over 70 new worldwide mineral specimens
New Finds & Old classics!
This mine produced largely during a short run in the early 2000s, some of the best large tourmaline specimens we have seen in recent years. A spectacular large, upright, gem tourmaline crystal is the highlight of this piece. It is carefully centered on a well-trimmed shard of crystallized quartz, from which it shoots up dramatically. Small , sparkly, sugar-white crystals of cleavelandite are in association, for accents. As with all such pieces from this mine, or similarly gracile tourmalines from any locale, there are a few repairs. In context, however, the repairs are both minimal and acceptable given the size of the piece. The large central crystal is nearly 10 inches tall, and just glows a vivid evergreen hue, when backlit. Even minimal backlighting is enough to bring that color out. This particular specimen was a holdback, long kept in the personal collection of two mine partners until sold to me, and not put out for sale at the time in which they were mined. It is, overall, a dramatic and imposing specimen. Joe Budd photos.
Milpillas azurite has set a new standard in what can be expected for the species, and for Mexico as well. For the first time since the great years of Tsumeb, truly world class azurites are available. It will not last. We have closely followed the production from the Milpillas mine for five years now, and it is expected that the steady trickle of good specimens will wind down over 2011 as the deposit is mined through the oxidation zone where the good stuff occurs. This large specimen is one of the larger fine pieces of this style that we have seen, and has an incredible horizon bursting with lustrous, deep azure blue crystals. When this pocket came out, in around 2007 if i recall, they were referred to as "Electric Blue," and all sold quickly. If we showed closeups, they would simply look like gem blue azurites blown out of proportion with fancy lighting, BUT this is indeed what they look like in person with any moderate lighting. This particular specimen has sharp crystals to 3 cm, with a central "spire" 6 cm tall shooting up in the middle, all nicely centered on malachite matrix. It is from one of the older finds here, among the earliest pieces we handled. Since that time, it has resided in a friend's collection - I have recently bought it back and trimmed it to a smaller, more balanced size as seen here. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Dr. Edward David
A dramatic azurite specimen with robust crystals of an intense blue color, not too dark to show its vivid hues as so many are. The piece is complete all around, and has high luster. It is a posterchild for what makes a Tsumeb azurite crystal great - size, beauty- luster, and sharpness. It is complete all around except for only a few very minor contacts or dings. The piece shows a wonderful color contrast with malachite, as the green malachite had started to replace the surface of the azurite crystal in some portions. The usual mode of replacement leaves the tips mottled on such pieces caught and frozen in the transition. This crystal cluster though, retains its perfect, sharp, azurite tips (an dthe associated color and luster, unmarked by any encrustation of the malachite). This old specimen is from the collection of Dr. Ed David. Joe Budd photos.
This specimen is a rich example of the classic, long-gone manganite crystals from this important locality (which produced best of species by any reckoning). They all came from a small, aberrant, ultra-rich vein in the 1880's. It features numerous sharp, extremely lustrous, terminated crystals to 3.6 cm all splaying out to make a dramatic frontal display face. The lustre is high and the isolation and dimensionality make this large piece unusual. There is one repair, clean, to a minor central crystal, but other than that the piece has a dozen others. Lastly, a small amount of barite matrix acts as a welcome, and unusual, accent. Comes with custom lucite display base which mounts it rather elegantly, I think. Moreover, I have seen inferior pieces at the same price recently; so all things considered, I believe it to be a relative bargain. Joe Budd photos.
An intense-blue, very color-saturated aquamarine from new finds in Vietnam. The color is EXTREME, and reminds me only of a very few Jos aquamarines I have seen in the past, quite more robust than aquas from Pakistan or Brazil. This 55-gram cluster of vertical crystals is complete all-around, 360 degrees. It is pristine and has a fancy, pyramidal termination characteristic of this pocket (from which I understand only about a dozen specimens were recovered, only a few of which were clusters like this). The exact locale is not yet able to be released, but it IS a new location distinct from the current locale which produces flat-topped aquamarines of a lighter, more typical hue. Joe Budd photos.
Large, very sharp and pointed crystals of azurite have here been pseudomorphed into malachiteexcept only for the tips, which stick out like blue mountaintops on the velvet background of the malachite. The malachite is velvety and has apleasing, dark evergreen color. All crystals are perfect and the piece is complete all around, 360-degrees. It is a very 3-dimensional cluster, overall. This particular style is not common among the past pseudomorph finds here, and really leapt out at me when I saw the piece. It was the sharpest such group of this habit in a small lot mined a few monthsa ago, which i got. While many malachite pseudos have come out, they have simply been, for the most part, small crystals or large clusters of the same kind of style (generally flattish crystals). This piece, to me , stands out from that crowd for its form, overall shape, and the blue tips. As a bonus, tiny little gem crystals of azurite decorate the bottom right periphery. Milpillas azurite has set a new standard in what can be expected for the species, and for Mexico as well. For the first time since the great years of Tsumeb, truly world class azurites are available. It will not last. We have closely followed the production from the Milpillas mine for five years now, and it is expected that the steady trickle of good specimens will wind down over 2011 as the deposit is mined through the oxidation zone where the good stuff occurs. Joe Budd photos.
An intense-blue, very color-saturated aquamarine from new finds in Vietnam. The color is EXTREME, and reminds me only of a very few Jos aquamarines I have seen in the past, quite more robust than aquas from Pakistan or Brazil. This 47-gram cluster of vertical crystals is complete all-around, 360 degrees. It is pristine and has a fancy, pyramidal termination characteristic of this pocket (from which I understand only about a dozen specimens were recovered, only a few of which were clusters like this). The exact locale is not yet able to be released, but it IS a new location distinct from the current locale which produces flat-topped aquamarines of a lighter, more typical hue. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Dr. Edward David
An unusual specimen even amongst so many we have seen from this region in the last 20 years or so. This piece is complete all around, and has really nice, castle-like, sculptural aesthetics. The color on this one is unusual, being a more robust blue than is typical for these aqua/muscovite combination pieces! It has almost a surface sheen to it. This is a bonus...and makes it stand out to my eye among a crowd of other sharp hexagonal aquamarine crystals as a more unique specimen. It was last in the well-known collection of Dr Ed David, White House Science Advisor to our President Nixon. I bought it from him. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Martin Zinn
Adamite from this mine, while once common, is today very rare in good specimens, particularly of larger sizes. This is a bizarre style and the largest such example of it that i have seen, that looks like a green caterpillar crawled into a vug in the rock and curled up to sleep. The adamite, which usually shows minute crystal faces on the surface of radial clusters, here shows as a very round, relatively smooth ball with only the slightest of raised faces making up the surface. It is elegantly nestled in the well-trimmed, gossan matrix. Although unusual in style, I find this piece to be very visually appealing and to stand out, for its odd form, in a case. Ex Martin Zinn collection (from his first collection, which was sold off in 2003). Joe Budd photos.
ex. Richard Heck
Sparkling, dramatic, freestanding light limey-green, spherical aggregates of adamite really stand out on this 3-dimensional specimen. The largest sphere is 4 cm across. This specimen allows the viewer to discern the individual crystals that make up the spheres, rare for adamite pinwheels of this size. The luster, color, and form all contrast against the matrix, combining to make this specimen a superior and beautiful adamite. As a bonus, it fluoresces an intense neon-green color. From early 1980s finds, few of this size and quality survive and come to market now. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Seaman Mineralogical Museum
An extremely SHARP cluster of unusually elongated silver crystals, from the important collections of the major Michigan museum (A.E. Seaman Museum) devoted to the old copper district here. This is quite simply on eof the most mesmerizing silver miniatures I have seen, for its unusual form and sharp crystallization culminating in those cute, pointy tips. As a bonus, the Seaman Museum label indicates the piece was exchanged out from one of their major founding collections, that of mine Photographer and collector, JT Reeder (early 1900s). Joe Budd photos.
ex. Ron Pellar
This is a very robust, 3-dimensional, sharp gold octohedron showing complex hopper faces. It is sharp as can be wished for, and perched up on a smaller side crystal. The main octohedral faces reach to 11 mm. This is an exceptional quality for the Eagle's Nest Mine, of a style of crystallized gold seen more commonly from the Mockingbird and even then quite rare. Ex. Ron Pellar thumbnail collection. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Richard Heck
This specimen has a metallic golden brightness to it that looks manmade, brighter and more metallic even than modern Peruvian material can be. It is an old specimen from the collection of the late Dr. Richard Heck. Displayed one way, there is a large twin to the left, and the piece balances standing up like a triangle. Or on its side, the large , complex chalcopyrite twin graces the bottom, and smaller crystals rise above it to form a pagoda of sharp, golden-brassy color. So bright is it, that it leaps out of a case as the most metallic mineral in the Heck collection, amongst sphalerites, pyrites, and other species. It is just vividly colorful and brilliantly lustrous. One of the highlights of this fine old Mexican mineral collection. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Harvard University
A stunning specimen of intense hot pink color, from very old workings here. Such material as this was once mined in the turn of the 1900s, and shipped off to China for carving into snuff bottles and figurines. Very seldom do we see fine crystals of this ultra-hot-pink color saturation turn up again on the market, and then only out of old collections or museum deaccessions. This is from the old A.C. Burrage collection which was famously given to Harvard after his death in 1931, thus also dating the piece to that early mining era in San Diego. Albert C. Burrage of Boston, Massachusetts, was involved in the modernization of the Chuquicamata mine in chile, in 1911. Most of his collection remains in Harvard's Musuem to this day, save only a few deaccessions over the years. The color here stands above and apart from any other pink tourmaline you may have seen from other mines, and it really just jumps out when lit in a case. This piece is not pristine, but is close to it - a few small bits of edge wear atop are, given the age, permissible i think. The bottom is very nicely polished to a high lustre, and the piece was probably displayed with the bottom side up at one time (it would not have bothered many collectors of the past to see a polished top). A true historic piece, but with modern display aesthetics, this is a classic old tourmaline from the San Diego region. The photos shown here are taken with only moderate, not strong, backlighting. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Richard Heck
A dramatic display specimen from old finds atr Naica, featuring a 4-cm-across, 3-cm-deep fluorite perched atop a pedestal of galena. The crystal is just sitting up there, freely exposed and viewable all around. it is very gemmy, and has a subtle pastel color to it casued by a clear zone around a green core in the center. This crystal, in atypical Naica fashion, is sharply cubic rather than modified by the octohedral form as is common here. And, some edges have a natural rounded look , very weird and rare, to them. One of the special fluorites , and a personal favorite for aesthetics, among many in this fine old Mexican mineral collection. Joe Budd photos.
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