. Good looking by naked eye but really amazing with magnification, this has a good mixture of species and is classic upper Michigan material. Unfortunately we have no mine attribution but this looks like a perfect match to the famed Quincy Mine.
A nearly pure bright yellow color Fluorite with a tiny faint zone of light blue on some edges. This is an old piece with a tattered label dated 1950. The color and translucency is excellent, there are some edges that are slightly rough, the back and one side are the point of removal. The display side of the two main cubes is in nice condition. There is one round "Barite hole" on a face that adds a nice accent. Close exam of the wider faces shows many geometric growth structures and a little stepping, the luster is wet looking.