A pair of gemmy crystals with good cognac color jut out from the matrix. A classic Mexican habit for Topaz, this is the desired type from the famed Tepetate in San Luis Potosi. An excellent thumbnail that displays super well and is still affordable. Vintage 1970-80 era. These were common and affordable at one time, now we never see new pieces but many older collections still hold some nice ones.
Elbaite - blue-green gem crystal
Barra do Salinas Mining District, Coronel Murta
3.1 x .8 x.7 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A single very clear gem Tourmaline crystal with a color that is a bit more dark blue than green in most light. The termination is complete with the distinctive etched steps of good Barra do Salinas tips. Bright luster and glows well with backlighting. The costs of any blue Elbaite has gotten very high recently, this is a much more down to earth price and very good value.
A fine, glassy transparent rhomb of Rhodochrosite with great provenance. From the famed Wallace Gould Levison Collection obtained prior to 1897, from mineral dealer AN Fuller of Lawrence, Kansas. The Fuller Label is included. The locality on that label is only Lake County, Colorado. Several Colorado collectors agree that this is typical and certainly from the John Reed Mine which fits the form, color, associations and vintage for this piece. We are fairly confident this is correct but with such attributions going back over 125 years there is a possibility of error. A tiny bit of adhering sulphide is noted, probably altered Pyrite. The rhomb has both natural crystal faces and some cleavage areas. Unusually bright color this has a rich intense red not known from many places. A choice vintage Colorado specimen.
Unusually sharp, lustrous (for Columbite) and perfectly terminated, this is a choice single crystal of the specie. Ex University of Delaware Museum, the condition is outstanding especially given the fragility of Columbite. A heavy piece (just over 74 grams despite the small size), a textbook perfect example from the Brazilian pegmatites of Rio Doce.
Unusual and attractive specimen with a look that is very unusual for Colorado! The doubly terminated Calcite (twinned) is nicely perched on contrasting Malachite. With magnification it can be seen that the Malachite is both on and in smaller Calcite crystals and has a silky texture. In very good condition as seen, I have only ever seen one other example from this locale, and this piece is larger and far more well-developed. It seems these were mostly found long ago and a few more collected in 1990. None since and the mine is fully defunct.
Very fine light yellow-green crystals of Adamite arranged in the "pinwheel" type of radiating spray. A choice miniature in excellent undamaged condition from the classic finds about 20 years ago at Mina Ojuela. Good Mexican Adamites were once rather plentiful but this quality and form were never common. These are now quite hard to find and this is an especially elegant and esthetic piece. The radiating sprays exceed 2 CM across, these contrast with the gossan matrix. Displays well from most any angle, and the matrix is not the ultra fragile, crumbly type.
Dioptase on Calcite
4.7 x 2 x 1.7 CM (miniature)
Early summer 2023
Sharp gem clear crystals of bright Green Dioptase on contrasting Calcite. A Tsumeb classic, in fine undamaged condition and with well-isolated crystals. Tsumeb produced many great Dioptase but the most desired are those on the white Calcite like this. The vivid green with glassy luster stand out well. Small but impressive and relatively affordable. This is far more pretty in person.
Native Mercury - German classic
Moschellandsberg, Nordpfalzer, Donnersberg District
2.7 x 1.7 x 1.2 CM (thumbnail)
Early summer 2023
A super rich specimen of Mercury in a cluster of globules on matrix. The Mercury is trapped in vugs and held by surface tension. The size of the Mercury is remarkable, unlike the tiny balls usually seen this can be seen by naked eye even quite far away. From the very ancient mines of Landsberg (Bavaria, Germany) that began in 1440 and worked until 1942, This is the most Mercury I have seen on a single specimen. The matrix seems to be a mixture of massive Cinnabar and or Metacinnabar. Very tiny micro-crystals of Calomel are noted and in a very tiny vug what seems to be Moschellandsbergite. The main attraction though is a series of globs of silvery Mercury. A fine vintage specimen and a excellent native metal piece.