THE PHOTOS DO NOT DO THIS JUSTICE. In person, it GLOWS with color: This is a gorgeous, sparkling , 3-dimensional specimen with the brightest mimetite you can imagine. It has lustre that is just fake-looking, and a subtle shift of colors from yellow to burnt orange within the same specimen. It is obviously an interesting locale, but more than that it is a very pretty, unique, lead minerals specimen that stands on its own no matter where it is from. It looks like no mimetite I can think of from any other place, and will stand out in a case! On very close inspection, one realizes that some of the more orangey crystals are actually small hexagonal plates: vanadinite. ex UPMC - University of Paris collection, exchanged out to French dealer Alain Martaud some time ago. I have never seen another, myself.
This unusual specimen has BOTH rare blue species included within it, AND is a floater cluster of quartz, as a bonus. Clusters in good condition are not so common, and usually they are bigger anyhow. Most small pieces from here are singles - the mine likes to grow its quartz big. Only rarely do you get both minerals included within the same piece, and here you have it in both of the conjoined quartzes. The papagoite is the darker blue, and ajoite the lighter blue. Both are present at the edge boundary of an unusual, internal phantom in the upright crystal. The quartz cluster broke away from its matrix in geologic time an drehealed on the bottom, thus making this a floater, complete all around. Remarkably, it is pristine.
This is a razor-sharp crystal with a termination so sharp you can literally cut yourself on it. The quartz hosts an internal phantom generation of quartz, that is richly included by powder blue ajoite. Now, often the inclusions are dispersed in the quartz , but seldom do you see a phantom within, concentrating the color as this one does. The crystal is complete all around, and shows extraordinary clarity looking through to the phantom zone within. I have seen literally hundreds of these, and in this size range, few have stood out to me as starkly as this piece, which I saw at the Munich show with a direct source. Moreover, it is complete and sharp, and shows off the inclusions without need of polishing. It really is one of the sharpest and finest in its size class. After cleaning, we found that it is technically a floater - rough at the bottom, but microcrystallized and complete.
Usually, papagoite is dispersed in veils, but in this piece it is extremely concentrated in richness and in color saturation, right at the tip! This is a phenomenal crystal with unusually vivid coloration. The termination is sharp and complete, unusually pristine. Note also the slight wisps of copper inside, dispersed in the zone of deep blue papagoite. A classic, unique to this locality, such crystals are highly desirable in this quality. Papagoite is much rarer, here, than the ajoite inclusions. MUCH better in person, this is one of the sharpest such examples that I expect to be able to offer. It is from new finds in late 2009.
ex. Robert Nowakowski
An interesting locality piece! This twinned monazite crystal is large and has interesting shape. It is twinned in an expected manner for the species, but in a size one seldom sees from any locale. And from an old US locale, this is the best I have seen and took me by surprise. A major US example of a species quite rare in crystallized form from this country. It is 234 grams Formerly in the REE collection of geologist, Bob Nowakowski.
A sharp, very beautiful example of the rare habit found in a single pocket here around 2005. These had been hoarded and slowly released to the market, but that stash is done now. Few remain to be had; and for the size range , this is an excellent miniature with top quality. The color is , as it looks, YELLOW on the termination (atop a pinkish-red body). The termination is ultra-glassy, about the glassiest you can ever see in a tourmaline! These things look Afghani in form and termination, in fact...rarely would you see such from Brazil. But the color is unique, not found anywhere else quite like this. And in combination with the crazy lustre and sharp terminations, these will be remembered as one of the best tourmaline finds of the decade, I am sure.
I had the good fortune to be able to run over to Evan Jones' booth real quickly at the start of the Tucson main show, and snag one good piece in the stampede to buy these. He was the only dealer-outlet and seller of this material, collected in a freak pocket at the little-known Carlota Mine on October 24, 2009. It was found on the 3460-foot-deep level. This was, to my eye on the prowl, the best large plate there for overall aesthetics and quality. It is a GORGEOUS, Tsumeb-intensity of blue color! The lustre is fabulous, in person. The piece has sharp crystals, to 1 cm or so in size. They LOOK like Tsumeb material at half the price they should be, but are from Arizona instead. Nobody expected this, and to my knowledge in nearly 100 years of on and off mining here, such have not been found before. This makes the odds of a repeat find, somewhat low in my estimation. In any case, this is a truly beautiful and fine azurite plate for any lcoality, particularly Arizona, priced cheaply in my opinion. More of the long history on this locality can be found at MINDAT: http://www.mindat.org/loc-61469.html. Again, if you saw this at twice the price, labelled Tsumeb, you would not blink an eye or think it improper...it could pass!
From the recent finds in Peru (January 2010), this is a hefty, 750-gram specimen of pink fluorite perched BETWEEN bright pyrite on one side, and stark, metallic galena on the other side! The contrasts are striking - I have never seen such a nice combo, with BOTH species side by side flanking the fluorite. The pyrite is in the form of small crystals, with brilliant lustre; while the galenas are bigger crystals with a strange waxy lustre and almost silky in appearance. The contrasts and sparkle factor are very pronounced , here. The pink fluorite measures nearly 5 cm across its bottom edge, so this is a sizable and significant piece. It is pristine as well. We saw a large part of this pocket, and I felt for the overall associations, this was one of the most interesting pieces among them.
This specimen is from the new pocket found in 2007 at these Alpine heights, is INTENSE color for a pink fluorite, almost red. It is a superb , balanced piece with several combined octohedrons forming a 4.5 x 4.5 x 4 cm cluster on a bit of adularia matrix. The fluorite is complete all around and nearly pristine (just one very slightly dinged tip, hard to see). These pieces have been priced at, and sold, for big money - the reason being obvious in person when you compare the color saturation and gemminess/transparency on one from this pocket, to previous finds or the general "Chamonix pink" style. This pocket will stand on its own merits, as one of the great Alpine finds, I believe. Pink or red fluorite is always pricey, but in context, for the quality compared to the norm, these are worth it in my opinion. Few specimens in this size range had such good balance, free of clunky matrix but also complete all around.
ex. Eric Asselborn
Embolite, once a valid species, is today called Bromian Chlorargyrite. This VERY LARGE, 330-gram specimen of intergrown "embolite" is a superb and large example for these old finds. It is from the Eric Asselborn Collection, and he got it from an heir of part of the Albert Chapman Collection after Chapman passed away. It is richly 3-dimensional and attractive, as these go.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
This specimen is absolutely pristine, it has superb lustre (it looks wet!), and has a 3-dimensionality that you rarely see in Bunker Hill material of this color and style. The color is not purest yellow, as only some very few pieces are (and are more pricey, also), but rather a unique darker mustard-yellow color, and yet still lively and bright. It is not the beige or mauve tones, that mid 1990s material tended to possess, either. The specimen is from the important mid-1980s finds and was sold immediately at that time to the Bill and Carol Smith collection. When they started to deaccess some suites, it went to Dr. Steve Smale in the mid 1990s. He traded or sold it out in the late 1990s where it got to collector Sandor Fuss, who sold it in turn to Tom Hall. I have seen many of these over the years, and this one leaps out, for all the superlatives stated above. It is a special piece, not just another "good" example. Pristine and with good horizons all around, it can really be displayed from many angles. This is a killer small cab, of this American classic.
A stunning, glassy, exceptionally gemmy tourmaline of the rare varietal, liddicoatite. This crystal has sharp raspberry color with subtle colorzoning patterns inside that is typical of the liddis from this locality, and unique in the world. It is complete all around, and a stunning small miniature or large thumbnail (if tilted in the TN box).
A very unusual citylike cluster of elongated, tapering aquas, from a new locale. This was picked up by Dr. Emanuele Marini on site, in his travels there. I have not see others, and he told me the find was quite small. It is slightly etched, and looks frosted on the surface, thus. They are quite unique! The piece is complete all around and sits nicely on its own.
A very unusual citylike cluster of elongated, tapering aquas, from a new locale. This was picked up by Dr. Emanuele Marini on site, in his travels there. I have not see others, and he told me the find was quite small. It is slightly etched, and looks frosted on the surface, thus. They are quite unique! The piece is complete all around except a small bit in back, and sits nicely on its own. A small quartz crystal sits atop
ex. Marshall Sussman
This is from the so-called "sparkly pocket" , and there are few to be had. I first saw this specimen in the late 1990s in the Marshall and Charlotte Sussman Tsumeb collection. They had just obtained it from a collection in Africa at that time. It is a perfectly balanced, symmetric, SHARP specimen, with unusual accenting by the drapery of white calcite. The malachite has completely replaced an azurite, of unusual isolation and textbook symmetry. Then, atop the malachite, a thin layer of micro quartz druse was deposited. This adds the uique sparkle, unlike malachite pseudos from any other locale that I know of. The calcite came later, a final deposition, and luckily directional in that it left the front face open. The piece is complete all around but for a few minor contact points, and is stunning in person. Out of all the malachite pseudos out there, and there are many from Tsumeb alone, this stands out. I have always thought it a unique specimen. I obtained it in 2002 in a trade from the Sussman collection and sold it to collector Marc Weill, who owned it for 8 years or so and from whom it recently came back to market in an exchange deal.
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