Witherite - classic USA
Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock, Hardin County
8 x 5.6 x 5.2 CM (cabinet)
Choice, old (1960 vintage) cluster of two main Witherite crystals with minor Calcite and Fluorite on the back. The larger crystal is about 6 CM across, quite large for the specie. The front, or display side, is in good condition, the back right rear edge is cleaved but still displays well. The top crystal is more complete and even though smaller is the focal point. The larger lower crystal is less complete due to cleaves but makes a nice base for the upper. This is vividly fluorescent in all wavelengths, and the crystal terminations show the classic rounded step-type structures. The prism faces have the small stair-step structures that are classic for the specie. Witherite was fairly common in the early years of mining in the Fluorspar region, but really good specimens were rare, and since they were not colorful very few were saved. These now rank as some of the very best ever found on earth. I am told there is no longer any locality in the world where any is being found, and certainly not large fine crystals like these. A very good modern classic.
Birds Creek (McFall Lake), Herschel Township, Hastings Highlands Municip
5.1 x 4.3 x 3.2 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
Well-defined, lustrous Diopside crystal up to about 2 CM in a cluster with almost no matrix, just minor Biotite. An older specimen 1960 vintage from the Ruth and Andy Palmer and, also, the William Hladysz collections. The crystals look dark green in normal lighting but with backlight they are translucent and show a bright yellow-green hue. Attractive and in fine condition, it looks similar to classic Dekalb New York specimens, but is from the Bancroft area. This is one of the best we have seen from the area.
A sparkling small cabinet specimen of Boracite in both mint-green and colorless crystals. Ex University of Delaware Mineral Museum, obtained by them from the Scott Williams collection. Along with the Boracite, the front is scattered with small Hilgardite crystals and the back is almost all Hilgardite. The Scott Williams label notes this was collected on September 1993, and this contains a new, yet to be named, specie, a white Borate mineral. We do not know for certain what that specie is or was at that time but suspect it is the new polytype Hilgardite 3Tc. From the modern classic locality of the Boulby Mine, (England) this is an undamaged and very attractive piece.
A super esthetic old Bolivian Cassiterite. Mostly all Cassiterite crystals with just minimal matrix and a few small Quartz crystals, in exceptional condition. The luster is glass-like and the crystals are fully translucent to transparent. The photos here are not backlit but with rear lighting the crystals glow a bright yellow-green to orange. The largest crystal is 4.2 CM across, which is huge for the locale, very few came close to that size and almost never with this fine form and luster. In excellent condition as seen, there are minor small edge rubs to mention but no damage. This from the Les Hitchings collection which he obtained in 1985, the era of the top finds at this amazing locality. Cassiterite of this quality has not been seen since then. This piece does look a lot like a fine Chinese Amo Mine Cassiterite in form but the larger size of the crystals and the internal color are distinctly different.
From a one time find almost 20 years ago, this is a very fine example of the best style of Chinese Hydrozincite. Our information in China gives the locality as the Muqiaomian Deposit (Guanxi, China). We think this to be correct, Mindat lists the locality but has no photos from it. A number of Chinese pieces are on Mindat with this similar morphology but all are attributed to localities in Yunnan Province. Our contacts tell us this is not correct, and it seems there is some uncertainty on the attributions posted in Mindat. As far as we know this is the correct locality for this piece, we obtained it in China in 2009 and sold it shortly after returning. No matter the exact locale, the form is very esthetic, it has well developed fingers, branches and spheres with both a matte luster and a translucent glassy zone. This is a specie we simply do not see anymore from China, even in low quality pieces. Hydrozincite is not usually an attractive mineral but this find had some very pretty specimens, this is far better than most, with no damage at all.
A bubbly gossan matrix hosts a group of lustrous purple Adamite crystals. The purple Adamites at Mina Ojuela are the rarest of colors and practically unknown from anyplace else. This specimen also has some micro crystal clusters of Lothameyerite. The Adamites are translucent to transparent and have some zoning of the color. Often called Manganoan Adamite, these crystals are sharp, well-terminated and contrast well with the matrix. A very good value for a miniature of this usually far more expensive variety of Adamite.
Superb early (2005) Chinese Cerussite from the famed Daoping Mine. In incredible condition and with great color, luster and form. The larger yellow crystals are often labeled as Chrome Cerussite and the green as Cuprian. We do not know if this is correct at this locality or for sure which elements cause these colors from this mine. No matter the chromophore, the esthetics and condition are very fine on this piece, it is unlike anything found for several years, certainly a modern classic. The largest crystal is 1.7 CM and the yellows do seem to be a later generation, the smaller, earlier crystals are the greens. Cerussite is a fragile mineral, the crystals here are well-exposed and yet are still in fine condition, something remarkable.
7.8 x 3.6 x 2.2 CM (cabinet)
A fine old Tsumeb Smithsonite with a chain of rhombs aligned on a thin blade of Dolomite. The Smithsonite is in excellent condition with chocolate brown crystals to 1.7 CM across on the outer edge resting on smaller yellow-brown crystals below. The luster is matte to silky and the crystals are well-defined.