Mexican Azurite - New Find!|
Mexico has, all of a sudden, leapt to the forefront of the world's
historic AND contemporary azurite localities with this startling
production of electric blue azurites and shimmering velvety malachite
pseudomorphs (replacements) after azurite, often in association with
one another. This deposit seems to have yielded its best treasures to
date about ayear ago and they are still trickling to market along with
small pockets of current production, each of which is subtly distinct
because the pockets are small and unique. This update shows a
selection of styles and price ranges...more will be available at
Tucson from myself, and from others I am sure.
(click on a page number to go to that page:)
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This starkly isolated blue azurite crystal measures about an inch across and is perched on a rare white matrix from this mine, like on a pedestal! It has the best color and lustre and is complete all around 360 degrees, though with matrix slightly ingrown into the rear-left side (not shown anyways, from the front). As with most crystals from this deposit of small pockets mined by hand tools, there is a little damage...here just a very slight wearon the termination that unfortunately detratcs a little bit, though in balance reduces the price a lot as well.
This is a chunky, robust crystal with a large display face of the brilliant, electric-colored azurite , with the sides showing how this is actually a thin layer over an earlier malachite pseudomorphed from an even earlier primary azurite crystal. It is contacted on two back faces, but complete on the display faces.
This full-sized miniature features a robust, complete, pristine, 3.5-cm-long malachite crystal perched ATOP a cluster of the incredible electric azurites that I think this mine will become famous for. HOW could this happen?!I simply cannot fathom how that one crystal selectively remained a naked malachite pseudo while only the accessory crystals of its "pedestal" gaine da thin coating of secondary azurite that makes them a stunning blue., The contrast and 3-dimensionality of this piece are striking and while not the most expensive piece here, it is probably our favorite of the lot for overall aesthetics and color contrast. It is also complete all around, though fully malachite on teh back side. I think this association, the full contrast you see here, will prove quite rare for the find.
A beautiful specimen with shimmering, sugary, sparkling malachite on teh front showing chatoyant, almost electric malachite on the contacted sides, looking into the crystals. The major crystal is a pristine 3-cm crystal with a slight curve, right in the middle. Slight bits of azurite , in person and up close, can be seen.
A stunning specimen with electric blue azurite in a thin coating over chatoyant, velvety malachite that is just amazing in contrast. It is very complexly crystallized on close inspection. Also, it is complete all around! Most speicmens from here show full replcement to malachite, full or nearly full coverage to azurite overlaying malachite pseudos, but NOT this helter-skelter weave of "plates" of crystallized azurite blue upon a velvety green, uniform background. It is really mesmerizing in person and incredibly colorful in a case!
A sharp, robust crystal with sidecars, showing slight alteration to malachite. This is a really striking miniature overall, though it does have some small dings that detract along the rear crystal edge, and a contact to the lower-left edges; and hence a lower price. Nevertheless, one normallly does not see such robust azurite crystals from Mexico, and it is beautiful on display.
A brilliant blue, robust crystal of azurite with a little bit of matrix. Beautiful, but sadly with some minor edge wear and nicking, so a cheap price for an azurite crystal, Mexican or otherwise, of such quality otherwise.
A complexly grown cluster of thin blades of azurite, almost entirely altered to malachite. The contrast of the chatoyant electric green malachite and the vivid blue azurite hue in the remnant primary material (visible at a few places) is striking!
A beautiful single crystal so sharp that it looks like it has been carved, with razor sharp edges and faces. The lustre is so great, its like mirror finish as much as an azurite can. These crystals have the near-metallic, almost translucent surface sheen of blue for which this mine will someday be famous , caused by a thin secondary generation of azurite deposited over a velvety malachite pseudomorph underneath (the light shines through the thin blue, reflects off the underlaying malachite, and comes back out that shimmering blue you see hints of in these photos). MUCH MUCH BETTER IN PERSON! Minor , very minor, edge wear on the back face and left side-rear-edge; otherwise pristine and complete 360 degrees around and very starkly geometric in form. For such a large crystal, this is half the price a comparable-looking piece from Tsumeb would run, in my opinion.
A very 3-dimensional spray of velvety, chatoyant malachite, with one major crystal rising up and out. Complete and pristine all around the front and sides except for one minute spot on the front, contacted but complete on back, this is an excellent display specimen. Malachites of a quality like this have not been seen from Mexico in a long time, since the 1960s at Zacatecas - and those often were small, contacted heavily, and simply not as visually appealing. This thing could pass for a Tsumeb piece, of twice the value, scarily enough. This is subtly different, from Tsumeb material, but not by much. This piece has no azurite, and is 100% malachite replacement. Much of this find is mixed and large malachite pseudos that are in good condition, seem to be awfully rare.
A simply brilliant , electric-blue piece with sharp crystals to 2.5 cm in size flashing out at you! The lustre is so great, its like mirror finish as much as an azurite can. These crystals have the near-metallic, almost translucent surface sheen of blue for which this mine will someday be famous. For the robust crystals on large matrix, with only very trivial damage (to the periphery), this would be among the better pieces from the find, and frankly it ranks up there with historic quality Tsumeb material as well, I think. Note the sharp contrast of the malachite and azurite zones, which accentuates both colors - though the core azurite is very pure and stands out all the more dramatically compared to the mixed colors at the edges, thus.
This beautiful blue-on-blue specimen is the only such piece I have seen. It features a 2.7-cm "rose" of deepest blue azurite (but blue, not black!), perched atop a matrix coated with various copper minerals (presumably chrysocolla and more azurite). To the right, is a "velvet" drapery of brilliant light blue plancheite (pers comm. analytical result), on which sets a sharp 1 cm azurite crystal. The piece hasn't been cleaned harshly, which might remove some of the swrling colors of the chrysocolla coating. However, if you wished to, the whiteish material could probably be blown off with a water gun. This is a dramatic specimen, and quite unusual for Mexico and seemingly for this find.
A dramatic specimen surmounted by a 1.5-inch (3.5 cm) robust crystal, terminated all around except for some relatively minor edge wear on the back edge (shown at an extreme angle, at its worst, here...in person you'd tilt the piece back a little so its not obviously seen at all!). Lustre is exceptional and the deep blue color is the quality of the best Tsumeb material! The back shows partial alteration to malachite (lower shot), and you can see some matrix on the front which is the only thing to prove this really IS from somewhere other than Tsumeb, or I wouldn't have believed it a year ago! Bright patches of the underlaying chatoyant, vibrant malachite show on the sides, accenting the azurite in the middle. For a specimen with such a large dominant crystal, this is half the price a comparable piece from Tsumeb would run, in my opinion.
This is a huge crystal , elongated and deep blue in color. It REALLY displays with pizzazz, though it does have a pretty severe serrated contact zone on the right side, and admittedly also some damage to the back side of the left edge. But...it displays like a $1000-plus azurite crystal, its a huge crystal for a Mexican locality, and theprice reflects the technical defects. I still think its significant as a flashy specimen for the find, just at a reduced price point (if fully intact...i shudder to think the value).
Just a smoker....complete all around, and razor sharp. The lustre is so great, its like mirror finish as much as an azurite can. This piece, a single elongated crystal, has the near-metallic, almost translucent surface sheen of blue for which this mine will someday be famous. It is pristine and complete all around and makes for one of the most striking azurite specimens in this size range I have yet seen. And it's definitely priced cheaper for the quality, than if it were from Tsumeb.
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Rob Lavinsky, email@example.com
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