A somewhat sharp complete single cube of the rare earth specie Lueshite from the type locality. This Sodium-Niobium mineral is not often available, the metallic black to silvery color is typical of crystals from here, and the size is above average. This crystal has rough spots on some edges as seen but is overall in good shape, a nice crystal of this rare specie.
Shattuckite balls on Dioptase
Onderra Mine, Opuwo Rural
3.8 x 3.4 x 2.8 CM (miniature)
New Year 22
Really different and super attractive. Balls of blue Shattuckite sitting on crystals of bright green Dioptase. The color and contrast are very fine, this is in superb condition. We have handled a few nice Shattuckite balls in the past year but they are always on Malachite, never like this on lustrous Dioptase. This was the only specimen we saw of this quality and condition. It is much more vivid in person too, a very unusual and striking piece that displays well from most any angle. From a recent find at the Onderra Mine (Namibia), we had hoped there would be more but it seems this was a one time find.
An uncommon and attractive Yaogangxian specimen. Lustrous iridescent Chalcopyrite covers most of a stack of flat hexagonal crystals of Pyrrhotite. Only on a few edges are the original golden metallic Pyrrhotite crystals visible. In excellent condition, what may look like bruising on some edges is actually perfect and sharp. The multicolor patina on the Chalcopyrite is bright and sparkling which is both esthetic and very different for this famed locality. Individual Pyrrhotite hexagons are up to 5 CM across yet are unusually thin at just 2-3 mm on average. A choice Chinese Sulfide!
Sulphur - large hoppered crystals
El Desierto Mine, San Pablo de Napa, Daniel Campos Province
6.4 x 3.2 x 2.4 CM (cabinet)
New Year 22
Very pure Sulphur in textbook perfect crystals showing aligned prism forms and hoppered faces. Excellent bright yellow color and in undamaged condition, a modern classic. The El Desierto Mine is a rather small operation located on the flanks of a volcano at very high elevation. It has not been worked for a few years and when we visited the locality some time ago it was really inhospitable to say the least. However the best Sulphur specimens in recent decades have come from here. Better pieces like this have vivid canary yellow color, very bright luster and are rather transparent. The color is much brighter than most specimens of the other classic localities (Sicily and Russia) and there is no hint of Petroleum inclusions that are common elsewhere. These large crystals show very clear epitaxial stacking and exceed 5 CM. Choice for the locale and for the specie. Far better than the usual quality from this unusual place.
Elbaite with Orthoclase and Quartz
Beni Bouzra, Chefchaouen Province
Tanger-Tetouan-Al Haceima Region,
4.4 x 4.1 x 2.6 CM (miniature)
New Year 22
From the newest finds in Morocco, this is a superb red (Rubellite) Tourmaline with top color, luster and great esthetics. The first finds of Moroccan Elbaites made huge news a few years ago. Recently a new series of pockets was found with a much richer red color and impressive form. This miniature has a small, clean repair that is essentially invisible, it was professionally done. Nearly every piece needed some repairs in this find as the pockets were shattered long before the discovery. The habit, associations and style is very much like a classic Elba Tourmaline but the color is more intense. A killer from almost any angle.
A "purple cap" Tourmaline crystal set on contrasting white Cleavelandite. In fine condition, the termination is perfect and clear while the body of the crystal is dark and opaque. The Elbaite is 4 CM tall and the luster is very bright. Depending on the lighting used to display the piece the cap can look almost colorless or has a slight blue hue though in most settings the cap is a light violet. These are modern classics and as far as I know unique to this locality.
Chalcocite - iridescent crystals
Flambeau Mine, Ladysmith, Rusk County
5.3 x 3.8 x 2.8 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
New Year 22
A cluster of bright and well-defined crystals with rich patina. Choice modern classic from the Flambeau Mine, these crystals reach to over 3 CM and are complexly intergrown. There have only been two great finds of Chalcocite crystals in the USA, the old Bristol Copper mine in the 1840-50 era and the Flambeau in the mid 1990's. Both locations are finished and will never produce again. The hexagonal disk-like habits on this are twinned crystals which are in excellent condition. Close exam finds only a very small bruise (3mm) and a contact neither of which is easy to spot or distracting. Several smaller crystals seem to be untwinned, there is no matrix. Pure Chalcocite with red, blue and purple hues showing well. This does not have any of the unstable pyrite that sometimes causes decomposition, this is far better than 99.9% of this famed find. Displays well from most any angle.
A very unusual Meteorite that is unlike any we have seen before. This is a Pallasite with many clustered Olivene blobs with minimal amounts of rusted iron "cement" which is magnetic. This makes this look like a conglomerate but close exam shows the Olivene and Iron are highly weathered but there are a few still bright spots. The Olivene inside the crusts is gemmy, from a yellow-orange color to some areas that are almost colorless. The Sericho fall produced some large and important pallasites, this one is unusual as there is much less Iron and a very high percentage of Olivene. Very different look that at first does not look like any typical meteorite! 25 Grams