90 new worldwide mineral specimens
New Finds & Old classics!
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.
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
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