from the TUCSON and MUNICH shows
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.
An exceptional rarity! This is a cerussite of gem quality and high lustre, included with brilliant green malachite. Very few of these turn up on the market - I have sold a LOT of Tsumeb pieces and handled perhaps only half a dozen in 20 years. This would rank near the top, in quality overall. And for a miniature, its really up there compared to its peers. In person, the subtle contrasts are mesmerizing, and the reticulated twinning oof the cerussite is geometric and 3-dimensional. It is a SUPERB miniature, period, for any species, and for a Tsumeb suite will leap out from the crowd (and there IS a crowd). Such pieces are rare, and said to have come from just one pocket in the 1980s (though I cannot confirm this).
ex. James Zigras
This is old classic material, mined several decades ago. VERY FEW old stibnites from this famous and now defunct district have any kind of modern, world-level aesthetics to them. This one, however, can hold its own against contemporary chinese material collected under better conditions. It is nearly pristine, and has a very aesthetic arrangement of radiating crystals from a common center. The crystals reach 3 cm. Small, sharp, gem-clear barites to 4 mm abound in the crevasses between the crystals. I have also chosen not to overclean this to make it bright and shiny - it retains its original patina.
This is a Ryker Mount box with approx. 20 crystals of varying shapes and sizes, of boleite. They are mostly cubic, in habit. These are from the famous late 1970s re-exploration of this prospect by Larson and Swoboda. Sizes reach 9mm, though the largest one is not sharply cubic
From a famous find of 2006, this is a superb example of spinel-twinned copper crystals from a one-time erratic find. All came from a single large boulder found by Stan Esbenshade, and carefully trimmed out. This is a complete floater, terminated all around and formed in a spongy mass of strange copper float material. This is a particularly gracile and elegant, slightly curving, specimen composed of a central twinned crystal from which outgrowths shoot to the sides. This was a onetime find, and now these are hard to find for sale today. Classic!
A large, intensely lime-green crystal from important finds here over the last few years. This is a fat and robust, 25 gram, crystal that is complete all around and has a well-formed, fat termination It is translucent, not transparent. It has an unusual schiller effect to the surfaces , though, as if there are thin layers reflecting differently on the surface. Overall, just a big fat crystal for the price, an da real burst of color. I think these will stand as one of the more amazing finds from this mine, much more rare than tanzanite itself from here.
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