A flashy, handsome miniature of very bright yellow gold from the Brusson mine in Italy, the little brother to the one listed above. This piece is hosted by a contrasty quartz matrix and the gold is three-dimensional with great eye appeal! It looks like a miniature crown emanating from the quartz! There is a 2mm pyrite cube and several submillimeter pyrites placed randomly as accents. Ex. J. M. Welting collection with label.
A beautiful, large and very rich aerial arrangement of gold from an historic Italian locality. The piece exhibits bright yellow-gold color with local areas displaying an orange patina and contrasts incredibly well with the white clay-calcite matrix. The Brusson mine has produced some very showy pieces such as this sporadically throughout its life of intermittent mining. Notes from Emanuele Marini, that accompany the piece, indicate the gray phase is a mixture of Pb-Cu-Sb sulfosalts and that it was mined in a 1995 find here.
Rosia Montana (Verespatak), Alba Co., Transylvania, Romania
Miniature, 5.5 x 3.6 x 2.7 cm
A rich piece for the locality, with a wonderful old label: This is a tight aggregate of glistening, crystallized native gold (var. electrum) with a very significant and interesting provenance! The cluster itself measures 2.7 x 2.8 x 0.6 cm and is set adroitly on drusy quartz. Crystals average 1mm, with a few individual crystals to 3.5mm. The Ignacio Gaspar Sintes label indicates the piece originated at one point from the National Museum of Hermannstadt (now Brukenthal National Museum) where it belonged to the museum's curator, J. M. Ackner (historic labels from both collections are included). Ignacio's notes also denote that the piece previously belonged to Baron Brukenthal who was governor of the area between 1777 and 1787. Mining at this deposit dates back to the Roman Empire. An EDS analysis is also included (showing that this is electrum). A very nice piece with great provenance and historical significance, it displays well.
Belshazzar Mine, Quartzburg District, Boise Co., Idaho, USA
Cabinet, 10.0 x 7.2 x 6.0 cm
An important United States gold specimen: Gold from this small mine near Boise was found in this quality only once in a spectacular, small lucky find of around 2005 (with ametal detector on the old dumps). This specimen is one of the largest and finest known from the find, and was in the collection of the discoverer for some time before being sold to amajor collector of historic Americana. It masses 540 grams (17.36 troy ounces), putting it among the largest golds known from unusual USA locales, and among the top few specimens from this location. It is extremely aesthetic in that it is complete all around, 360 degrees, and made up entirely of delicate, filigreed "wires" which are actually gold crystals that get their elongated form from unusual spinel-law twinning. A small bit of quartz matrix is included at the bottom, but this is neglegible to the mass overall. Comes with custom lucite base. Joe Budd photo.
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 0.3 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
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!
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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