over 70 new worldwide mineral specimens
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This specimen is an elegant, large crystal of the rare species hambergite. It actually splays out and broadens towards the top, ending with a fat, superb termination. The lower back edge may seem jagged at first glance, but is all terminated ; and in person this looks like a curve and draws the eye up to the termination, making the piece look more elegant than blocky. This is a freak crystal, certainly among the larger examples of its species. The steeply pointed termination here is distinct from most Pakistani, California, or Madagascan hambergite I have seen (and those all of smaller sizes). Hambergite is fairly light in weight. This has a mass of 225 grams, a lot less than you would expect for the size. This specimen came out of a major private collection in Russia in the 1990s, and has since been in another major private collection. Information given on sale. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Ken Roberts
While cavansite is common enough, truly great, top-top-percentile specimens that stand out to my eyes are actually very uncommon. Most cavansite is more or less the same style, in variations. This piece, though, has a gorgeous cluster of the richest, sparkliest blue cavansite you could ask for, just sitting perched atop an elegant mound of stilbite. It is perfect and pristine, complete all around - both the cavansite cluster itself, and the matrix knoll. It GLOWS with sparkle and has the mos tintense color saturation - again, hard to convey both in a photo at full intensity. Lastly, the cavansite is framed by two large stilbites, among the larger stilbite blades I have seen with any cavansite, ever. I know it is hard to gauge such subltleties of quality in 2-dimensional photos, but this really IS better than the rest in a measurable and notable sense to the trained eye that has glazed over from seeing so many thousands of cavansites over the years. Ken Roberts has always been known for his exceptional aesthetic taste in specimens, and I had seen this in his collection for years. When he broke up the remainder of the collection at Tucson 2012, this was one I had to go after. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Frank Imbriacco
This is NOT just a normal, average quality piece from the locality. A truly elegant cluster with a main tourmaline of the classic Paprok style, but with a more elegant look to the piece than you usually see in matrix specimens of this size. It has a nice balance with a small bit of matrix, and accent crystals. It has a wonderful, bright red cap. It is pristine and complete all around. In person, even more colorful to my eye in room lighting (fluorescent) , than under the standard sunlight halogens we use for photography. Joe Budd Photos. From the longtime Collection of Frank Imbriacco, recently dispersed.
A sharp, pristine, complete-all-around crystal with an unusually intense pastel green color sitting atop an almost achroite (colorless) stalk. The top half is particularly transparent and gemmy. A special color , combined with unusually good color saturation, makes this piece distinctly Afghani in style but better than most similar crystals from there. This is from the same pocket as the above specimen, although twice the mass and thickness, so less transparent to the camera's eye although equally transparent to the human eye, in person. 89 grams. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Ken Roberts
A stunning bournonite that is simply one of the "prettiest" examples I have seen. There are bigger, fatter, but few as sparkling and bright as this, with its contrasting white quartz association. The crystal is 4.25 cm tall, and completely temrinated. The termination is lustrous and as mirror bright as the body of the crystal. Slight crackling is present, as in many large examples of Chinese bournonite, but the cracks do not go through, and are not very thick. The close embrace of the quartz matrix preserved the crystal , in fact, when otherwise it would have fallen off and fallen apart (and hence, there are few good matrix bournonites relative to loose crystals found here). Overall just a bright and lively specimen that is just WAY beyond the normal quality for here. It was hand-selected in China by travelling dealer Ken Roberts, years ago when the miners were robbing the pillars to mine more bournonite in an old level of the mine (which led to a mine collapse and reported deaths in the early 2000's, sadly). It has since been in his personal collection of choice, generally sparkling and beautiful, Chinese miniatures and small cabinet pieces. Superb - hard to beat! Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Herb Obodda
A sharp, SUPERB crystal, with really top color and luster for this normally rock-forming material, from the classic ancient locality for Lapiz Lazuli. This was the "stone of kings" since before Biblical times. This is a sharp, freestanding crystal way beyond the normal quality: the crystal is 3.5 cm tall and almost as sharp as these ever get. Also, unlike some, I can assure you that this is not one with pale color that has been buffed to sharpness and then rubbed with blue "cement," of glue and powdered Lapis...a constant danger for the collector to be aware of when shopping for these specimens. Joe Budd Photos. Herb Obodda Collection
ex. Matthew Webb
A very color-saturated intense green and pink tourmaline from finds of 2010. The luster on this is fabulous, and the termination is super glassy, sharp, and well formed with a bit of an unusual lengthening and broadening at the top compared to the normal , more pointed and equant style from here. The major crystal is nicely accented by small , gemmy sidecar crystals. They are not very big, but their presence adds a lot of visual impact and sets off the big crystal in the center. The top termination looks like a fancy skyscraper tip, it is so sharp. Matthew Webb collection. 217 grams. Joe Budd Photos.
This is a really pretty piece with seemingly fractal patterns of complexity at the edges, and i love how small gemmy quartz on edges frames and accents the crystal. It is quite unusual in appearance in this regard, with the thin drapery of white Quartzcrystals hanging down the backside. I cannot say as I have ever seen another one like it. Most Brazilian sphenes have no lustre, but this one has glassy lustre. It is vertical and dramatic, as it is 8 cm tall. Having had this twice now over the last 20 years, I still find it a unique specimen. Joe Budd Photos.
This is a VERY unusual specimen with a gorrgeous, twinned, very limey-green crystal floating on matrix. Moreover, as a bonus and a rarity, it has an associated white apatite crystal. It is aesthetic and is a very , very rare example of a good sphene matrix; let alone it is even more crazy rare to have a sideways-displayed twin showing full twin plane just right where you want to see it as a viewer AND still show 2 freestanding terminations! Joe Budd Photos.
A sharp copper cluster that literally stands on its own two feet�displaying great horizontally and standing on its own, balanced on the points as shown. However, it ALSO looks incredible displayed upright, vertically - with either end equally fine as bottom or top. The piece is complete all around, though contacted and naturally flat in back, rather than as robustly crystallized as on the front face. The patina is superb, and makes the clean lines and shapes all the more sharply defined by its subtle coloration.The largest crystal is 5.5 cm , doubly terminated. Even the smaller crystals in the cluster are outstanding and sharp. This piece came from an old collection we got into, and probably dates to the 1800's heyday of these mines. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. George Elling
These calcites from Egremont, from England's historic iron district, still set the standard for luster and gemminess over 100 years later. They are brilliantly gemmy - though in photos they look more white than clear. Slight red color at the tips is due to an internal dusting of minute hematite specks. This is a classic "pincushion style" calcite cluster from this most classic of all calcite locales. This piece dates to the late 1800s by style and form; but also can be traced more precisely to prominent importer of British classics George English, in the years 1893-1898 by the address upon the label (see Mineralogical Record's enormously useful label archives to see how such detail can be obtained: http://www.minrec.org/labels.asp?page=3&colid=319). Pieces of this size, and in such good condition after 120-150 years out of the ground, are few and far between. This is a treasure, and sparkles like a jewel in person. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. California Institute of Technology
Witherite from this locality , seldom seen in this quality today, is considered by most to set the standard for the species for beauty. This piece has a complete-all-around, gorgeous witherite cluster situated on a transparent, sharp fluorite crystal. It is a rare combination piece with balance and aesthetics both. The color is also exceptional. From the Cal Tech collections, by authorised exchange to a private collector a few years ago, this is a major piece in its size range, for what it is. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Dennis Mullane
A very old Leadville cerussite, from the Mullane collection (mostly acquired in the 1940s-1970s). I have seen smaller examples for sale every now and then, but this is a large, dramatic cluster of jackstraw crystals that is very much beyond the norm, to have survived all this time. It is a dramatic display piece for the US or lead minerals collector. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Les and Paula Presmyk
Rarely do you see a loop-de-looped stalactite like this, that has turned back in on itself. Elegant and attractive for its slight blush of green color (due to copper runoff in the mines), this is a really interesting piece, visually. Complete all around. from the Arizona collection of Les and Paula Presmyk. Joe Budd Photos.
Incredibly intense green crystals to just over an inch, highlight this cabinet-sized dioptase. It is one of the most flashy, "electric"-colored examples of the species we have seen, perhaps due to some thin secondary growth that causes light to reflect a little different off the surface of the crystals. Normally material from this locality is very deep green, just without this super high luster effect. Although there is some peripheral damage, the display core of the piece is both intact and impressive. Lastly, the MAJOR CRYSTAL IS JUST A HAIR UNDER 3 CM ACROSS...HUGE FOR THE SPECIES! Joe Budd Photos.
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