Potosi Mine, West camp, Santa Eulalia District, Chihuahua, Mexico
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 4.3 x 3.2 cm
An absolute JEWEL! This is really quite a lovely, eye-catching Calcite specimen from the Potosi Mine in Santa Eulalia, Mexico. There are two generations of Calcites, all as lustrous and gemmy as can be. The first generation coats the matrix, and these little gems average 3-4 mm in size. The second generation of Calcites are like fruit on a tree, poised ready to pick. They are also lustrous, gemmy, and up to 2 cm tip to tip. This is a very aesthetic piece, and even better in person - quite a bit better than the normal sort we see from here even today. Art Soregaroli would have gotten this many years ago, and it is not contemporary. None recently have been so good!
Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Far-Eastern Region, Siberia, Russia
Small Cabinet, 7.3 x 5.5 x 4.8 cm
This is a very good combination piece from the famous mining district of Dal'negorsk. The quality, mint-green, modified cuboctahedron of Fluorite is 3 cm across. Aside from a beautiful fluorescence, the crystal exhibits preferential faces - the cubic faces are smooth and glassy while the octahedral faces are finely stepped and translucent (yet still good enough to hint at gemminess below). There is a small cleave towards the back side, but it does not affect the display view at all. The subhedral Calcites have a bright fluorescence, and the matrix is covered by many dozens of 2 mm, needle-like Quartz crystals.
A stunning small cab, this is a tabular stalactite of translucent Calcite that is covered with spiky crystals of Calcite from a later generation of growth. The second generation Calcites are superb. They are sharp, have very good luster, and the terminations are quite gemmy. The longest of these Calcites reaches about 1.9 cm, and the overall geometry of the piece rather resembles a crystalline hedgehog. The aesthetics are excellent, and the piece is SO 3-DIMENSIONAL THAT it is even better in person!
This is NOT your usual "Cavnic Calcite." Two generations of Calcite highlight this extremely unusual, very attractive cabinet specimen from the ancient mines (know since the 1300's) of Cavnic. Not only is the form cool, but the luster on the white and beige Calcite is superb. Each and every face on the 1-2 mm, intergrown Calcites is mirror-like, so the specimen looks like a circular mosaic. If you lay it horizontally, it really resembles one of those water-clear cave pools. Up on edge, it resembles an elvish Mikey from Monsters, Inc. But any way you look at it, the aesthetics and quality of this cabinet specimen are outstanding. With the mines from here closed, good specimens are becoming more and more scarce.
Wessels Mine, Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Small Cabinet, 8.2 x 5.1 x 2.4 cm
When these Hematites were first discovered at the Wessels mine, they immediately became instant classics (mid 1980's, I believe). Their large size and association with red Andradite Garnets made them highly collectible. This particular specimen is one gigantic Hematite crystal. It is tabular in habit, with tiered faces, complex sides, and a contact along the bottom edge. One side is covered with fine, gemmy, lustrous, red Andradites, and on the lustrous exposed side there is a heart-shaped Calcite (thusly so because of a small chip, but it is so exposed I am glad it is there at all - it adds much to the piece). This robust and sharp textbook Hematite crystal has mirror-bright, metallic luster. These are amazing Hematites, and the find is today considered one of the major non-Rhodochrosite finds for the manganese district. Wessels is renowned for this apparently unique combination, justifiably.
Irving Materials Quarry, Anderson, Madison Co., Indiana, USA
Small Cabinet, 6.6 x 6.0 x 3.2 cm
Normally these are only thumbnail sized! This monster is a doubly-terminated, heart-shaped twin Calcite from the Irving Materials Quarry of Indiana. The gemmy and lustrous, golden-amber crystal is complete all around. There are a few very minor bits of edge wear that I have not thought bothersome enough to treat with acid to make visibly disappear (but it could be done), but this twin is so significant that they carry little weight when it comes to the sheer quality of the crystal. Classic material from this well-known locale, in a size of significance...
Highland Bell Mine, Beaverdell, British Columbia, Canada
Toenail, 2.6 x 2.1 x 1.0 cm
The Highland-Bell mine has been operational for well over a century and is known among collectors for its rich, arborescent Silvers. And for quality, this piece is no exception. Rather than an arborescent habit, the Silver wires curl this way and that in and around the Calcites, creating a lovely and very aesthetic snake-like appearance. The luster of the Silver wires is a deep, matte gray, with a small amount of bright metallic shimmer in places. Interestingly, the Calcite has a brilliant orange fluorescence. Overall, an eye-catching, aesthetic Silver specimen from a classic locality!
Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Mun. de Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
Miniature, 4.7 x 3.4 x 2.3 cm
This miniature is quite exquisite, composed of a gorgeous fan of bladed Hemimorphite, on matrix. The fan is symmetric, with the longest blade being 2.3 cm. The color of the Hemimorphite is pure white, and the crystals have superb luster and excellent form. On one side of the specimen, the Hemimorphites are completely coated by tiny, lustrous Calcite crystals, creating a fascinating look of snow or ice. The reverse side is virtually devoid of the Calcites, and I must admit that I have always found preferential coatings like this to be intriguing. To my eye, this is easily one of the most aesthetic Hemimorphite miniatures I have see. MUCH better in person.
Beckermet Mine, Egremont, West Cumberland Iron Field, Cumbria, England, UK
Cabinet, 13.3 x 11.2 x 6.7 cm
Large cluster of well-formed, prismatic crystals with sharp 'mercedes' terminations. The Calcites have a very good, 'watery' luster on the faces, and they are included by Hematite and other, black oxides. These inclusions add color and attractive phantoms to the Calcites. The largest crystal is 4 cm tall, and all the Calcites have a brilliant orange fluorescence. One knob on the piece has a cleaved crystal, and a few of the Calcites have a few small dings (easily touched up), but the complexity and the quality of this cabinet specimen more than makes up for that. Overall, this is a fine example of a classic species from a classic mining district. It is probably from the early to mid 1900s.
Panasqueira Mine, Covilha, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Small Cabinet, 5.8 x 4.5 x 4.0 cm
This Arsenopyrite is a simply stunning miniature that leaps out - superb for form, brilliant metallic luster, and its mineral combination. The curved tabular Arsenopyrite crystals combine into clusters with a gorgeous wheat sheaf habit, and the luster is mirror-like. The largest crystal is about 4 cm. It is nearly pristine - there is only a teeny ding only just spotted, on a back corner. These are combined with mm-size white Calcites and medium-brown Siderites up to 3-4 mm across. This is a classic Panasqueira specimen, and is actually better in person, even.
This is a fantastic copper specimen with heft, aesthetics, and dramatic display. As a bonus, though, we get a Copper-included Calcite crystal attached to it - which is quite uncommon. Copper in Calcite from Michigan is one of the great American classics, and good ones are far and few between. The main Calcite crystal here is a full 2 cm tall, included by bright, shiny Copper. The Calcite is totally gemmy, and has a lustrous, watery surface that is so good it actually distracts from the interior. I haven't seen many Calcites with Copper exactly like this. These Copper crystals range up to 2 cm, and their form, sharp to rounded, is highly varied so you get several different crystal habits in one single specimen. The Copper is distinctive and distinguished in its own right, but together this combination is crazy unusual and special! Complete all around, this is a significant cabinet piece for old Michigan copper.
Pachapaqui District, Bolognesi Province, Ancash Department, Peru
Small Cabinet, 8.0 x 6.0 x 5.6 cm
An aesthetic and classic Pachapaqui, Peru combination specimen consisting of Manganoan Calcite, Pyrite, and Quartz. The Calcites are flattened rhombs, almost tabular in appearance, with a light pink color and soft, very attractive, flat luster. The Calcites rest on a spray of whitish, partially gemmy Quartz crystals up to 1.5 cm. Intermixed with the Calcites and Quartzes are lustrous, modified Pyrites up to .5 cm. Everything is in very good condition. This combination is classic, and it is BEYOND aesthetic because of the wreath-like configuration of the Calcites. Just an outstanding specimen! Art Soregaroli edited the magnum opus book on Peru mineral specimens, and this is from his prized collection of miniatures and small cabinet sized Peru pieces, most of which he obtained himself down there in the 1980s and 1990s.
Miniature, 4.5 x 4.2 x 4.0 cm (Crystal), 0.65 ct (Gem)
4.5 x 4.2 x 4.0 cm (Specimen); 0.65 carats; 4.75 mm x 4.17 mm (Gem) - Dioptase from Tsumeb is one of the most well known entities in the mineral world, and is considered to be one of the most desirable species for collectors in fine specimens. The specimen in this set features classic, sharp, emerald green trigonal crystals with good luster sitting on silvery Calcite on matrix. The largest crystal measures 1.2 cm. The accompanying gem is a really impressive little stone with superb color and clarity, and a traditional "Emerald" cut. With the naked eye, I can't see any notable inclusionsions in the stone, for that reason it's a very worthwhile pickup for anybody who collects this kind of material.
Choice, well-formed lattice of classic, reticulated twin Cerussite from the famous Tsumeb Mine. The 'snowflake' appearance of this twinning is highly desired, and combined with the excellent gemminess and luster, make this a fine specimen. The delicate light brown color is also unusual, but I have seen it before in some outstanding Tsumeb Cerussites. Along the top are dozens of 2 mm, sharp Calcite rhombs. A very good representative example of the thick, complex, lustrous cerussites for which Tsumeb is famous - and better in person.
Attractive, pastel-colored combination piece from the well-known Annabel Lee Mine in southern Illinois. The outer zone of the Fluorites is a medium sky-blue, and the core is classic yellow. The crystals are gemmy, with frosted, stepped faces and cubic form. The largest crystal is 3.9 cm across. The Fluorites are adorned with hundreds of sharp, lustrous, tapered Calcite scalenohedron needles, many of which are doubly-terminated. Also, there are many mm-size, Ruby Jack Sphalerites that are gemmy and lustrous. These are concentrated at one end of the specimen. This cabinet size Fluorite is well-representative of this famous district. Honestly, this is much less expensive to me (and to you) coming out of a Canadian collection than it would be if I had to pay to buy it out of an American collection, these days!
Impressive cabinet specimen of Azurite that displays the tabular crystal habit so characteristic of the famous Easter Pocket find of the early 1990s (the last major azurite find at the mine, if I recall). The Azurites have superb luster and deep blue color, with the largest crystal being about 2 cm. Azurites from this pocket have a unique, totally characteristic, typical habit that is more flattened than other azurite styles. There is some minor edge wear, as normal for exposed Azurites like this, but it has only a nominal effect on the overall beauty and size impact, especially considering the rarity of cabinet pieces today nearly 25 years later. Associated with the Azurites are several reticulated Cerussite twins up to about 4 mm, and there is fluorescent Calcite in the matrix. Because of the sculptural quality of the piece and the matrix association, I would rate the aesthetics of this piece highly. RARE today! Comes with a custom base.
Recuerdo Vein, Huanzala Mine, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Department, Peru
Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 6.4 x 4 cm
This is a striking Fluorite/Pyrite combination piece from Huanzala, one of the world's best localities for Pyrite, as well as these rarely seen combinations (see the 1997 MR Peru issue cover, for instance). The octahedral Fluorite is gemmy, very sharp, and up to 3 cm on edge. The Pyrite cubes are lustrous, gently striated, and have slightly beveled edges. The largest of the Pyrite cubes is 2.5 cm. In addition, there is a complementary coating of white Calcite crystals down the center of the specimen. The balance on this small cabinet is excellent. The eye-catching Pyrites provide a good background as the Fluorite octahedron rises out and above. The aesthetics are superb, and even better in person. Art obtained most of his Peruvian specimens himself when down there for work or for research for the magnum opus on the Minerals of Peru, which he edited.
Torr Works Quarry (Merehead Quarry), Cranmore, Somerset, England, UK
Miniature, 5.0 x 3.0 x 2.5 cm
Yellow-orange, vitreous mereheadite and radiating, spherulitic aggregates of black crednerite within a veinlet of white calcite cutting a beautifully contrasting black matrix. The British Museum of Natural History label that accompanies the piece indicates that the material was collected in 1974 by R. F. Symes and A. J. Criddle. Ex. Paulo Matioli collection. Superb reference specimen with nice provenance
Bethel Level, Minerva Mine #1, Hardin County, Illinois, USA
Large Cabinet, 23.5 x 21.7 x 7.5 cm
A thick slab of micro-crystallized, sparkling, white alstonite is the matrix for five clusters of scalenohedral, lustrous and translucent, tan colored calcite, to 3.5 cm in length. Some damage to calcite tips is evident but this is tolerated due to the rarity and importance of the specimen as a whole for its rich and fine alstonite crystals that have such unusual luster to them. Mined in the 1940's to 1950's according to his label, and from the Ross Lillie collection. RCL#2173.
Rosiclare Level, Minerva Mine #1, Hardin County, Illinois, USA
Large Cabinet, 30.0 x 21.6 x 9.6 cm
A huge cluster of unusual aesthetics: intergrown rosettes of lustrous and translucent, dark amber-colored calcite are highlighted by a huge spherical cluster over 8 cm across in the middle. Mined from the Cross-cut ore body and from the Ross Lillie collection. RCL#0387. This looks great vertically or horizontally. It is a surprisingly decorative and sculptural piece, the likes of which I had not seen before from the District in anything bigger than half this size. It is also in remarkable condition.
Sub-Rosiclare Level, Denton Mine, Harris Creek Dist., Illinois, USA
Small Cabinet, 9.3 x 5.4 x 4.5 cm
Doubly terminated and twinned, this superb calcite specimen, beautifully perched atop a partial, fluorite crystal, measures 9.3 cm in length. One termination is single while the other exhibits multiple terminations The calcite is lustrous and gemmy with a rich amber color. Twinned calcite crystals are not common from the Illinois-Kentucky fluorite district. Mined December 22, 1983 and from the Ross Lillie collection. RCL#0581.
Annabel Lee Mine, Bethel Level, Harris Creek, Hardin Co., Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 12.2 x 8.3 x 6.5 cm
Acicular scalenohedrons of lustrous and translucent, colorless calcite, to 1.5 cm in length nearly cover an amber yellow fluorite crystal, 9 cm on an edge. Highly unusual iridescent blebs of oxidized chalcopyrite are scattered on the fluorite crystal. Mined in 1986 and from the Ross Lillie collection. RCL#1248. (priced at $2500 formerly, it IS rather unique and unusual!)
Bethel Level, Minerva Mine #1, Hardin County, Illinois, USA
Small Cabinet, 6.8 x 4.7 x 3.0 cm
A lustrous and translucent amber-colored fluorite crystal, measuring 4 cm across, is host to globular inclusions of white barite as well as a jackstraw assemblage of white calcite crystals to 1.5 cm in length. Mined April 1995 and from the Ross Lillie collection. RCL#0703. Highly unusual locality and inclusion specimen!
Bethel Level, Minerva Mine #1, Hardin County, Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 11.7 x 10.5 x 5.4 cm
A VERY unique assemblage, that also has two-sided aesthetics and a size significance that makes it stand out in any collection as an important piece. Benstonite is extremely rare worldwide and the best come from Illinois, I would say. This piece is a wildly different style of attractive and lustrous, deeply-colored benstonite perched to show off. Alstonite is a bonus, here. The shape of this specimen leads to the conclusion that a butterfly twin of calcite was replaced by the gray alstonite. Secondary growth of lustrous and translucent, amber colored benstonite coats large portions of the twinned crystals in an oriented fashion of overgrowth. Rare occurrence: Mined 1950's-1960's and from the Ross Lillie collection. Rcl#2338 (previously ex. Paul Harter and Dan Weinrich). Although not the most expensive thing, this is surely one of the more interesting pieces in the collection. It carries the special yellow tag marked as "museum reserve" which noted pieces under consideration for a deal to the Chicago Field Museum at one time.
Bethel Level, North-End, Annabel Lee Mine, Harris Creek Dist., Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 11.3 x 10.5 x 10.3 cm
This is a remarkable specimen but presents two equally desirable display directions. One side is covered in glassy and gemmy small calcite crystals from which rises a superb 7.8 cm in length, nail head calcite crystal which is glassy and gemmy, amber color on some faces and lustrous and translucent, frosted, light amber color ,on other faces. The other display face exhibits glassy and gemmy, rich blue fluorite crystals, to 2.3 cm across that are each wreathed by gemmy, colorless calcite crystals. One answer to please all collectors would be to rotate the specimen on a base, thus displaying both sides almost at once. Mined May 1992 and from the Ross Lillie collection. RCL#2275 (his label notes prices of $3500-3800 on the back). ex. Rick Russell collection.
Sub-Rosiclare Level, Minerva Mine #1, Hardin County, Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 13.2 x 11.0 x 6.7 cm
A central core layer of purple fluorite is covered by a cluster of lustrous and translucent, ivory colored scalenohedrons of calcite, to 2.5 cm in length. Some of the crystal tips are colored a light amber color giving the whole specimen a really unique "pincushion" effect. Mined in November 1994 and from The Ross Lillie collection. RCL# 1533. This is a large, beautiful, showy and deceptively "simple" specimen that nonetheless has really good aesthetics.
Rosiclare Level, Denton Mine, Harris Creek Dist., Illinois, USA
Small Cabinet, 8.8 x 6.8 x 5.7 cm
This is another of the stunning combination specimens that make this collection so important! A lustrous and translucent, purple fluorite crystal measuring 7.5 cm across clearly exhibits stepped growth and nice color. Complex growth, lustrous and translucent, amber colored calcite crystals, to 4 cm across are exquisitely perched on the fluorite crystal. The smaller calcites look like little jewels! Mined from the main Denton ore body in 1983. Ex. Ross Lillie collection. RCL#1515.
Rosiclare Level, Denton Mine, Harris Creek Dist., Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 11.1 x 8.0 x 7.6 cm
This is a rare style with gorgeous gems of calcite decorating a contrasting fluorite host! Totally covering the display side of lustrous, rich purple fluorite crystals measuring 4.5 cm across, are glassy and gemmy, colorless to amber colored calcite crystals to 1.2 cm across. A few calcite crystals are also doubly terminated. Mined from the Bahama Pod in 1992 and ex. Ross Lillie collection. RCL#1532. This piece SPARKLES in the light, and really is quite unusual for the district in the overall presentation and style.
Sub-Rosiclare Level, Denton Mine, Harris Creek Dist., Illinois, USA
Small Cabinet, 6.3 x 5.3 x 4.2 cm
This is another uncommon penetration twinned crystal from Illinois. It is lustrous and very slightly translucent with a vibrant, deep purple color. Gemmy colorless calcite crystals preferentially cover certain faces of the fluorite crystals which reach 4 cm across. Mined in July 1993 from the northern extension of the Bahama ore body. Ex. Ross Lillie collection RCL# 0462. Unusually dramatic!
From the pocket that produced the famous "red phantom" calcite crystals in 1998, this fine example is lustrous and translucent with a mostly golden amber color, save for the intense reddish orange color zoning in the upper half of the crystal. From the Cynthia Payne calcite collection. The piece is complete all around and actually viewable from all sides, though it has a contact on one face where another crystal was once attached. The termination is complete all around and the inclusion is very sharp for this material.
Toenail – A “gut feeling” but often overlaps between a large thumbnail and a small miniature
Miniature – Maximum 5.0 cm
Small Cabinet – Maximum 9.4 cm
Cabinet – Maximum 18.0 cm
Large Cabinet – Over 18.0 cm
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