Rosiclare Level, Minerva Mine #1, Cave-in-Rock Dist., Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 12.0 x 9.0 x 7.1 cm
A rare association of purple fluorite crystals, to 1.2 cm across, with tapering bundles of very light blue celestine, to 6 cm in length. The celestine closely resembles inverted wheat sheaves. Mined in March 1995 and from the Ross Lillie collection. RCL# 2037. Very rare from the fluorspar district, and let alone with the fluorite in association. An important locality specimen!
St. Louis Level, Annabel Lee Mine, Hardin County, Illinois, USA
Miniature, 4.9 x 4.1 x 4.0 cm
Unusually well developed textbook-shaped crystals of lustrous and translucent blue celestine (to 3.6 cm) are emplaced aesthetically on cubes of purple fluorite, to 1.5 cm in length. The largest celestine crystal is also doubly terminated. Very minor bruising on the celestine crystals does not diminish the beauty of the specimen overall but needs to be noted and pricing is lower, accordingly. This specimen was photographed in the MR, Illinois-Kentucky Issue, Vol. 28 # 1, Jan.-Feb. 1997, page 33, fig.57. Mined in March 1989 and from the Ross Lillie collection. RCL#1018.
This aesthetic specimen is the only small example I have seen of this classic material that demonstrates good quality. It is very different than the more common "spears" of fluorite on celestine. It features a 1 inch celestine crystal perched upon a knob of fluorite with the classic color and texture for this location. It is complete around, 360 degrees, and translucent throughout. This is from the noted Mexican collection of Dr. Peter Megaw, who specializes in exploration of mineral resources in Mexico and travels there extensively. Joe Budd photos.
Bull Creek, Near Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 4.9 x 2.6 cm
Texas celestites are rare. Those with COLOR even more so. I traded this piece from the late Art Smith in the early 1990s when I was in school in Houston, and sold it to a local customer at that time. I have just gotten it back. It STILL remains, to my eye, one of the most aesthetic and display-worthy examples of this material that I have seen. The crystal is very large and robust, with deep color and a fine termination atop. The bottom is also terminated, partially at least. Ex. Art Smith collection, this is likely an older piece from the "pay zone" in the old section of Bull Creek where people were once allowed to dig. Modern attempts to dig here are at the same deposit, but not quite the same bit of land where these old ones were found. Joe Budd photos.
Exemplary, highly-lustrous blade of Celestine with a very good attached calcite. The pics truly tell it all here. I remember when these were found in 1989, freak survivors of a pocket literally opened up by a wall blast and sent crashing to the quarry floor!
This gorgeous and unusually large piece features dozens of gem-quality, sparkling clear celestites perched in matrix of minutely crystalline sulfur. It is dramatic and colorful, as well as a great example of this old classic combo from a now-defunct locality!
Emplaced on matrix is a nest of glassy and translucent, pastel-blue crystals, of celestine, to 1 cm in length. Even though the crystals are intergrown, several clearly exhibit classic doubly terminated growth.
This is easily the largest and best formed isolated crystal of celestine in this lot and a major piece for the locale in that regard. Perched on matrix are glassy and translucent crystals of pastel blue celestine, to 2.25 cm across. Two of the larger crystals on the backside are also doubly terminated. The front is beautiful, with the blue clashing against the glittering little jewels of calcite crystals on the matrix under the celestine. The back has some small damage at the base of the crystal cluster, which you can see in the photo of the back side, but the front and display face is intact and that upright celestine is pristine. The style is uniquely Wessels Mine... classic in appearance, just an order of magnitude BIGGER than anything we have previously seen from here. Formerly this locality produced "locality pieces" of celestine. This is the first pocket I have seen that really competes for attention more globally. The color, luster and form are both aesthetic and outstanding!
This matrix specimen features a plate of angular, blunt-headed crystals, to 1.6 cm across, of glassy crystals. The color is a translucent pastel, light sky-blue. The style is uniquely Wessels Mine...classic in appearance, just an order of magnitude BIGGER than anything we have previously seen from here. Formerly this locality produced "locality pieces" of celestine. This is the first pocket I have seen that really competes for attention more globally. The color, luster and form are both aesthetic and outstanding!
Just a sliver of matrix underlies this specimen of intergrown, glassy and translucent, pastel-blue celestine. The luster is fabulous, especially for this locality. The crystals reach 1.9 cm in length and intergrown in a complex arrangement like a cogwheel. The top is all pristine and complete, with only a broken crystal near the base (contacted). Most of the crystals exhibit angular chisel-headed terminations and a few are also doubly terminated. The style is uniquely Wessels Mine... classic in appearance, just an order of magnitude BIGGER than anything we have previously seen from here. Formerly this locality produced "locality pieces" of celestine. This is the first pocket I have seen that really competes for status on a worldwide scale. The color, luster and form are both aesthetic and outstanding - and to my eye, quite unique in habit.
A thin crust of matrix gives way to a plate of angular, chisel-headed crystals, to 2 cm across, of glassy and translucent, pastel-blue celestine. On this piece many of the crystals terminate in opposite directions, making it look larger than it actually is because they splay out so nicely. A few of the celestine crystals are also doubly terminated. This is a MAJOR specimen for the species, from South Africa! The style is uniquely Wessels Mine... classic in appearance, just an order of magnitude BIGGER than anything we have previously seen from here. Formerly this locality produced "locality pieces" of celestine. This is the first pocket I have seen that really competes for status on a worldwide scale. The color, luster and form are both aesthetic and outstanding - and to my eye, quite unique in habit.
Emplaced on a thin crust of matrix, is a plate composed of intergrown crystals of angular, glassy and translucent, pastel-blue crystals of celestine, to 1.6 cm across. A few of the crystals are also doubly terminated. This is a MAJOR specimen for the species, from South Africa! The style is uniquely Wessels Mine...classic in appearance, just an order of magnitude BIGGER than anything we have previously seen from here. Formerly this locality produced "locality pieces" of celestine. This is the first pocket I have seen that really competes for attention more globally
Aesthetically perched on a sharp "spear" of snow-white celestite are cubes of glassy and gemmy, pastel purple, cubes of fluorite, to 1.1 cm across. This piece is exceptional for several reasons: the stark sharpness of the chisel-shaped celestite; the exceptionally gemmy cubes of fluorite; and the overall aesthetics. As well ,most of these were big and ugly - to find an aesthetic miniature is actually more difficult than to own a larger specimen
Mina Ilusion, Tanque de Leon, near Pylas, Coahuila, Mexico
Miniature, 4.8 x 4.7 x 3.3 cm
Small crystals of celestine are the matrix for a doubly terminated, lustrous and translucent, colorless, celestine crystal - NEARLY 5 cm across. This is a large crystal, and incredibly well-displayed for the locale where the species is actually quite rare. In fact, I have not seen the like, from Naica. This kind of thing fits very well with Dick Heck's goal of trying to get the diversity of Mexico in his collection without sacrificing an aesthetic sense
Mina Ilusion, Tanque de Leon, near Pylas, Coahuila, Mexico
Cabinet, 10.6 x 7.4 x 6.1 cm
Two, large, tabular, glassy and gemmy, colorless crystals of celestine, to 7.8 cm across, are separated by a sliver of matrix. The large crystal is doubly terminated and pristine while the other large crystal is just slightly contacted on the back side. Celestite is VERY RARE at this locality and this piece is one of the best I know of from the mines here. It is dramatic, and 3-dimensional, and holds its own with other locales. For Naica, though, it is nearly off the charts.
From finds in 2007-2008, this is a really superb small cabinet piece featuring three crystals laid next to each other, with minor accenting celestine. The piece is complete and 3-dimensional all around, except for some very minor edge wear on the back. Most of these specimens have contact problems, from how they were recovered and chopped out of the surrounding rocks. This, however, is in unusually good condition for the size and style. This material is HIGHLY fluorescent, a ghostly blue-white color under UV light. Moreover, it phosphoresces strongly as well, after the light is removed. Joe Budd photos
Mina Ilusion, Tanque de Leon, near Pylas, Coahuila, Mexico
Cabinet, 11.4 x 10.1 x 8.8 cm
A very strange piece! Highly etched crystals of lustrous and translucent, sky blue celestine to 7 cm are emplaced on a cherty matrix. Most of the crystals still exhibit their original sharp terminations as remnant caps on etched stalks. I have never seen a celestite like this. As well, it is big, blue, and attractive.
Mojina Mine, Sierra Mojina, Flores Mago'n, Chihuahua, Mexico
Cabinet, 12.2 x 10.0 x 7.4 cm
This is a really neat and weird style of specimen, that we have only seen from the old finds at this locality. Multiple fingerlike stalactites of celestine and calcite intergrowths, to 6.9 cm in length, are emplaced on matrix (also intermixed). The celestine is lustrous and gemmy and a lovely sky blue color, while the calcite is nearly snow-white. The swirling contrasts are striking, and this is one of the better-preserved examples of the material that I have seen go by in 2 decades of knowing about them. I could not even find when they were mined, except that older collectors always told me (as a young calcite collector myself): "a long time ago." Usually you only see small pieces, or large but damaged specimens. This one is pristine and complete all around, except only the massive matrix at base. It is aesthetic and displays well from ANY angle or view. The upper display side of the largest finger glows a neon-green fluorescence, indicative of a thin coating of hyalite opal. Although not in the Heck collection of Mexican minerals as are most others in this update, this piece is from the Stoudt collection which I also recently acquired, and so fit well with the larger update.
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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