Sub-Rosiclare Level, Davis/Deardorff Mine, Cave-in-Rock Dist., Illinois, USA
Small Cabinet, 9.2 x 8.6 x 8.1 cm
This is one of the older mines in the district from which we see very few specimens preserved, and from which the sparkling white quartz is treasured. And yet, this is perhaps the most interesting specimen I have seen from here over many years. A brilliant, white quartz druse forms the matrix for disparate clusters of splendent, black crystals of sphalerite, to 1.2 cm in length, which also exhibit the occasional red highlight. Scattered on both the quartz and sphalerite crystals are lustrous and translucent, lavender colored fluorite cubes, to 8 mm across. Most of the fluorite crystals have a thin quartz layer covering some faces. This is on its surface, a stunning combo specimen that is just super sparkly and bright! However, there is more...turn it around and you can see the clear form of the quartz replacing large and robust blades of barite. Mined in the 1950's and from the collections of Jimmie Dufoe and Ross Lillie. RCL# 0120. Ross notes that he bought this in 1999 and valued it in 2007 at $3500, by the way, (on the back of his label) indicating the significance he felt this piece had in context of the district. As well, it has a special yellow sticker denoting it was in a nearly-completed deal to sell part of this collection to the Chicago Field Museum. All in all, one of the most unusual specimens in the collection, in our mutual shared opinions.
This is a rare calcite inside an amethyst geode, from this ancient and classic locality. We do not see many on the market today. Idar remains today, even after the exhaustion of its famous crystal deposits, the center of world lapidary skill and craftsmanship. Emplaced aesthetically on slightly amethystine quartz is a lustrous and translucent, golden amber colored calcite crystal measuring 4.5 cm in length. A few smaller calcite crystals also adorn the quartz. This is an old classic, and very rare on the market. From the Cynthia Payne calcite collection.
Rough claims 3 and 4, Kechika River, Sifton Pass, Liard Mining Division, British Columbia, Canada
Miniature, 2.5 x 2.5 x 1.75 cm
Originates from the type locality and is a co-type specimen! A member of the Hollandite Supergroup, this miniature consists of white barite matrix with black veinlets of this rare barium titanium vanadium oxide Ex. Basil R. Halhed and Paulo Matioli collections.
Mina Velha, Morro Velho, Nova Lima, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cabinet, 9.0 x 6.0 x 5.5 cm
Visible gold from this classic local! A dolomitic matrix with pyrrhotite and arsenopyrite hosts a white quartz vein, with minor siderite, within which a 1.5mm, well-formed gold crystal resides in a vug with euhedral quartz and dolomite-siderite crystals accompanied by a vibrant, orange-red scheelite crystal. Great association specimen and nice gold crystal for Morro Velho. Ex. Paulo Matioli collection.
Big Fish River, Dawson Mining district, Yukon Territory, Canada
Miniature, 4.5 x 3.0 x 1.5 cm
Approved in 2008. A very good specimen with great associations from the type locality! A matrix piece with several colorless to white, translucent to transparent, well-formed crystals of bobdownsite to 1.5cm with excellent pearlescent luster. For added interest and contrast, there are lustrous, dark, teal blue, kulanite crystals as singles and 2.5mm lamellar clusters along with abundant, white aggregates of nahpoite to a few mm. Well-formed arrojadite (KFe) crystals to 1mm are also situated strategically on the piece. From the late 1990's. Ex. Paulo Matioli collection.
A rare specimen of schneebergite and nickelschneebergite that represent new members of the Tsumcorite Group as of 2002, and represent the bismuth analogues of cobaltlotharmeyerite and nickellotharmeyerite, respectively. They occur as pale brown microcrystalline crusts in small dissolution vugs replacing a primary sulfide or sulfosalt in quartz matrix. This specimen originates from the type locality in the historic Roter Berg District, Schneeberg District, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany. Ex. Paulo Matioli collection.
Wheal Carpenter, Fraddam, Gwinear-Gwithian, Cornwall, England, UK
Miniature, 3.5 x 3.0 x 1.5 cm
A rich, classic, specimen of botryoidal, green cornwallite in a boxwork, matrix with quartz, granular massive barite, and goethite from Wheal Carpenter, Fraddam, Gwinear-Gwithian, Cornwall, England, UK. Cornwallite is the arsenate analogue of malachite. British Museum of Natural History label indicating it was collected by Arthur Kingsbury in 1952 and verified via XRD by Mike Rumsey in 2007. A nice specimen with good provenance. Ex. British Museum and Paulo Matioli collections.
A highly desirable specimen from one of the great, iconic finds of Quartz of all time! Originally discovered in the 1960's by a mineral collector/dealer, these Smoky twins remain one of the most impossible-to-obtain of all American finds. This twin has a brilliant luster, great gemminess, and elegant striations that add interest and brightness. These Smokies are notable for their aesthetics, uncommon habit, and sheer rarity. This pocket of Smoky, Japan Law-twinned Quartz represents the finest American occurrence of both "open" and "closed" twins from the same pocket (this piece shows a closed twin with great chevron twin planes!). Closed twins are more rare, worldwide, than open twins of this habit. The left side is contacted but it displays well anyhow. I have seen only a few of these for sale in last few decades and this is a fine miniature.
Yaogangxian Mine, Yizhang Co., Hunan Province, China
Miniature, 3.5 x 2.6 x 2.1 cm
Outstanding combination piece from the famous Yaogangxian Mine in China. This stunner has a beautiful, gemmy, 1.5 cm Fluorite resting on top of terminated, gemmy Quartz crystals. Associated are also Arsenopyrite and Pyrite. In addition, the Fluorite, instead of having the classic internal phantoms we are used to from this mine, has its edges colored purple instead. The effect is amazing. Great aesthetics, excellent luster, and frankly just a delightful specimen. Small miniature or large thumbnal sized.
Kavalerovo Mining District, Primorskiy Kray, Far-Eastern Region, Russia
Small Cabinet, 6.6 x 3.3 x 3.0 cm
Primorskiy Kray is justifiably famous for its outstanding suite of minerals, not the least of which are the incredible and diverse Fluorites. Mines names such as Dal'negorsk and Kavalerove bring these images to mind. The Fluorite here is a sharp, mostly complete, 2.9 cm (on edge) octahedron, sitting on white to clear Quartz crystals. The Fluorite is frosted, has an enchanting mint green color (with the tiniest hint of blue), and an incredible fluorescence. It is even decorated with single, micro crystals of Pyrite that look like golden snow. Simply put, the aesthetics are outstanding.
A SUPERB, incredibly sharp cluster of lustrous blades of Wolframite from old mining here back in the 1990s. The blades range up to 5.5 cm long and 2 cm wide, and the edges, seemingly beveled in appearance, are super-sharp. Associated with the Wolframite are crystals of Arsenopyrite up to 5 mm, Pyrite up to several mm, and small, subhedral Muscovite. The entire cluster has a Quartz crystal as a core. The only blemishes on the piece are small areas of contact, possibly from Muscovite. The overall geometry, balance, and aesthetics are very good, as you can see. For the size, it is among the best I have seen in terms of quality.
Swiss (Alpine) Smoky Quartz crystals are the zenith for this variety. The luster, gemminess, and overall form are usually superb for the specimens from this region, and this single is no exception. It is glassy, just the right amount of smokiness, and it is totally gemmy throughout. There is the tiniest of edge wear at the tip, but it doesn't affect the overall aesthetics - this is a choice representative from this area that leaps out for clarity and color from any other smokies around the world.
Cruzeiro mine, Sao Jose da Safira, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cabinet, 12 x 9 x 7.7 cm
The centerpiece of this cabinet specimen from the famous Cruzeiro Mine of Brazil is a beautiful and gemmy Elbaite Tourmaline crystal that has an excellent, saturated green color. The luster on the prism faces is superb, with the termination having more of a matte finish. The bottom terminating is crudely terminated, but definitely terminated, making it a DT (Double-Termination). It sits on a sharp and complete Quartz crystal that is near totally gemmy, with one half being glassy and window-like and the other half being frosted and translucent. Sitting as the Elbaite does on this gemmy, doubly terminated Quartz crystal, the aesthetics of this combination are excellent. It is a floater, complete all around on both species' crystals, which is somewhat unusual!
Marlborough, Rockhampton Region, Queensland, Australia
Cabinet, 12.2 x 9.6 x 2.4 cm
A large vein section of what certainly can be considered 'gem quality' Chrysoprase. This variety of Chalcedony, apple green and translucent, is always in high demand, and the quality of this solid plate is excellent. From the well-known Marlborough, Queensland location. This is a great reference specimen, although probably worth quite a bit more if cut up into little bits of jewelry. 360 grams.
Tongren Mine, Wanshan District, Tongren Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China
Small Cabinet, 8.4 x 5.2 x 4.7 cm
A superb, unusually sharp, 2.5-cm-long pair of Cinnabar PENETRATION twins sitting perfectly on contrasting matrix of Quartz and Dolomite. Seldom do you get such a nice display on one of these twinned crystals, which generally were found in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The adamantine luster is first-rate, and the consistency of color is outstanding. The secondary set of crystals is not as perfectly developed, but nonetheless this is a fine combination piece with a sharp main set of crystals perched against sparkling matrix. Old material from the late 1980s, or early 1990s.
Main Stope, Sweet Home Mine, Mount Bross, Park Co., Colorado, USA
Cabinet, 12 x 5.6 x 1.5 cm
The Sweet Home mine is famous for its Rhodochrosite specimens, but it has produced some very fine Fluorites, as well. This Cabinet specimen is dominated by at least a hundred eye-catching, sky-blue Fluorite cubes that average 2-3 mm in size. Many are perched on the frosted, sharp Quartz needles, creating a dramatic combination. These Fluorites are actually gemmy and zoned, with faces that are frosted to translucent. There are some Pyrite crystals tucked down amidst the Quartz, as well as some other sulfides, possibly Tetrahedrite among them. This is a choice, inviting association specimen from the mine that produced the world's finest Rhodochrosites. Rare!
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.
Chiurucu Mine, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru
Small Cabinet, 8.7 x 6 x 5.5 cm
An excellent specimen with unusually good aesthetics for this material, from a famous 1998 find at this mine. The Rhodonites have a sharp, bladed habit, with the blades reaching a full 2.5 cm in length, though usually not fully exposed due to the roseate arrangement of adjacent crystals. The color is an excellent, rich pink-red, and the luster is equally good. Many of the blades are decorated with totally gemmy, 2 mm Quartz crystals, which add greatly to the aesthetics. From the Soregaroli collection, which was rich in fine Peruvian specimens, this is one of the better pieces I have seen in awhile. Few good ones are on the market now, as they can only come as collections are recycled. It is truly one of the most collectible and colorful of Peruvian minerals.
Elegant and delicate, this is a quintessential example of the great combination pieces from the trap rocks of India. The Chalcedony beautifully coats the winding, narrow stalactites that were already there. The Chalcedony continued to grow, adding these delicate structures that range from straw-like fingers to larger stalks. It's really quite remarkable when you look at it. These winding Chalcedony stalks act as the matrix for this aesthetic specimen. Jauntily perched on the Chalcedony are lustrous, translucent, pearly crystals of salmon-colored Stilbite, some of which reach 3.4 cm and are doubly-terminated. There are also crystals of lustrous, pearly, brick red Heulandite crystals. This complex specimen is really quite spectacular in its quality and detail. Excellent aesthetics.
Sub-Rosiclare Level Davis/Deardorff Complex, Ozark-Mahoning, Cave-in-Rock Dist., Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 10.0 x 7.3 x 5.6 cm
A very old specimen with unique aesthetics, as large quartz crystals are rare from the District and association with fluorite - almost never seen! Possibly mined ca. 1940s to 1950s, this specimen consists of a matrix of stubby, lustrous and translucent, colorless quartz crystals to 1.7 cm upon which a layer of glassy and gemmy, light purple fluorite crystals, to 6 mm across are dripped like sugar cubes. RCL1220.
From a rare location where the drusy smoky quartz is typical of the deposit mined out in the 1930s (and is caused by hydrocarbons within), this specimen features large cubes of lustrous and translucent, purple fluorite, to 4.8 cm across. The fluorite crystals clearly exhibit stepped growth and are emplaced on drusy smoky quartz which grew on a limestone matrix. Discovered in the summer of 2003 in a lucky find at the old mine, this is a highly unusual specimen for the district, and a pretty piece on its own merits. RCL 1364.
Big Fish-Blows River-Rapid Creek Area, eastern Yukon Territory, Canada
Miniature, 4.0 x 4.0 x 2.5 cm
This fine baricite specimen hails from the type locality and famed iron formation-hosted phosphate mineral occurrence in the Yukon. Excellent, well-formed, blue, tabular lamellar crystals of baricite to 1.8cm exhibiting a pearly luster are associated with small, terminated quartz crystals within a milky white quartz vein (possibly associated with bobdownsite). Baricite is the magnesium analog of vivianite. Comes with the original type-written description/label.
Panasqueira Mine, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Small Cabinet, 8.8 x 3 x 3 cm
Extremely rare! Panasqueraite occurs at only two locations, and these are in the same district. This crystalline, massive Panasqueraite is classic for its habit and tannish-flesh color. The luster is actually very good, and I am told this would be a very rich specimen. The remaining parts of the piece is gray Quartz, bladed but incomplete Wolframite, and Muscovite crystals. This is a first for me to handle, and I am glad to have this extreme rarity. Note the piece is very rich, and could be trimmed into multiple specimens.
Pampa Blanca, Castrovirreyna Province, Huancavelica Dept., Peru
Cabinet, 11.8 x 8.5 x 8 cm
A rare locality piece! This is a hefty cabinet specimen rich in Andradites, all partially encased in drusy Quartz. The Andradite dodecahedrons, which are a deep clove brown with olive highlights, are quite lustrous. The largest is 3.1 cm across. There is a little bit of wear in a few places, but overall this is a good, representative Andradite specimen for the locality.
Linopolis, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Southeast Region, Brazil
Small Cabinet, 6.9 x 6.8 x 5 cm
Sharp, quite attractive combination piece featuring a single Smoky Quartz crystal emanating from a single Schorl. The Smoky Quartz, gemmy and lustrous, is pristine and 6.3 cm long. The Schorl has excellent luster and an intriguing termination with very fine hexagonal and circular ripple patterns. Naturally, it is contacted on the bottom. Both individual species, by themselves, are very good, and together they make quite an aesthetic pair.
Sub-Rosiclare Level, Davis/Deardorff Mines, Cave-in-Rock District, Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 14.0 x 8.0 x 7.0 cm
A gorgeous specimen of really glassy sphalerites from one of the older mines in the district circa 1950s-1960s (per Ross Lillie label). Perched on corroded galena along with minor quartz, this intergrown plate of splendent black sphalerite crystals, to 1.8 cm in length, exhibits gemmy reddish orange highlights. It is nearly pristine all around, and it reflects light phenomenally in person - much better than indicated in the photos. Mined in the late 1950's or early 1960's.
Rosiclare Level, Shipp & Covert Mine, Lead Hill Area, Cave-in-Rock District, Illinois, USA
Small Cabinet, 8.5 x 7.0 x 3.9 cm
One of the oldest pieces in the collection, this one is subtle and historic, but also beautiful. Aesthetically emplaced on a smoky quartz druse are a cluster of lustrous and translucent, rich lavender colored fluorite cubes, to 2.5 cm across. The second largest crystal has minor damage to a corner but this is still a very nice specimen. According to the Ross Lillie label, this was mined in the 1930's and is an "excellent, aesthetic combination from extremely rare location. Note two generations of quartz. Smoky phase is later and fluoresces due to hydrocarbon inclusions. Also, growth irregularities on spar surface are possible interference from hydrocarbons." RCL 132
Sub-Rosiclare Level, Davis/Deardorff Mines, Cave-in-Rock District, Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 13.1 x 12.0 x 6.5 cm
A beautiful double-sided specimen with sparkling stubby "fingers" of colorless quartz on one side and intergrown cubes of lustrous and translucent, purple-colored fluorite, to 2.2 cm across, on the other face. It is literally two specimens in one - different on each side. The classic rich color and the quartz association are characteristic of older material from this mine, the Deardorff, known for quartz association in a district where quartz is generally quite rare. As well, the quartz on fluorite is rarer still. Although not from the Lillie collection, this specimen is still an old classic, in good shape considering its age and the way these were treated by miners prior to the 1980s or so. A few small corner cleaves do not detract materially from the display view, though they are present. I have been told that pieces like this are from the 1960s or previous, though one cannot confirm this easily.
Silvery, blood-red Cinnabar crystals to 1.1 cm with a silky luster are attractively scattered on the massive, Quartz-coated Cinnabar matrix. The ancient mercury mines at Almaden have been in production since the Roman Age, 2000 years ago. This is an attractive, old-time, rich and hefty mercury ore specimen from this historic district. Classic, very rare material with excellent display qualities for a specimen from such an old industrial mine.
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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