over 70 new worldwide mineral specimens
New Finds & Old classics!
Aesthetically perched on a gray-green schist, this dramatic, textbook-sharp almandine garnet crystal displays perfect dodecahedral form. Although opaque, these dark reddish-brown crystals exhibit surface coloration of a wine-red hue. This is a classic and important locality for garnet dating back hundreds of years! Since they have to be physically picked out of the surrounding matrix, the surfaces are usually dull and are, almost always, given a very slight buffing to imrpove the luster. This one surely was lightly rubbed, again as nearly all are; but here it was only very minimally done as opposed to the outright polishing we have sometimes seen. Nature of the beast...to get them out, and make them pretty, they just need a little help afterwards. The crystal is freestanding on its pedestal of matrix, and measures approx 6.5 cm across at widest tip-to-tip measurement. Joe Budd Photos.
A hot pink plate of sharp, rhombohedral smithsonite crystals. These crystals have a richer, more saturated pink color than one usually sees in this style of smithsonite from Tsumeb, which tends to be either darker or less colorful. This is a large and showy piece, as well. Probably collected in the 1970s to early 1980s, this was in the Tsumeb collection of noted dealer Rob Smith. Comes with custom lucite display base. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
A complete floater, all gemmy and bright, from famous old finds here of the early 1980s. Formerly in the collection of Dr. Steve Smale, this is a gorgeous, display-quality small cabinet piece that can be shown from a number of angles. 170 grams. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
This was one of two of Steve Smale's cabinet sized rose quartzes, which he bought out of a collection in Brazil in 1990 (though it was from the older finds, documented in Bancroft's Gem & Crystal Treasures Book, chapter 47 -page 222); and then he kept it for nearly 20 years. Nothing of such quality as that original find for sheer intensity in these arcing arrays of colorful crystals, has come out since that era, not in any size like this. Steve used to be a practitioner of cibachrome photography and I have his original hand-made 20-inch cibachrome print of the piece. Steve was THE CONSUMMATE collector of Brazilian fine gem crystals for a high standard of taste, and spent 50 years building one of the best collections of them ever put together in the US. He started breaking it up and trading before his move, a few years ago, to teach in Hong Kong (at age 80! ). I got this out of him ONLY as part of a large trade for the famous English bournonite in the Ikons book, in 2008. It is a rarified level of quality in Rose Quartz, which is actually more rare than one would think. The color is intense and hot pink, with excellent "sparkle." It is a specimen with an overall appearance that has long met the tastes of one of the strictest and most persnickety of collectors, and I believe it is worthy of any fine collection. Joe Budd Photo.
Here we have a highly unusual PINK tanzanite, which is the rarest natural color for this deposit, it seems. The crystal is a total gem! It is sharp , pristine, and complete all around. It is 11.9 carats in weight. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Arthur Montgomery
I have seldom seen these old specimens for sale, and then usually as simple thumbnails or larger sized reference specimens of little quality. This piece, however, has a valid old label from the great field collector Arthur Montgomery, who was known by his letters to have collected here himself in the early 1900s. This large , display-quality specimen, with crystals to 1 cm, is good on its own merits, worthy of any Arizona or wulfenite collection. I love the extra provenance as a bonus! Joe Budd Photos.
Complete all around and perfect - This is a vibrant GEM tanzanite crystal of total clarity and has over 80% by volume of cutting-grade , gem rough content. The luster is glassy and the surface is smooth and very appealing. This is a top quality tanzanite thumbnail for the discerning collector, selected quite literally from a parcel of material destined to be cut. It is worth more than this price, I am sure, in retail value of cut stones - but would be a tragedy to facet into bits. Joe Budd Photos. Weight is 37.8 carats.
From a strange pocket of October 2011, this showed up at the Munich show. It is a strong yellow colored zoite (still a "tanzanite" from this locality) with a small core of intense blue tanzanite at its base. The crystal is HOLLOW. It clearly grew around and covering something else, perhaps an anhydrite or calcite, that then dissolved away and left the tube running straight through to the termination. From the front, you do not see the tube, as the temrination is nicely steep and bevelled. from above, or below, though, you can look directly through the crystal as if it was a tube. A highly unusual specimen, and aesthetic in its own right as a yellow tanzanite with strong color. 23 grams (or just under 100 carats) in mass. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Al Ordway
A classic Russian sapphire specimen of this very unusual roseate habit, which looks like a flower. We see many partial examples, or pieces, but few so complete as this one from here. It has, in person , more of a robust blue color in fluorescent lights. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Sandor Fuss
From the early 1980s, 1980-1982, a flood of pyromorphite flowed out of this now classic, defunct locality. Most was yellow in color, or some off-shade related. In this find, relatively few were of the arsenian-rich, fiery-orange color. In the mid-1990s, reworking here found many pockets where the orange variety was found, but in very different crystal habit, to this ; and the two finds are readily distinguishable. This piece exemplifies the best qualities of that earlier find, with intense luster and satured orange-red , fiery color. The brightness is hard to convey in photos, as it really relies on the reflections of light, when seen in person, from so many subtle little curves and crevasses in the crystal clusters here. Although at first glance the surface here looks "rounded" , it is instead composed of hundreds of discretely crystallized crystal clusters , intergrown together in a rich carpet over rolling matrix. This specimen was in the Sandor Fuss collection in the 1990s, before disappearing for awhile (he was known for his collection of fine small cabinet and cabinet sized specimens, now sold off). It comes with a custom lucite display base. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Consie & Dalton Prince
This is a fancy hot pink color, seldom seen in large specimens from this mine in the modern finds (late 90s) and more characteristic of old material from the 1970s. This one in fact was such an older piece, trimmed down from a larger specimen with edge issues, found in the Consie Prince dealer stock datign to that time. It is a large specimen with a rolling carpet of the prettiest, most sparkly and lustrous, pink colored smithsonite from here that you can ask for. The display face is clean and pristine now, and it is complete except for some minimal edge contacts. Joe Budd Photos.
A brilliantly colored, lustrous smithsonite from famous finds here brought out by Benny Fenn in the late 1990s. This was one I picked from a full table of such specimens the month after they came out of the ground. I loved it for its robust 3-dimensional shape and the intense coloration, a saturated turquoise-blue color. In sad fact, I have had this all that time, lost in a flat since my move to Texas. Now, such pieces are very, very hard to come by and this specimen is quite good compared to any I have recently seen on the market. But then, even when they came out, I was fairly confident I got an early pick and this was one I really liked even in context of seeing a table full at once. Most had damage and edge issues, or disruptions to the uniformity of color. Joe Budd Photos.
A modern classic from the now-famous mine in Russia which has produced the most surprising cuprite find , and one of the best new finds, of recent years. The mine is winding through the oxide zone and its lifetime is now verylimited. The last truly great pocket of cuprites of this quality was found in december of 2010, I am reliably told (and this comes from that find, a "holdback" by a dealer there). The crystals are exceptionally bright and splendent, slightly translucent and of a deep red color. The piece is complete 360 degrees around and displays DRAMATICALLY from several angles, with about the brightest lustre of any that were found here; and unusually good aesthetics. Joe Budd Photos.
A remarkable Alpine fluorite from the single greatest pocket of modern times, which was worked by French field collector Frederic Eva from 2006, for a few years. Many crystals from this pocket had mattte faces or more pink color, with less saturation. This piece is lustrous on all major octohedral faces. This piece practically GLOWS with intense pink-red color, very saturated throughout and with no pale zones. IT IS MUCH BETTER IN PERSON, DESPITE ACCURATE PHOTOS, AS THE CAMERA CANNOT SEE HTE INTENSITY AND DEPTH OF THE EYE. THIS IS NOT JUST "ANOTHER" PINK FLUORITE, BUT A STEP BEYOND MOST. The crystals are complete all around 360 degrees, and have absolutely no damage whatsoever. They are fat, robust, and just plain "juicy," for lack of a better word. The combination of those qualities with an overall aesthetic display, is rare. The piece has a small amount o fmatrix granite still attached at the bottom, as well. Taken together, this is a rarified level of quality, and I was shocked to have been able to buy it dirty all these years after it had been mined and set aside in a French collection, still with pocket material on it that needed to be cleaned off in preparation. Joe Budd Photos.
This is a completely unique specimen in my experience, such as I have never seen. It looks fake at first glance. At second glance, it looks like a Godzilla caricature stomping on Tokyo. This specimen features a perfect, gemmy, champagne-colored topaz of a habit more common from Brazil than from Pakistani pegmatites, perched ON a cluster of classic Stak-Nala style, green-tipped tourmaline. I cannot recall even seeing a good topaz of such habit from this locality before, let alone one stuck on a tourmaline cluster. As well, the topaz style seem sreally unique compared to other Pakistani topazes I have seen. The piece not only has the great contrast of color, but of symmetry and form, between the two gem species. Also, it is complete all around, 360 degrees. It is in fact hard to decide which side to call the front. This was mined in the fall of 2011 and premiered at the Tucson 2012 show where I quickly grabbed it. Joe Budd Photos.
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