over 70 new worldwide mineral specimens
New Finds & Old classics!
A classic from this ancient topaz mine, heliodor is occasionally found in gem crystal cavities ("pods") as well. It is actually difficult to find smaller, good heliodor of this style from the locality. Most are large and altered by solution processes in the pocket into rounded lumps at the ends - this process probably having eliminated most of the smaller crystals over time. This piece is approximately 30 grams. It has one of the sharpest terminations i have ever seen of the material! The color is a pleasing yellow golden color with not too much green, as some are. Lustre and reflections are brilliant , like glass. Joe Budd Photos.
A remarkable single, floater crystal of HUGE size. This piece is complete all around, totallypristine, and has a remarkable, interesting patina to it. It is the largest fine Russian copper crystal I know of, personally; and moreover, is a major copper crysatl on a worldwide scale as well. It is similar, in fact, only to the famous few Arizona copper twins found in the 1970s and now valued at their weight in platinum. Joe Budd Photos.
A magnificent specimen with a gemmy, intensely colored crystal poking straight up from a matrix of contrasting colors. This is one of the finest large topaz specimens, for overall aestetics and import, that we have seen; and rates highly amongst the "famous and known" pieces out there. It is pristine and complete all around save only one tiny chip on a right edge (which can be filled, but is so inconsequential I left it rather than label the piece restored for such a minor thing). The color, luster, and size of this matrix topaz all combine to make it imposing, but it is the overall unlikely combination, and the fact that there are no repairs, that make this go to the next level. Joe Budd Photos.
A truly exceptional, totally transparent gem crystal of this incredibly rare species. Crystals of this size are probably limited to sevral dozens at a guess, and few are of such quality and sharpness (most being rather opaque). This is a stunning, rare treasure from the pegmatites of Afghanistan. Joe Budd Photos.
An old specimen from the famous Tsumeb mine, this is an unusually beautiful and glassy wulfenite cluster, decorated with pale yellow-beige mimetite sprays! There are a few very minor chips only, on this 3-dimensional piece. Exceptional quality, gemminess, luster , and color - taken together, this is a fine miniature. Joe Budd Photos.
A truly elegant specimen that is , for its size range, perhaps my favorite Himmelsfurst silver I have seen. This turned up in an old European collection and came with a label dated clearly to 1844. It is of the most classic, robust style of the older pieces, as opposed to the specimens which came out of modern finds in the late 80s and into the 90s which have more frilly, bendable tips. From the collection of a well-known collector who has owned it for decades (by exchange directly to me). The specimen is pristine and complete all around, and looks "alive" for lack of a better term. It actually looks as if it is inmotion, curving elegantly no matter how you look at it. Joe Budd Photos.
An exceptionally rich and aesthetic small miniature, of this very rare phosphate. It is found , was found rather, in the phosphate pods at this Crimean Peninsular locality, along with vivianite in fossil clam shells. However, they were always rare and most anapaite crystallized here only as thing, sparse coverages. This robust, deeply-colored crystallization is very rare and was never common even in the late 1900's heyday for the locality. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Marc Weill
ex. Robert Nowakowski
This is an insanely large and beautiful anatase crystal, which for a black species just impresses most people for their sharp form and luster. Crystals of this size and stature have come out only rarely. While I am aware of a few this size and larger in private collections, they are jealously hoarded by the colelctors who risk life and limb to obtain these from the frozen mountains here, and seldom even seen at all - let alone for sale. This is a major piece that came out of a small find by two strahlers in the late 1990s, and was sold into the Marc Weill collection around 2003. It was then in the Robert Nowakowski Collection for many years. The specimen is complete all around, although has the best luster on two frontal display faces and the top termination. Still, the camera lights reflect off of it, giving it a mirror-silvery sheen in the photos when in person it is really jet black and shiny. Joe Budd Photos.
A cute pocket of rounded chrysocolla stalactitic outgrowths, coated by a transparent , thin layer of gem silica which acts as a protective and sparkly coating. The pocket is within the nodule in which it formed, so you can see the context. A rare, larger example in good shape, that probably dates to prior to the 1970s. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Al Ordway
A very large, robust, 800-gram (2 pound!) crystal from the famous finds at the "Beebe Hole Mine" as it came to be called. This crystal is sublty multicolored and is totally gemmy and transparent, and complete all around. It is in superb condition! Loren Beebe collected these in the 1970s and hoarded them until the late 1990s. No more were ever found by him here. When they were released, most crystals of this calibre went to the major local collectors in California, few getting to the broader market. This piece went into the Al Ordway collection. Joe Budd Photos. Comes with custom base
ex. Lawrence Conklin
ex Larry Conklin collection, illustrated. Joe Budd Photos.
This producing mine has produced some amazing things during its short , recent run. This is a gorgeous, very bright small cabinet piece with crystals to 1.8 cm, from the fall-2011 finds here of this highly unusual pseudomorph (replacement) : copper has completely replaced the earlier crystals of cuprite, preserving their form and making for a beautiful specimen at the same time. This piece has a surface sparkle to it, caused by a later generation of microscopic copper deposition, that is hard to capture in photos without seeming to "over-light" the shots. So , in person, it is correct in this color but is even more sparkly and lively, compared to most copper specimens. I have never seen such sharp copper replacements after cuprite in this size, from other locales. And this is one of the better large plates of this style for overall aesthetics. No more have come out since, by the way - and the mine is rapidly burning through its specimen-rich oxidation zone. Joe Budd photos.
This dramatic piece is from a special pocket found in early 2011, and to date not equaled from the mine. Many people are saying that these arsenopyrites, for luster and sharpness, rank among the world's best of species. In person, they have a pure silver color and a sparkle to them caused by minute surface detailing, like the skin of a lizard but much, much finer in scale. On this piece, the arsenopyrite is displayed dramatically upright, atop a natural pedestal of green hedenbergite. A small cluster of ilvaite pops out one side as a bonus. Pristine, and complete all around. It is one of the most elegant such specimens we have seen, and reminds me of a closed Chinese fan. These will be remembered as one of the major species' best finds of the decade, I expect. And for its size and shape, I think this piece will always be among the best in its size class. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
A sharp specimen with excellent balance, featuring a 4-cm scheelite perched on contrasting muscovite. Note the strong fluorescence of the scheelite under UV light. This specimen is from the old China stash of noted collector, Steve Smale. I exchanged it from him amongst other things, in an all-night trading game around 2008 or so, sold it, and just got it back again recently. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. William Larson
A superb, sharp, textbook grossular garnet with the choice color for this locality, perched up on a single diopside crystal. Classic and rare combo! From the Garnet Collection of William Larson's company, Pala Intl, on display in their gallery for decades. Joe Budd Photos.
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