from the TUCSON and MUNICH shows
ex. Marc Weill
Large, attractive skutterudite specimens from here are rarely seen. This is, for my taste, one of the best i know of and is a 3-dimensional mound of solid crystals, complete all around except for a small contact on one side (the left as shown horizontally, or the bottom if this is stood upright). It can be displayed either way to equal effect, and its really just a matter of personal choice which you prefer. The crystals are VERY lustrous, sharp, and show off the style this locality is famous for. Like many such large crystals from here, there is some typical surface crackling present (somehow common to the species at this locality when they get to this size), at the crystal-crystal contacts. But, this is really not so visible on display and, in context, does not detract. Formerly in the Marc Weill collection, this is a very fine cabinet sized specimen of unusual attractiveness for this too-often clunky material, rare in such good aesthetic form. It stands on its own merits, but as a bonus also is illustrated in the Mineralogical Record book on the Weill collection. Mass is over 2 kilograms.I would judge this to be a fairly significant example of the species, way beyond the normal quality.
ex. Marc Weill
This specimen is a very robust and aesthetic cluster of RAZOR-sharp copper crystals to 1.5 cm, arranged in branchlike aggregations that twist and turn about to make this a 3-dimensional "tree-like" shape overall. The crystals are sharp, and there is remarkably no damage or rubbing to the fine, old surface patina. It is complete all around, and displays dramatically in person. Formerly in the Marc Weill collection, this is a very fine cabinet sized copper of unusual appeal for this habit and style of crystallization, rare in such good form. It stands on its own merits as a value and a fine quality; but as a bonus it also is illustrated in the Mineralogical Record book on the Weill collection. 500 grams.
This is a dramatic piece, one of my favorites in the size and price range for its unique 3-dimensional display qualities. The two aquas splay out from the central, curving cluster of sharp albite crystals. They have a porcelain look to them and contrast sharply with the gem aquas. This is NOT repaired, which is amazing given its exposed crystals. The large crystal is approximately 8 cm long sticking out from the core (though it is longer, and goes through the albite cluster to their base. The smaller crystal is 8 cm long, of which 5.5 cm sticks out freestanding. Overall, it is crazy to thikn this survived withour a break and repair...but it did. The piece is actually pristine except for one very small nick in the side of the smaller aqua...something i think allowable for the size and quality of aesthetics here. Also, I have purposefully chosen not to restore that one little ding with plsatic "fill", as its so trivial in context and the piece is more remarkable unrepaired, in my opinion. Direct from the mines to me, this was mined in 2008. I regard it highly for the aesthetics, in this size and price range.
ex. Wally Mann
NOTE IN PERSON THE COLOR IS AN EVEN , INTENSE PINK - the photos do not convey this well. This is a superbly sharp, unusually well-terminated crystal of about 370 grams, from the classic occurrence here. It is a floater, complete on the bottom, and looks equally fine from either side. For its size, it has robust color and also is completely gemmy and transparent. But it is the termination, that crazy sharp termination , that makes it a killer. Dallas-area collector Wally Mann bought this from Herb Obodda after one of his trips to Pakistan in the early 2000s and treasured it not just because it was fine; but also because it really could (and did) fool a lot of people, with its color and sharp form, into thinking that it was a turn-of-the-1900s piece from Pala, San Diego. But it was too big in size for his collection, as a whole, and so did not fit. Exchanged out to me, this is now for sale. For Afghanistan, in this size range, its one of the sharper and finer singles I have seen for my tastes.
This beautiful matrix tourmaline has no repairs and is from a special pocket we call "electric purples" for the wild glowing color it takes, when backlit, across its termination. The color is a real purple , more evident in person, and not just a typical indicolite blue shade of color. Purple is Much more rare! At about a kilo in size, you can tell from that alone it is a large crystal - most of the mass here. The crystal is nearly fist-sized, 8 x 8 x 7 cm. It sits snugly against crystallized, very 3-dimensional, bladed cleavelandites, with a small sidecar tourmaline for accent. The termination is remarkably smooth to the touch, and has a matte finish. Except for the tiniest wear, the crystal is complete all around and is as close to pristine as you can ask for in a tourmaline of such size and exposure. In person, the color is more robust and the gemmy portion more broad than the photos show. These photos were taken with only minimal backlighting - with strong light, it glows.
ex. Lawrence Conklin
This style of rhodochrosite came out in the early 1980s and is often referred to as "wheatsheaves". The color can truly be called "cherry red." Here is a relatively large, rolling plate of the gemmy, transparent to translucent crystals on manganese matrix. The lustre is so brilliant in person, it is hard to convey in photos....but it is like glass, in real life. These are beautiful and truly unique rhodochrosite formations, not found anywhere else, and have always gone for a premium since day one. Today, such specimens, especially in this size, are hard to come by on the open market. Although there are a few small dings, this is very nearly pristine on its display face and for the size, an uncommon find. This is one of those original specimens, long in the private collection of dealer Lawrence Conklin.
This specimen is from the new pocket found in 2007 at these Alpine heights, is INTENSE color for a pink fluorite, almost red. 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. This particular piece looks like it should be worth far more..it has two SHARP and totally transparent, gemmy octohedra to 3.2 cm on edge, side by side. A small bit of adularia matrix is attached at the bottom. From the front, it looks pristine and dramatically 3-dimensional. The reason it is more reasonably priced than the piece above (#338) is simply because the back here is incomplete. The crystals pulled off from the matrix, leaving a contact face and a small bit of broken fluorite at the upper-right "shoulder" behind the rightmost octohedron. The lower-right photo is shot purposefully looking down a little bit, to accentuate the view to the back of the piece and in fact show the piece at its worst angle. From head-on, all you see is actually the two razor-sharp , gemmy octos and their equally sharp, upwards-thrusting points with a small hillock in between. It is a dramatic piece that displays well and conveys all the color an dtransparency that will make this pocket a classic to remember, without quite the full price that the miners are selling all-around octohedra for.
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 deep blue papagoite. Now, often the inclusions are dispersed in the quartz , but seldom do you see a phantom within. Here, the phantom somehow concentrated the papagoite, so that the papagoite marks the entire right edge of the original phantom crystal inside. 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 (these few i offer here all apparently came from the same pocket, as they are similar in size and unusual sharpness and transparency). Moreover, it is complete and sharp, and shows off the inclusions without need of polishing.
This is a natural jewel! A 3.25-cm-across, doubly-terminated quartz is just floating on the surface of this lustrous, reflective quartz shard - the whole thing a floater! It is "just quartz " on quartz, at som elevel. But on another level, itís a very special and unique piece that really captured my attention. ex Franz Saller collection
A highly unusual specimen featuring mediocre but colorful emerald, which serves as the background for superb, sharp crystals of chamosite, the iron analogue of clinochlore. The sharpest crystal here is a doubly-terminated , razor-sharp crystal measuring 1.7 cm across. I had not seen these before from this productive emerald locality and was suspicious when first shown this piece as an "axinite" which generally would not occur with emerald. The identity was confirmed by RAMAN and XRAY analysis in the lab of Dr Robert Downs at University of Arizona. I think this is a quite good example of the species, and one wonders how many such crystals have been thrown away as rubbish in the mad search for crumpled green emeralds!
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.
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