Gorgeous cluster of slightly worn, hoppered Gold crystals from the Windy Point Mine in Nevada. The rich, golden crystals have maintained their form and integrity, and together they form a stunning thumbnail.
Mockingbird Mine, Mother Lode Belt, Mariposa County, California, USA
Thumbnail, 2.2 x 1.4 x .3 cm
A striking cluster of gleaming Gold crystals, together forming a brilliant arborescent branch. On one side of the cluster, the crystals, both untwinned and twinned, are smooth and shiny. One the reverse side, you can see the detailed hopper growth on most of the crystals. The largest crystal is about .8 cm long. This outstanding thumbnail is from the renowned collection of Clara & Steve Smale. It has the most incredible luster you could ask for, and jumps out at the viewer as a sophisticated thumbnail specimen
Richly crystallized on both sides with good luster and a buttery golden color, this very aesthetic Round Mountain gold specimen weighs 1/2 ounce. The crystallization LOOKS like the usual frilly, leafy style, but in fact it is VERY robust, and cannot be bent. This is a major miniature gold specimen, which in person looks much more 3-dimensional than flat photos can convey. From the personal collection of one of the major dealers in such things, sold to me in the early 2000's when this style came out.
Kilometer 88 District, West of Santa Elena, Venezuela
Thumbnail, 2.0 x 1.7 x 1.0 cm, 54 cts
This unusually elongated gold specimen is BOTH spinel twinned and has hopper growth features. It exhibits both classic Venezuelan habits. This exquisite crystal is large, to be so sharp. Most of this size are severely deformed, even from this prolific locality. This one is elegant and sharp as can be. This is a unique and really interesting specimen for people who like crystals for their quality as opposed to weight. It displays magnificently, with a nice golden-toned patina, and frankly I like it either side up... personal choice. From the thumbnail collection of Steve Sinotte & Rebecca Stewart, and found in the 1990's. Joe Budd photos.
A choice 7.7 gram nugget obtained by the panning sand and gravels of the Hunza River, near Pasu. While gold is relatively common in almost all the rivers in the area, nuggets of this size are extremely rare and are almost never seen, most being melted and refined. Rare!
Eagles Nest golds are of course the "staple" of the modern collector of crystallized golds. There are a lot of them, as the mine is commercially mined ONLY for the specimens that come out of it. Nevertheless, there are golds and there are Golds, ones that stand out among the crowd. This is a superb and sculptural piece with unusual elegance, finely crystallized on both sides! It is not just "big," it is dramatic. Joe Budd Photos.
Kilometer 88 District, West of Santa Elena, Venezuela
Thumbnail, 2.5 x 0.5 x 0.2 cm
This wonderful, elongated gold specimen is apparently spinel twinned with hopper growth. It exhibits classic Venezuelan habits. This exquisite crystal is a HUGE gold crystal, to be so sharp. Most of this size are severely deformed, even from this prolific locality. This one is elegant and sharp as heck. A killer specimen for people who like crystals for their quality as opposed to weight. It displays magnificently, with a nice golden-toned patina, and frankly I like it either side up... personal choice, there.
This mine is now justifiably famous as the most shocking new source of gold specimens in the recent history of US gold mining. Several habits have come out, in bits and bursts over the last 5-6 years now. For me, large crystals have always been the prize. And this piece has among the largest (in size, if not thickness) I have yet seen from the mine. It is a superb, elongated cluster of several large gold crystals to 2 inches in height, melded together by smaller connecting crystals. The piece is composed of flattened, elongated gold crystals to be sure, but is itself not "flat" in person. In fact, it has a concave curve to it and displays very 3-dimensionally and more space-filling than you might think. This was found in about 2007 and has since then been on exhibit, on loan, to a museum for a Gold exhibition. Joe Budd photos
Diltz Mine, Whitlock, Bear Valley, Mariposa Co., California, USA
Small Cabinet, 5.7 x 4.2 x 1.1 cm
A spread-eagled, flattish but robust crystallized gold specimen from this classic old US locale. The Diltz mine was famous for these platy, hefty gold crystals. The surface area to weight ratio here is great in terms of getting a big and showy gold for the price! The mine is now long closed and specimens with this attribution turn up only in old collections. It is complete all around and has a beautiful patina. Mass is 43 grams, or nearly 1.4 ounces of gold, here. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.
This is a very robust, 3-dimensional, sharp gold octohedron showing complex hopper faces. It is sharp as can be wished for, and perched up on a smaller side crystal. The main octohedral faces reach to 11 mm. This is an exceptional quality for the Eagle's Nest Mine, of a style of crystallized gold seen more commonly from the Mockingbird and even then quite rare. Ex. Ron Pellar thumbnail collection. Joe Budd photos.
Lena River Basin, Bulun District, Saha Republic, Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia
Thumbnail, 1.7 x 1.6 x 0.8 cm
A fine, very baroque Russian gold nugget with some sharp casts showing in its form (either from original sharp crystals of gold, or from gold the cast over another object, now missing). From the gold collection of F. John Barlow, sold off in 1999. Mass is 8.5 grams.
I obtained this from a miner's agent in the early 2000's. It is a large and interesting specimen with veins of herringbone-fine gold strewn through the natural matrix. It is very illustrative of how gold crystals form in vein cavities, as well as a rich display piece in its own right. Note in the close-ups how finely formed the small, elegant crystals are : present in several distinct habits, as well. This piece was borrowed from me starting in 2007 for the Houston Museum/American Museum of Natural History GOLD! Exhibition. It then toured as part of the AMNH-organized exhibit for 4 years, coming back to me only in mid 2011 as the travelling exhibit ended at the Chicago Field Museum. This prominent exhibit was shown in Tokyo's Mori Museum, and also in Atlanta, Denver, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans among other cities. Documentation provided. Joe Budd Photos.
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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