CREEDITE FROM MEXICO|
Creedite from this mine , which for some reason is mineralogically barren other than Creedite and Fluorite, has trickled to market over the last few years in spurts. The main mining area was exhausted or at least uneconomic for the last few years until recent re-mining efforts by Mike New of TOP GEM MINERALS. He has recently paid an exhorbitant landlease price for access, and his teams worked a deep adit under the previous deposit, to get at deeper layers of the mine. They hit two pockets in around July and August of 2009. As the second pocket was being excavated, the entry tunnel collapsed, nearly costing several lives. The following information is directly from Mike, who is definitely the leading specimen-mining supplier in Mexico:
The new zones were not large. It is a weird thing, but, most times, the best material comes at the front end of production. In this case, the opposite was true. The adits were already in place - I did not create them. I wouldn't do that kind of sloppy, unsafe work. The zone ( not pockets ) is a chimney that rises about 200 meters, with a diameter of 2 to 10 feet. Over the years, we have had material from all four different levels as the mining went deeper in search of fluorite ore.
There is still some fluorite to be had as ore but not enough to interest anyone in opening the mine again. It hadn't worked for two or three years until I leased it for a short-term, small scale project.
This creedite forms at the expense of the fluorite. That is why one can find, on some few specimens, fluorite chips and shards attached to the creedite. The shards came from the movement in the chimney area which broke the rhyolite wall rock and turned the massive fluorite into shards. The creedite was deposited at this time by hot water solutions. The term "breccia pipe" would be an accurate description of this area. The creedite specimens float in a sea of clay. Depending on the character of the clay, the creedite can be dull or shiny, pale or dark orange, small or large crystals. There have actually been a few black creedite balls. I assume the colorant is manganese oxide of some sort.
The matrix material is the rhyolite country rock, which appears as small to very large "horses" in the chimney. When work proceeds in the clay surrounding these horses, then cave-ins are a possibility and we had two.The first was minor other than two of our people were buried for a short period of time. The second cave-in, while not dangerous to anyone ( everyone was outside ), was fatal to the project. Maybe 200 - 400 tons of material dropped, covering the work area. Thank god, no one was hurt. We have inspected all parts of the underground and the likelihood of more good credit is small to non-existant. I have given up the lease.
Perhaps because these crystals came from a deeper level of the mine, and were not exposed to weathering, they have better lustre. Also, the crystals from these two new pockets have a generally more intense orange color, and large individual crystal sizes. Using modern equipment for collecting, they were able to also extract more large specimens in good condition. Most people who saw these at Denver agreed with me, that these are certainly among the world's great specimens of the species for beauty and size. As well, they are frankly cheap compared to any creedite you can obtain from any other location which has produced it, usually only in smaller and less visually appealing specimens. Despite the wealth from this mine, overall creedite is a fairly rare species! I recall 25 years ago struggling to find an affordable example for my own collection - they just were not around to be had.
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A brecciated, cherty matrix is the host for bright, glassy and gemmy, colorless crystals of creedite, that spray up and off to 1.5 cm in length.
Bright, glassy and gemmy, colorless crystals of creedite, to 2.0 cm in length abound on the upper portions of this matrix. The largest crystal, located in the center of the specimen, is doubly terminated as are some smaller ones.
Totally covering the matrix, is a plate of bright, glassy and gemmy, colorless, creedite crystals, to 1.75 cm in length. Please take note of the lovely cluster of radiating crystals in the top right corner of the specimen. VERY lustrous, more than usual for this locale.
Without question this radiating, starbust pattern, creedite specimen is very aesthetic. The crystals are bright, glassy and gemmy, and are perched on a sliver of matrix.The colorless crystals reach 2.0 cm in length. An elegant miniature!
Nestled in a concave shaped vug are bright, glassy and gemmy crystals of colorless creedite, in crystals to 2.25 cm in length. I particularly like that the crystals are standing up, shooting out and away from the matrix. A few of the crystals are also doubly-terminated. An attractive matrix specimen VERY MUCH beyond the norm for the finds here, with exceptional glassy lustre and brightness - and in a good collector size
This matrix specimen has rosettes of bright, very glassy and gemmy creedite crystals to 2.75 cm in length. The individual crystals radiate out in a starburst patterns. The stark white color of the crystals, and a really glistening wet look make this a superior specimen. Minimal damage in a few spots, but this does not detract much.
Radiating, in a starburst pattern: bright, glassy and gemmy, colorless, creedite crystals, to 3.0 cm in length, are emplaced on matrix. Some of the longest creedite crystals are also doubly terminated.
This specimen must have a hundred crystals exceeding 1 cm, many 1.5 cm. It has great color, lustre, and intensity normally not seen in large creedites from this locale (in the past, bigger ones tended to pale out in color) . It is nearly complete on both sides and is complete around the top and sides. Although not quite pristine, it is nevertheless close enough for me, given the size and importance of the specimen, and the few spots of damage (mostly to the back side which is ALSO crystallized) do not remotely detract. Associations with fluorite and a strange sparkly, brecciated deposit on the lower portion give some needed contrast and helps show the dimensionality. IT TURNS OUT THIS SPARKLING WHITE MATERIAL IS ACTUALLY THE VERY RARELY CRYSTALLIZED SPECIES, Gearksutite. This HUGE specimen has to be one of the world's great examples of the species. At 10 pounds, and nearly a foot across, it is a riveting specimen with hundreds of intense orange crystals forming several large "humps" on matrix. MUCH MUCH BETTER IN PERSON!
This doublet, which can display either side up, consists of two intense-orange clusters one atop the other. It is a floater. Some minor damage is present as on most larger specimens from this find, but in context it is trivial (although adjusted for in the price). All major crystals are pristine and this piece has a large number of very transparent, thick, bladed creedites to about 1 cm. Aesthetically, it is one of my favorites overall in this size range for balance and color. Comes with custom lucite base for display.
A tall, elongated daisy chain of intergrown creedite balls, one atop another. This is a large, sparkling specimen, nearly pristine and complete alla round save a few minor contacts only. Elongated chains like this were more unusual than the typical large balls, and this is a good example at a fair price.
It may not LOOK much bigger than the previous specimens, but it is actually quite a bit more hefty and sizable in person. Plus, this piece has very intense orange, robust crystals , many of them exceeding 1 cm. For a good ball-shaped cluster from this new find I regard it as one of the better deals in the lot both for quality and size balance.
This is a complete floater, a doublet, of two interconnected clusters. It has deep orange color, good lustre and translucency characteristic of this find. Most have some minimal damage, and this is no exception although it really IS trivial, and is over 95% pristine with just a few small patches of contact or damage. In person it displays very dramatically, and has a 3-dimensional appeal due to the differntly-sized clusters.
This complete floater , which has some of the most fat and robust crystals of the lot, has an unusually even, halloween-orange color to it that is quite distinct from the usual burnt-orange color in most pieces (or from the paler orange color of most previous finds here). It is just...different. It is so evenly colored that it looks fake, frankly, like dyed selenite or some such. Yet, it is one of the more pristine and equant examples of the ball-shaped creedite floaters from this locale.
This unusual specimen features a 6-cm-tall oblong roseate cluster of REALLY intense burnt-orange creedite blades, perched atop a concave bowl of smaller creedite crystals. In person, it present very 3-dimensionally and stands out from the crowd - hard to convey in photos. The large cluster is very nearly pristine (just a few missing minor crystals) and has superb color, lustre, and transparency. Again, the photo does not do it justice, sorry to say. In person it is much more impressive
An elegant, very unusual, sculpture-like cluster of creedite. It is REALLY mesmerizing in person, and quite 3-dimensional overall. The crystals here have a good orange color mor eintense than past finds here in general, but they have the transparency and high glassy lustre of this new, deeper pocket. Amidst so many "balls" , the few good clusters like this really stand out. Very dramatic, in person!
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Rob Lavinsky, email@example.com
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