The very fine blue Barites from Frizington are true classics. The largest crystal here (3.5 cm) is doubly-terminated, as are a number of the other crystals. The luster is outstanding, and the grey-blue color is both delicate and dazzling in its own way. The Barites rest on a bed of lustrous, curvaceous Dolomite crystals, and these are decorated by thousands of iridescent, micro Specular Hematites. The aesthetics are truly distinctive, and it displays vertically or horizontally. The overall form and shape hides the fact that one Barite on each side, low and out of the way, has been cleaved, although it is hard to spot in the overall 3-dimensional frontal presentation. This piece is that good, that if perfect, it would command several times higher a price. As it is, it still displays wonderfully and looks like it should cost far more. It is a truly classical example of these fine old specimens, in just the right size! Better in person.
Cavradi Gorge, Curnera Valley, Grischun, Switzerland
Small Cabinet, 7 x 4.2 x 3.7 cm
Cavradi Hematites are a classic, treasured by collectors as well as the strahlers who find them in alpine mountain clefts in the summer seasons. This stellar small cabinet specimen features pristine, lustrous, and striated blades that reach up to 2.4 cm across. These Hematite blades stand beautifully upon the gneiss matrix, and the geometry is such that the specimen looks great from virtually any angle. Unrepaired specimens of upright crystals on matrix like this, are frankly hard to come by. An absolute killer with 360-degree aesthetics and SHARP crystallization on contrasting matrix, this is about as good for this habit and locality as I have seen available in many a year.
Florence Mine, Egremont, West Cumberland Iron Field, Cumbria, England, UK
Cabinet, 13.5 x 9 x 4.5 cm
Very glassy and lustrous Smoky "Beta Quartz" crystals to 2 cm dominate this choice, old plate from the famous Florence Mine. The Quartz crystals are sharp and in very good condition (nearly pristine except only one crystal) with the unusual habit which I am told reflects high temperature origins. They have clusters of sparkly, black Hematite blades intermixed throughout, and this association adds greatly to the interest and value of the piece. The hematites are sharp and lustrous, much better than the usual style in association of frilly, or tiny, hematite crystals. The matrix is fascinating, being a thin plate of Hematite kidney ore, decorated with bright, sparkly Specularite, no less. This is an excellent, showy representation of a CLASSIC, OLD-TIME specimen from one of the most famous historic locales on the planet. This complex of mines is responsible for the iron age of Britain, and has been mined for specimens for the collector for 300 years. We have seen so many quartz and hematite combination pieces from this district, but this one would really rank highly in quality for the hematite size and luster, combined with the gemminess and quality of the quartz.
Notable and very three-dimensional, this spray of gemmy Calcites is really rather remarkable. The hexagonal prisms are completely gemmy with great luster, and in cross section they range from equant to tabular. What is quite fascinating is that the faces of the terminations, and only the terminations, are striated. The Calcites are tinted with Hematite, which is a famous association for this location. The longest Calcite is about 2.7 cm. Normally, you see mostly scalenohedrons from here, so this this habit another quality aspect of this small cabinet specimen that makes it stand out. This old-timer likely dates back to 1900 or earlier and was obtained in the 1970s from the Birmingham (England) museum in trade. Calcite specimens from the famed and historic Bigrigg Mine of Cumbria are always much sought after. Much better even in person, due to the exceptional gemminess!
Tinzenite, a member of the Axinite Group, is a rare borosilicate. The layered crystals, which are up to 1.6 cm in length, have superb vitreous luster. The Tinzenites are set in a matrix of fluorescent Calcite and very fine Hematite. This is the Type Locality for Tinzenite, and the overall piece is a fine, representative specimen with great mineralogical interest.
Zagi Mountain, near Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Small Cabinet, 5.7 x 4.7 x 1.7 cm
Lustrous pair of bladed Hematites, shot through with needles of shiny, golden-red Rutile. The largest Hematite is 5.7 cm across, and it is fronted by a second Hematite blade that is 4.2 cm. The lusters are mirror-like, and they are complemented nicely by the radiating sprays of Rutile crystals. A very good Pakistani combination piece and highly unusual for the locality!
Complexly terminated crystals of hematite to 2.6cm on a massive hematite matrix. The crystals have incredible mirror luster and are sharply formed, pseudo-cubic in fact. Some twinning appears to have occurred to some of the crystals. Nice display angle for the piece adds to the pizzazz. Minor edge wear is present on a few crystals but for the most part the crystals are in very good condition.
Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah, USA
Miniature, 4.6 x 4.4 x 1.6 cm
A complete floater with GEMMY, glassy luster and superb form! All tips are pristine, and it has a sparkle in person not conveyed in the pictures. The minute inclusions of metallic hematite throw off specks of light, and contrast, that are interesting and accent the sherry topaz color. An older specimen from this classic locale!
This is a superb Hematite for any locality. These twinned crystals (the fabulous termination belongs to the dominant crystal) have a fantastic mirror-like luster, which makes it devilishly hard to photograph. This is a terrific thumb, and far better in person!
This is a complete, mirror bright, well formed cluster of hematite crystals. The longest crystal is 3.0 cm in length. Minor damage around the periphery is insignificant in context, really. It is a very dramatic piece, with crystals I want to call pseudo-cubic, that are possibly twinned.
Well-defined and extremely lustrous on both sides, this is a lovely blade of hematite with classic form for the locality. luster is super! The natural contact on the left edge does not detract at all (and points back anyhow), and the red rutiles add to the overall aesthetics. A very showy thumb!
Wessels Mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields, South Africa
Miniature, 5.1 x 4.3 x 2.0 cm
So reflective that you can see your face I nit (or the hand of our photographer as you see here), this is a brilliantly mirror-lustrous, COMPLETE crystal of hematite, that makes for a dramatic miniature. The large crystal is perched on two small crystals at its base, and is a floater. It has some contact asymmetry on the backside, but is not damaged and is crystallized all around. We did not clean the back, leaving some pocket clay on to prove this point. The sides are as razor-sharp and lustrous as the front, and as bright! It displays in a case like a reflective mirror, and is one of the finest, if not the priciest, hematites in the update.
I have seen MANY of these quartz combos over the last few years but few strike me deeply, as this did when I saw it. It is a very balanced specimen with amazingly pristine hematite rosettes nestling the spear of quartz that shoots up and out. The front is pristine, as shown in the left photo. The back side looks pretty nice too, and shows more quartz, though one quartz in the lower-middle is broken off.
This dramatic sceptered quartz crystal has a milky stem sprinkled with hematite specks. A second generation of hematite inclusions has permeated the superb and well developed scepter head on this specimen. In fact, a close inspection reveals individual hematite flakes within. It is very 3-dimensional and complete all around. Not your every day scepter!
A milky white quartz crystal has been overgrown by a generation of parallel growth, translucent, hematite included, brownish-red, quartz. The largest of the secondary crystals measures 1.5 cm in length. The color contrast is striking and it LOOKS complex, even though its only a simple pattern repeated endlessly! The net effect is really like no other here, visually. Complete around the front and right side, contacted in back.
N'Chwaning Mines, near Kuruman, Kalahari Fields, South Africa
Small Cabinet, 8.8 x 4.0 x 3.8 cm
This is from a small find of hematite that I was told was collected 3 years ago, stashed and put away till now. It came to the Tucson show, and there I got much of the pocket. The hematite is jet black - not silvery as usual but really jet black, and so metallic and reflective you cannot believe it. These specimens BLOW AWAY the lustrous hematites from other localities and really are the most lustrous examples of the species I have seen - yes, blasphemy though it be, more so than Swiss or other previous Kalahari (Wessels Mine) hematites. The crystals are so brilliantly and naturally lustrous, they dull even with a simple gentle touch of fingerprint (and associated small oils from the skin which normally ENHANCE luster on other species and yet here can only hide the real luster underneath). In fact, you can see in the photo we intentionally did not clean the fingerprint off to emphasize this fact, to show how these are so lustrous in nature. And yet, the photos fail to convey, in the end, how good these specimens are. Trust me, its unlike any other hematite you have seen, in overall brilliance, in person. The crystals on this specimen are all pristine on the display face, and reach 3.2 cm in size. Interestingly, as a bonus, the small dark-black, pagoda-like crystals with lesser luster, that set off the larger crystals by accenting them, are hausmannite. This is a new combo on me, and quite distinctive for the pocket.
Banana Slide, Haile Moor Mine, Egremont, Cumberland, Cumbria, England
Small Cabinet, 7.9 x 6 x 5.5 cm
This unusual cluster of calcite crystals shows sharp colors and contrasts. The crystals, to 4 cm in length, are prismatic and have dispersed and attractive red hematite staining the lower 3/4 of the crystals. The terminations are colorless and transparent, but have sharp black dendritic manganese inclusions which add a very unusual accent to the piece. From the infamous Banana Slide area, Haile Moor Mine. Obtained from miner Arthur Scoble, purchased in 1994. Illustrated in "Classic Minerals of Northern England, " page 124
Elba is famous for fine Tourmalines, but over the years it has also produced large, very impressive Pyrites associated with Galena. They are highly desired, especially pieces with the combination to sparkling blades of hematite such as this one (found in the 1970s, if I recall). There are three distinct pyritohedrons on Galena matrix. The largest is about 6 cm, and the others between 5-6 cm. Incredible size and quality! The specimen is contacted in the back, but the presentation side is superb. The great form and luster of the Pyrites is dazzling and contrasts with hematite. The pics are good, but Pyrites are hard to shoot. It is even better in person. An amazing specimen for what it is and I usually see these at much higher prices
This is a world class quartz specimen from England of all places. It is a beautiful combination piece, displayable 360 degrees, showing brilliant and very large hematite crystals for the location (the old English Iron District). Hematite from here rarely forms big crystals, and these reach 1 cm as opposed to the usual sparkly druses of 1-3 mm crystals. The large quartz crystal is nearly 2 inches tip to tip and sits atop, doubly terminated and exposed nicely on the cluster - undamaged, I might add. Only a few small dings mar the periphery of smaller crystals, which hosts the big one atop. It was likely mined in the mid to late 1800s (see below) and from all I have seen in collections and museums abroad has to be one of the finest aesthetic examples of the so-called "beta quartz" from England. This is by modern standards, a competition quality piece: dramatic small cabinet specimen, complete all around, with brilliant luster to both species. I love it when history and quality converge! Note that I am told these are not true high-temperature beta quartz on a technical level, but they LOOK like it at first glance, certainly, and are often termed thus. The AE Foote label is probably 1880-1895 according to the Mineralogical Record's label archives: http://www.minrec.org/labels.asp?page=2&colid=477. Then the piece was in the collection of Mitch Gunnell by 1935 - and he was known for having an excellent English suite. A superb specimen in many regards, this is one of my favorites of the update
This is a classic hematite and quartz combo specimen from England, from the classic old English Iron District. It is most likely from the Florence or Beckermet Mines, or the Cleator Moor area. It is a beautiful combination piece, displayable at any orientation, and showing off sharp clear quartzes upon brilliant and very sparkly hematite crystals to 2mm. This is a fine large example of the so-called "beta quartz" from England: Note that I am told these are not true high-temperature beta quartz on a technical level, but they sure LOOK like it at first glance, certainly, and are often termed as such. Large, dramatic, classic combo! Hard to find in such quality today.
This is a very elegant and unusual cluster of stalactites made of hematite, that look just like chalcedony in the overall form and nature of the growths. The piece is certainly very old, as it came out of the Gerald Herfurth collection (he started his collecting in the 1940s). The dealer/collectors Cal and Kerith Graeber had kept it for their own Mexican collection as the Herfurth collection was disbursed; and only later sold it to Dave Stoudt. I purchased the Stoudt Mexico suite recently. This remains, to me, a particularly interesting Mexican mineral specimen. If it were "said to be" English, with the prices seen on those older-still pieces, this could fetch a multiple of the price. Joe Budd photos
We have all seen innumerable quantities of these aesthetic, dramatic combination pieces come out over the years. BUT, few have ever just stunned me for the sheer beauty and symmetry as this piece. It displays dramatically perched on a custom made lucite base which raises it into the air, to appear floating. Note this is somewhat fragile, and therefore hand delivery is a must for this specimen. Nevertheless, once put on a shelf, or in a drawer, it is safely at home! I paid a bloody fortune for this piece compared to what they usually go for, just because it is so striking, so balanced, and appealed to me when I usually ignore most of them. Joe Budd photos
At 540 grams, this is a robust, very large example of the famous "hematite roses" that came out of here in the 1950s-1970s, in sporadic pockets. Some are still found today, rarely - but not of such size. This is an older piece from a European collection. It is not pristine - there is some minor edge wear - but this is trivial in context and impact for such a large, impressive, "rose-shaped" example. Most such rosettes are only 1-2 inches. This is fully 4 inches across! Joe Budd photos
Crystals of brilliantly lustrous, metallic hematite, to 2.4 cm in length, exhibit mirror bright faces and exceptionally unusual crystal form. Most hematite from this locale is rather thin and frilly. This is a robust, very mirror-like crystal of high caliber
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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