from the TUCSON and MUNICH shows
ex. Will Larson
This is one of the most rare habits of copper: thick ropey wire copper. The style is characteristic of the Osceola Mine in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and this is an exemplary specimen because it has both robust wires AND displays aesthetically overall. It is elegant, and a good size for collctors...most such specimens are small wires on big rocky coppers, not so aesthetic. In any case, it is certainly as good as you can reasonably expect for the size, and has excellent aesthetics. ex Will Larson collection
ex. Jack Halpern
In 1795, this new species was first named for material found at this famous locale. Specimens of this quality are very rarified, and probably themselves quite ancient as now the mountain has been picked over by specimen collectors for hundreds of years. This particular piece was purchased by collector Jack Halpern from an old collection being dispersed in Tucson one year (in the early 1980s), and although it has no old label, it is recognizably an Italian vesuvianite - just bigger and better than any i had seen before. I showed it to several European museum curators at Tucson 2010, recently, to get an opinion on its ranking for size and significance: and was told it is certainly one of the best possible to own in private hands, and comparable or better to what is in old museum holdings in Italy
At nearly 930 grams, this is a HUGE and significant example of this rare species, from perhaps its most classic old locality as far as actualy display-quality specimens go. This specimen is covered by a blanket of fat, thick crystals to 6mm, a thousand of them. It was traded to me by a collector who got it some time ago through an exchange with the California Institute of Technology's collection. Ugly perhaps, but for size and location, an important California specimen.
This gorgeous miniature hosts a rich caledonite crystallization, including a relative larger (for both species and locale) crystal of 8mm. Trimmed to a thumbnail, it perhaps would be improved in balance and aesthetics, actually. Found in late 2008, these are modern classics for the species, surely the best material found in decades. This piece has a rich covering, and much to look at.
Strange elongated crystals of this rare varietal of willemite, yellow willemite, were found sporadically in small pockets in the deepest workings of the third oxidation zone at Tsumeb (I am told mostly in the mid to late 1970s). Many such examples were mistakenly identified as the more common adamite, or as the more rare species warikhanite. But this style, shown here, is really quite distinct. This is a superb, full thumbnail sized example of Tsumeb yellow willemite. It is a vivid yellow color, and sparkles like sugar! From an old German collection I recently got into, this is one of the best quality examples of the material I have seen for sale (in any size range)
This is actually a rather remarkable specimen, due to both its size (and mass at 166 grams) and the preservation of crude crystal habit in the shape. This is a famous locale for so many species of gem crystals, that one can forget it was once also important for samples of native graphite. Today, one rarely sees them on the market - and I imagine few good ones are kept even when found, given that sapphires and rubies are so obviously more valuable to the miners. So, I was quite happy to find this specime, which I consider as remarkable as any sapphire I have offered from here, and perhaps more rare.
ex. Charles Leavitt
This is a highly important specimen for what it is, not just for the massive amount of crystallized silver present but also for the locale. Silver Islet is a famous old location mined circa early 1900s. It is now closed and gone forever. It was one of those funny stories in mining that you hear about and cannot believe - they actually mined this silver from an islet in the Great Lakes, while pumping water out from behind barricades. Verifiable Silver Islet specimens are few and far between. This is typical of the style and matrix association, and comes from the private silver species collection of a dealer known to specialize in such pieces, and verified by Rod Tyson (an expert on such). However, one seldom sees anything beyond small pieces from here. This monster, at 455 grams and complete all around as a display quality specimen, is truly significant. Comes with custom lucite display base. Ex. Charles Leavitt Collection (well known for a large and diverse silver suite).
ex. Richard Kosnar
This is a superb, unusually large and intensely colored gem crystal of feldspar. Feldspar, a common "rock-former" mineral species, seldom forms crystals of truly gem quality. This famous old locality is one of the few exceptions to the rule. The intense yellow to straw yellow orthoclase feldspars from here DO generally exhibit this lustre, clarity, and pizzazz. However, most are small, rounded, and just not significant in a general sense. This is a monster for the locality, 181 grams in mass, and complete (or near enough) on the display faces. As with most crystals from the locale, it is contacted on back. There is some minor edge wear and a little bit of more serious damage to the edges near the base of the piece (as shown), but overall it is an important piece in very displayable form. And given the context, the slight wear is acceptable to me in order to get such a significant and unusual specimen. This was long in the collection of Richard Kosnar of Colorado, who apparently got it from an old museum collection . It was said to have been found circa 1900. Note it is both lustrous and gemmy, so the combination of photos should show you its brightness and, by inference from the zones where you do see through it, how gemmy it is - but it IS better in person . Comes with custom lucite display base
ex. Dr. Steve Neely
This hefty galena specimen is really impressive in person. It is just a little bit more metallic, lustrous, sharp, and symmetric than most in this size class. It is nearly undamaged, and complete all around, except for a few minor contacts. Together, those qualities really make it stand out from the crowd - and yes, tonnage quite literally was mined here. Nevertheless, out of all the thousands of specimens that came out in the heyday here, this is definitely in the top percentile as far as the subtle qualities that make it appealing to a collector can be judged. It was long in the Steve Neely collection, and then sold in 1997 with that collection. It was purchased then by French collector Eric Asselborn for his own collection. So, it has graced the shelves of two notoriously picky (and knowledgeable) collectors who were looking for the very BEST of a find. Yes, it looks expensive in flat photos. No question, it IS expensive and I am sure each of them felt the same way. However, this combination specimen, with its minor attached matrix, really looks stunning in person and is worth the premium if you have seen the tables of slightly less perfect material and always wanted one that is "a little better." It is so sharp, and so symmetric, that this looks more like a Spanish pyrite in its simple geometry, than anything. 9.5 pounds weight! One of the few of these relatively common specimens in collections that has ever floored me, visually.
ex. Marc Weill
This specimen is from classic 1960s finds here, known as one of the most stylish pockets produced by the famous iron mines of this island. It features DISCRETE AND ISOLATED crystals of pyrite to 4 cm, well spread out on sparkling, specular hematite matrix. The contrast is striking, in person! Usually the pyrites are intergrown and a large specimen like this might be more "clunky" than elegant. Due to the 3-dimensional nature of the piece, and the skill of the trim work done, though, it displays very elegantly indeed. It is hefty, at 7.5 pounds weight. Formerly in the noted collection of Marc Weill.
ex. Marc Weill
This is a superb, very colorful example of the classic stepped, intricate fluorites from this mine. It is a solid fluorite specimen, like a stalactite, complete all around. It is unusually deeply colored, and unusually well-formed for this locality, from which most fluorite comes in broken-off plates , or in smaller growths than this. The piece is nearly pristine with only a very few small, trivial little cleaved tips. Otherwise, it is complete all around. The complexity introduced by the multistepped faces makes it very reflective , too. In back, there are some small accenting white calcite "balls" attached. A remarkable specimen, from a classic fluorite locale. Formerly in the noted collection of Marc Weill.
ex. Marc Weill
Aesthetic, undamaged, unrepaired matrix specimens are EXTREMELY uncommon from this locality. This particular specimen is a very aesthetic cluster, complete all around, and showing quartz of several styles on one piece. It has phantoms and inclusions that make it more interesting. The grape-jelly purple color is all the more intense when contrasted to the crystal-clear, colorless tips. (and in fact, this deposit is known for such phantom crystals). It is pristine, razor-sharp, all around. The more you look at the piece, the more complexity you see; but first of all the impression is of condition, and color. Matrix amethysts are hard to pry from the tough rocks of these mountains, and despite a huge interest in collecting there today , few come out. Usually, to get a piece like this, one would have to remove a large block of matrix with a diamond chainsaw, to minimize vibrations and damage in collecting. Trimming later is admittedly risky, but necessary to produce a piece like this of good size and balance. They just do not "come out" like this! It is a superb piece literally in the top percentile for its size amongst thousands of other specimens to come from these mountains in recent years. It seems expensive, I admit - but to my eyes it stands out so dramatically from the crowd, that it IS a premium piece. Aesthetic, undamaged, unrepaired matrix specimens are EXTREMELY uncommon in this quality level and size, despite increasing use of diamond chainsaws to extract them. The deposit just doesn't cooperate in making them. Formerly in the noted collection of Marc Weill.
This is a beautiful limonite specimen (yes, I know that phrase seems an oxymoron!). But, in fact it is a really impressive specimen in person. This large stalactite is complete all around and is smooth and bubbly, but complex at the same time. It comes from an old German collection.
Quite simply one of the SHARPEST of the famous White Desert pseudomorphs I have seen, and overall a superb thumbnail. Most small ones are just small. This, though, is something special. Would love to sell as a set with the previous item 07a, for $200 for the two pseudos, as I think they make a marvelous contrasting pair. These are found in the deep desert, near the border with Libya
This is one of the most unusual of the famous White Desert pseudomorphs I have seen, basically a round donut. It looks bizarre! These are found in the deep desert, near the border with Libya
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