over 70 new worldwide mineral specimens
New Finds & Old classics!
Scolecite, in the form of very bright, glistening crystals shooting out in all directions, is perched atop contrasting salmon-pink stilbite. A SUPERB large combination specimen, with killer aesthetics, and in pristine condition. Although not �expensive� in a relative sense to other top minerals (partly because of a supposed �fragility discount� in that dealers do not wish to travel with it extensively), the piece is nevertheless among top of its species and can hold its own with far fancier mineral specimens - though you get more for your money buying the top of something "common" like this , than you might amongst tourmaline and gold and aquamarines. A pocket such as this came from has not been seen since the early 1980s, and such top grade examples of this species are NOT common at all. As well, they happen to be among the most dramatic specimens in terms of sheer whiz-bang value when shown off in a case, as I can imagine. Indian minerals, because of their sheer quantity of production for the last 20 years, are downgraded in price at the moment under the illusion that great Indian mineral specimens are common. This is not the case, and never has been. Someday, when the flood is over, people will look back on this find, and this specimen, as a modern classic that was simply not valued highly enough it its day due to market confusion amidst a quantity of lesser material. Comparables: There are few examples of this species at this level of condition or quality, and in size. The most famous such examples are a piece in the Houston Museum, and the Gibbs' specimen on display in the Dallas Petroleum Club. Both are from the same famous find of the early 1980s and of slightly different style, and not on such nice pink matrix as the robust stilbites we have here. In the time since then, only a few specimens have merited comparison. This piece was found in 2009, and an example from the same pocket is featured on the cover of Mineralogical Record for the following year (March-April 2010). Joe Budd Photos. NOTE - obviously, this specimen has to be hand delivered and cannot be shipped.
ex. John Sinkankas
A large specimen from the older sections of this historic mine, showing fat, robust crystals of willemite - the variety formerly called Troostite. They are fluorescent an intense greeen color. This piece has a good display face of them, sitting on contrasting calcite. The specmen was in the collection of noted collector and author, Captain John Sinkankas, and comes with his handwritten label. It was his first specimen of willemite, dating to over 50 years ago. I bought it from John in the mid 1990s and it was later sold to noted collector and Tucson show activist, Bob Jones, from whom i bought it back only recently. Joe Budd Photos.
A remarkable, sharp , pale pink apatite crystal sits atop a nicely trimmed matrix of albite feldspar on this combination piece. The apatite measures 5 cm across, and is razor sharp, as if carved! The contrast to the snow white matrix is striking. This is from a small find of around 2006-2007 as i recall, and I have only seen a few. Interestingly, as a bonus, the apatite fluoresces a striking orange color under the shortwave spectrum of UV light, and a glowng yellow color under longwave UV. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Wally Mann
This remarkable specimen is unlike any other Peruvian Rhodo I have ever seen. It features a large crystal of unusual form, with an electric red color to it, a metallic-like shimmering on the surface that makes it look like a slight oil coating is present within the crystal. It is the most unique Peru rhodochrosite crystal I can recall. I first saw it in print, illustrated in the Peru special issue of Mineralogical Record from decades ago now. It wsa then in the collection of Ken Roberts. Then, I found it in the second Ed David collection when I bought/traded a chunk from him before the sale of the whole thing, in the late 1990s. I trimmed it, removing the mass of overhanging geothite and rock which occluded the top of the crystal, and got lucky in revealing a full temrination atop! The little sparkly crystals you see on the ridge of the upper termination are in fact tiny, gemmy, fluorites. After a change of hands, I ended up selling and buying it back several times over the dozen years since (as owners changed styles or priorities), and am proud to have it yet one more time!. Joe Budd Photos.
A very gemmy, intensely colored example of these famous heliodors from the old topaz mines of Wolodarsk. This piece is fat, juicy, and has brilliant lustre. It has a surface that is more rough than one normally sees, which is a matter for personal taste in the choice of how much complex etching one would like to see on the surface (they all have some degree of etching). The crystal is doubly-terminated, although a bit crudely on the bottom. Now, big fat examples are harder to come by on the market. When they do turn up, they are too often treated by gem labs to turn them into aquamarine, which is far more valuable as gem rough material. Joe Budd Photos.
To those who know this specimen, little more need be said. It is an almost mythical piece to people in the San Diego community. This specimen is the so-called "6-pack" which was collected in 1984 in the Tourmaline Queen Mine. Joe Budd Photos.
This is a MAJOR Russian tourmaline, sharp and complete, with a mass nearing a kilo (930 grams)! The red color is deeply saturated and although not transparent, it does show well through the "outer skin," It is very imposing when stood up and splaying out a bit as it does. Seldom do we get Russian tourmalines in this size, unrepaired and in good shape. Moreover, the luster is just incredible on the front faces (although a bit more dull in back) , and the termination is complete and symmetric. This is both an important, and beautiful specimen. 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, an almost iridescent and saturated teal-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.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
A superb specimen from the noted China collection of Dr. Steve Smale, this piece has balance and contrast. It is pristine and complete all around with crystallized calcite on the backside as well as the front. The finely isolated fluorite crystals measure to 4 cm and show amazingly intricate effects of oriented growth patterning in both color (purple zones) and in form (flat vs. stepped faces). The piece is simple in geometry but mesmerizing in complexity. This was probably found in the mid-2000s. For its combination of qualities, I rate it VERY HIGHLY. Joe Budd Photos.
This is a very fine Eagle's Nest gold of classic California style, with a treelike, robust group of crystals leaping up from quartz matrix. The gold tree is 7.5 cm tall, and it is good from either side. The piece is well balanced, trimmed aesthetically to leave just the right natural pedestal beneath the stable gold mass. The gold is completely and totally crystallized, on both sides, and you can clearly see several habits present including fat hoppered crystals (somewhat unusual, that). This piece would have come out long ago, and I bought it in an old collection to prep to modern standards in the early 2000s. While there are certainly more expensive golds of this style, this piece is no slouch and is, I feel, one of the finer Eagle's Nest golds you can get without breaking wide through the next price barrier. It is not just "big". it is very, very fine as well. Color is hard to convey in good photos, sometimes. The final photo (on wood grain) is taken with a simple iphone camera and is shown "as is" with no editing of the color. This is how the gold looks in soft room lighting (very yellow) as opposed to the more metallic and hard brightness in halogen photography lights. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Al Ordway
The Cryo Genie produced only a few magnificent pockets in its short and erratic lifetime as a specimen mine in the 1990s, but this was always one of the more celebrated pieces, for sheer impact and color. It went into the noted collection of the late Al Ordway, who specialized in unusual California localities. This piece is huge and dramatic, and has NEON PINK color, not anything normal in a shade of pink or red hue for San Diego or any other mine. this is quite literally the hottest pink tourmaline I have seen in this size, from San Diego. Aside from its specimen value, it is worth a fortune for carving value to the people who make carved buddhas and dolphins out of tourmaline...what a tragedy that would be, though! It is a real honor to have another great Cryo-Genie specimen of this magnitude to offer on the site. Very, very few tourmalines of this size and importance came out of the mine. This weighs several pounds, by the way; and I feel that it would be carved and sold already if it was from a more famous locale than this remote little mine in San Diego. Joe Budd Photos.
This specimen features unusually sharp sulfur crystals showing double-ended terminations and, unusually for sulfur, high luster rather than the usual matte finish on the surface. The crystals are very bright, as sharp and as glassy as you can ask for in the species. The piece is, despite its size, nearly pristine and has no repairs. The crystals are aesthetically perched on matrix. All of these qualities are rare enough in a smaller example, and almost impossible to get in a large specimen of this magnitude. This is a world class sulfur, that is at the top of its game and should be considered of the same caliber as top gem crystals of �fancier� species. Interestingly, as a side note, the crystals grew on matrix that was exposed to flows of bitumen and oil, which became included in both the calcite matrix and in the sulfur crystals themselves, during growth. This is an unusual feature unique to this location, and proof of a natural (and not synthetically made) Italian pedigree. This location is the classic old locality for crystallized sulfur. As stated in the superb reference work on old classic locales, Peter Bancroft�s GEM & CRYSTAL TREASURES (chapter 75): No other locality produces pristine sulfur crystals as large, as brilliant, and as well formed as Sicily. Few specimens seem to have been preserved until the 1800s, for museums and science. Most was crushed for gunpowder, and working conditions were quite literally horrendous in the past, not suited to relaxed specimen collecting until modern times. This specimen was from the collection of a mine engineer, who lived and worked in Sicily and was said to have self-collected these specimens in the 1950s and 1960s. This collection was recently sold in Europe, and I was able to get the first viewing of the material when it arrived by pallet shipment to the United States ahead of the Tucson 2012 show. To my taste, this was the single finest specimen in the lot for overall quality and display (although there were bigger pieces, they were flat plates and not as visually appealing). Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Marshall Sussman
A stunning example of a very rare style of smithsonite, featuring intense copper-induced, neon green color combined with unusual disclike, fat crystals. This is a very unique style, and I have seen only a handful of specimens from this pocket over the years (5 pieces, total, of any quality). Three of those I saw came in a lot to Marshall Sussman at the time he was building his famous Tsumeb collections (now sold). This was the best small cabinet piece he got in the period (late 90s/early 2000s). It is absolutely pristine, perfect all around, and has great horizons. It displays on its side or upright. It is lustrous and bright, with some translucency. The color comes out well in the phtoos but the overall 3-dimensional impact of this piece, and of this style, just has to be seen in person. It is materially different from all other cuprian smithsonites in style, and these pieces just have a pizzazz to them hard to describe without holding in the hand. It is a superb Tsumeb mineral, and a world class smithsonite in my opinion. ex Marshall Sussman and Matt Tannenbaum collections. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. John Marshall
Wheatley produced what were then considered among the world's great pyromorphite specimens, in the late 1800s (in fact, it produced much lead used during the Civil War in the US at the time). Wheatley pyromorphites were prized posessions in any American collection of the late 1800s and early 1900s, and few really good ones survive in private hands at the present time. This is an exceptional specimen with rich color that is a unique shade of dark green compared to prominent modern locales. It is very imposing, dramatic, and has large coverage. It is from the noted collection of John Marshall, longtime collector. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Richard Hauck
A single gemmy, transparent, amber-colored anatase crystal sits perched on granite matrix - a rare, old Alpine classic, seldom seen in this quality. Ex Richard Hauck collection. Joe Budd Photos.
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