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.
Terminating convergence results in this striking xenotime-(Y) and quartz miniature. The termination of a well-formed, 2.7cm, dark amber, tapered, tetragonal prism of xenotime-(Y) intersects with the complimentary termination of an attractive, very pale smoky quartz crystal producing a unique, well-composed piece from Novo Horizonte, Brazil. Both crystals are in excellent condition. Matrix xenotimes from this locality are the exception compared to the myriad of single crystals out there that are generally of low quality. ex. Paul Stahl collection, from the early 2000's.
This is a superb, world class "toenail" or large thumbnail of weloganite from the Francon quarry in Quebec, Canada, the type locality! This remarkable piece is composed of a rotund, translucent, 2.6cm long, doubly terminated weloganite augmented by a multiple side-car duo of terminated crystals. The crystals exhibit a nice straw yellow color and good luster with a local thin highlight of off-white dresserite near the base. The large crystal is also accented by more than a dozen 1.5mm single or doubly terminated, slightly milky quartz crystals. Probably one of the best weloganite specimens to originate from this now defunct locality. Not only does weloganite have an intriguing crystal habit, its chemistry is interesting as well; it's a sodium strontium zirconium carbonate hydrate! Most weloganite specimens were recovered in the late 1960s and 1970s by Don Doell, and this is one of the finest for its size but also, in terms of outright quality, hard to beat.
Foote mine, King's Mountain, Cleveland Co., North Carolina
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 2.8 x 1.6 cm
A very good and attractive matrix specimen of fluorapatite from the famed Foote mine in North Carolina! Dark purple-gray, moderately lustrous, short hexagonal barrels of fluorapatite adorn the contrasting off-white drusy quartz matrix. There is good separation between the crystal clusters that enhance the aesthetics of the piece. Ex. John Lindell collection with label.
Gravel Hill Mine, Perranporth, Cornwall, England, UK
Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 4.5 x 3.0 cm
Gossanous matrix with a cavity hosting profuse amounts of pale yellow tufts composed of finely acicular to fibrous strunzite crystals from 0.5 to 1.5mm in length. Some strunzite on the reverse of the piece as well. A very rare species specimen from an unusual deposit in Cornwall. Strunzite is a rare manganese iron phosphate. Ex. Peter H. Abraham collection with label. He was a collector in Surrey. The label notes this was from Michael Merry in 1987, so I am assuming that Merry, a well known field collector, found it himself. I have never seen one from this find.
N'Chwanning II mine, Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Miniature, 4.1 x 3.7 x 3.0 cm
This gorgeous competition-quality rare miniature features a sparkling, very vivid, lemon yellow microcrystalline coating of jouravskite, a rare hydrated calcium manganese sulfate-carbonate, on a cluster of glassy to iron-stained quartz crystals. It glows with a color like a lemon peel from several orientations, as if it was made of sparkly sugar crystals. This piece hails from the N'Chwanning II mine in the Kalahari manganese fields of South Africa which produces the best of species for this mineral. This was from the Charlie Key collection, that I purchased in around 2010.
Xenotime-(Y) matrix specimens are incredibly rare and this is an attractive miniature with great composition from the 1990s finds in Novo Horizonte. We have a well-formed, 2.9cm, dark amber, tapered, tetragonal prism of xenotime-(Y) juxtaposed on a cluster of translucent quartz crystals that exhibit small, golden sheaves of rutile on the surface and as inclusions within the quartz. A great matrix miniature of this yttrium phosphate! There is some trivial edge-wear to the xenotime crystal. Matrix specimens, and a fine miniature with balance like this, are so rare. I cannot recall even seeing a good one. It is a competition quality miniature example of a rarity usually only found as thumbnail crystals.
From a recent, shocking find of new citrines a few years ago, only a few specimens had such sharp twinning - and seem to be the first known citrine japan-law twins. This one is lustrous and transparent with a lovely golden color. The Japan-law-twin of quartz exhibits the typical flattened habit as you see here, with a join angle of just under 90 degrees. Contacts at the terminations detract slightly from the overall quality and value, but not a whole lot from the display impact or interest of such a rare crystallized form of citrine.
Panasqueira Mine, Covilha, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Small Cabinet, 7.7 x 2.2 x 2.2 cm
A lustrous and gemmy, smoky quartz crystal with distinct phantoms, measuring 7.7 cm in length, is encrusted on the back side by a druse of splendent, brassy yellow pyrite which itself is encrusted by a later generation of drusy white calcite. An absolute gem of a specimen with multiple layers and contrasts! THis is a unique old pocket from the mine, and I have seen only a few of them in the past. It is very sparkly and bright, in a case.
Switzerland is justly famous for its huge variety of quartz formations, but this piece stands out even amonst so much diversity as something special for its shocking luster (hard to convey in photos) combined with complex skeletal growth on the sides. That growth is contrasted to a perfect prismatic termination, whereas most crystals that are skeletal are so from the bottom to the top. The textural and geometrical contrasts of this, in this crystal, are just amazing in person. The sparkle and luster, and total 100% gemminess and clarity of the crystal, take it up to a level of specimen that few quartz singles reach, to my mind. It was from recent finds, brought out at Munich in 2015, and said to be the best example of the pocket by my source. Joe Budd photos.
Sapucaia Mine, Sapucaia do Norte, Galileia, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cabinet, 14.0 x 10.5 x 10.0 cm
This historic specimen is just the stereotypical ideal of a Rose Quartz specimen, to my mind: It has contrast, color, dimensionality, and history to it. This style dates to the old Brazil finds of the 1960's, the same as the Smithsonian's famous Van Allen Belt piece. It has a wreath of Rose Quartz of high color, surrounding a TOTALLY CLEAN AND CRISP, colorless quartz point. Unusually, there is no smoky or gray tones to the quartz. It is 14 cm tall as shown and is a full-on cabinet piece, that displays equally well vertically or sideways. It is 360 degrees and complete all around, though the dimensionality is hard to capture because of all the reflections and the depth of focus here. I LOVE the piece. It is the kind of Rose Quartz specimen that I would dream of if I could make one in a 3D printer, with aesthetics and balance together. The specimen has remarkably only one clean repair, that is impossible to see anyhow, and is completely acceptable in context. Pieces like this, 50 years and more out of the ground, seldom turn up outside the world's top museums. For whatever reasons of geology and mineralogy, Rose Quartz is the rarest and hardest quartz species to obtain in top form for the advanced collector. Comes with custom lucite base. Joe Budd photo.
Spruce Claim Pyrites are the finest in the USA, and among the finest in the world when at their best. Rarely do we get them with great aesthetics and no damage, though, due to the high altitude, remote location, and the hard rock mining. It is a great story, how these are collected. This remote locality is REALLY HARD to collect at, and the collecting season is short. Collectors must drop in by helicopter, rappel down, and collect off the precarious cliffs here. Thus, as you can imagine, good specimens are few and far between and most has minor damage (as this one, does, as well in a few spots). This is a fine, representative specimen, dominated by two complex Pyrite crystals which are accented by sharp, attractive Quartz crystals. The two large Pyrites are 5 cm each, and they have very good luster and striated faces. The largest Quartz is 4.2 cm. The piece looks good from all angles. As is often the case with brittle Pyrite, there are fractures in the piece. They simply cannot be helped in the mining process. Overall, the aesthetics and quality are very good on this specimen, and it is one of the few I have seen recently that are more than just representative examples in this size and price range.
Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Far-Eastern Region, Siberia, Russia
Small Cabinet, 7.3 x 5.5 x 4.8 cm
This is a very good combination piece from the famous mining district of Dal'negorsk. The quality, mint-green, modified cuboctahedron of Fluorite is 3 cm across. Aside from a beautiful fluorescence, the crystal exhibits preferential faces - the cubic faces are smooth and glassy while the octahedral faces are finely stepped and translucent (yet still good enough to hint at gemminess below). There is a small cleave towards the back side, but it does not affect the display view at all. The subhedral Calcites have a bright fluorescence, and the matrix is covered by many dozens of 2 mm, needle-like Quartz crystals.
Mundo Nuevo Mine, Pasto Bueno, Pampas District, Ancash Department, Peru
Small Cabinet, 9.3 x 8.4 x 4.7 cm
An epimorph specimen of Hubnerite on Scheelite from the famed Mundo Nuevo Mine of Peru. The bladed, mm-size, blood-red Hubnerite crystals have encrusted (epimorphed) on octahedral Scheelite crystals. The Scheelites range up to 1.2 cm in size. The whole plate is composed of 2 mm Muscovite rosettes and gemmy Quartz crystals, both of which are fluorescent. It is quite intriguing that the Quartz crystals take two habits: elongated prisms up to 3.4 cm (that one is doubly-terminated) and a complex tabular crystals that are quite gemmy. This is an outstanding combination piece with no lack of mineralogical interest and aesthetics. Art Soregaroli edited the magnum opus book on Peru mineral specimens, and this is from his prized collection of miniatures and small cabinet sized Peru pieces, most of which he obtained himself down there in the 1980s and 1990s.
Casapalca Mine, Casapalca, Huarochiri Province, Lima Department, Peru
Small Cabinet, 8.8 x 8.0 x 3.6 cm
Bournonite is a highly sought-after sulfosalt originally found in Cornwall. These splendent, silvery Bournonite crystals have an excellent metallic luster and reach up to 2.3 cm across. The crystals are tabular to blocky, and the surface texture is highly variable, depending on which face it is. Interesting. The cluster is nestled among Quartz crystals on a plate of solid, crystalline Quartz, with a few sulfide scattered in and about. Art Soregaroli edited the magnum opus book on Peru mineral specimens, and this is from his prized collection of miniatures and small cabinet sized Peru pieces, most of which he obtained himself down there in the 1980s and 1990s. For Peru, this is much better than it would be from other locales, compared to others of its origin. The quartz in this case really offsets the bournonite nicely and takes this up a level. At first glance it LOOKS ENGLISH! But the quartz is too good. And, if old and English, it would be more like $7500-10,000 valuation.
Morro Velho mine, Nova Lima, Iron Quadrangle, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cabinet, 13.0 x 12.5 x 6.0 cm
This is a first-rate combination piece from Morro Velho, the world's oldest continually producing gold mine, which started in 1725. The flattened rhombs of Siderite are almost discoidal, and the crystals are gemmy, lustrous, and golden-olive in color. The Siderites range up to about 1.8 cm across, and they are interspersed with colorless and lustrous Dolomite crystals that reach up to 1 cm on edge. The translucence of the Dolomites creates a gray tint in the crystals, and many of the rhombic edges are frosted white, which is quite an attractive effect. The combination of the two carbonate species together is not unusual since they are both part of the same mineral series, although the aesthetics of the mix really IS unusual! And if that wasn't enough, all the Siderites and Dolomites are nestled among and below excellent Quartz crystals that rise like sharp mountain peaks above the specimen. Inevitably, all those sharp edges to the rhombs lend themselves to some edge wear, and there is some, but it is not significant and blends right in to the complexity of the piece. The overall aesthetics are outstanding.
Beautiful cluster of bladed Azurite, in combination with Quartz (unusual for Tsumeb), and excellent green Mottramite. The Azurite, certainly one of Tsumeb's most desirable minerals, has superb luster and equally great color and light transmission. Better than you normally see, for sure. The largest blade is 3.9 cm tall, which is a significant size. As you often see on the Azurites, there is a little bit of edge wear, but it really has little effect on the overall aesthetics, which are excellent. The pics tell the story pretty well here.
Pachapaqui District, Bolognesi Province, Ancash Department, Peru
Small Cabinet, 8.0 x 6.0 x 5.6 cm
An aesthetic and classic Pachapaqui, Peru combination specimen consisting of Manganoan Calcite, Pyrite, and Quartz. The Calcites are flattened rhombs, almost tabular in appearance, with a light pink color and soft, very attractive, flat luster. The Calcites rest on a spray of whitish, partially gemmy Quartz crystals up to 1.5 cm. Intermixed with the Calcites and Quartzes are lustrous, modified Pyrites up to .5 cm. Everything is in very good condition. This combination is classic, and it is BEYOND aesthetic because of the wreath-like configuration of the Calcites. Just an outstanding specimen! Art Soregaroli edited the magnum opus book on Peru mineral specimens, and this is from his prized collection of miniatures and small cabinet sized Peru pieces, most of which he obtained himself down there in the 1980s and 1990s.
Small Cabinet, 6.2 x 5.8 x 5.3 cm (Crystal), 10.67 ct (Gem)
6.2 x 5.8 x 5.3 cm (Specimen); 10.67 carat; 15.54 mm x 14.04 mm (Gem) - This is a different kind of rough and cut set because it actually features TWO mineral species associated together in both the specimen and gemstone representations. The specimen of Apatite is from Panasqueira, Portugal and hosts typical hexagonal pale-greenish crystals measuring up to 1.6 cm with good luster and striated faces which is associated with/growing atop translucent Quartz crystals. The gem side of the set is a reverse negative of the specimen as it features a WATER-CLEAR faceted "Cut Corner Triangle" gem of colorless Quartz that is included with a single greenish-blue hexagonal crystal of Apatite frozen inside from Minas Gerais, Brazil. You don't really see sets like this, and it's truly an unusual way of putting together a rough and cut, but I think it's unique and interesting.
Miniature, 5.3 x 2.1 x 2.0 cm (Crystal), 8.15 ct (Gem)
5.3 x 2.1 x 2.0 cm (Specimen); 8.15 carats; 11.84 mm (Gem) - A great "inclusion" rough and cut set that features lovely green acicular "needles" of Actinolite inside of colorless WATER-CLEAR Quartz. Both the crystal and the gem shows the same material, and these pieces obviously must have come from the same discovery due to their similarity. The gemstone has a fairly basic "Round Step" cut on it, but the Actinolite "needle" is positioned so it's dead center, and when viewed directly from above the table, the needle is reflected on all sides of the gem like a kaleidoscope. It's very difficult to illustrate this in the photos, but it's easy to see in person. The crystal is a single hexagonal prism of Quartz with several "wispy" Actinolites included near the base.
Miniature, 4.6 x 2.7 x 2.3 cm (Crystal), 6.40 ct (Gem)
4.6 x 2.7 x 2.3 cm (Specimen); 6.40 carats; 12.28 mm (Gem) - This set includes a classic crystallized specimen of the famous pink Rose Quartz specimens from the Sapucaia Mine, Galileia, Minas Gerais, Brazil which is fillied with fine, sharp, lustrous, gemmy, to WATER CLEAR hexagonal crystals with a superb pink hue. The accompanying stone is from Madagascar and is a lovely pink "Trillion" with a soft velvety interior, typical for Rose Quartz gemstones.
Miniera Gambatesa, Reppia, Val Graveglia, Liguria, Italy
Miniature, 5.5 x 5.0 x 4.5 cm
Abundant, tan, micaceous aggregates of <1mm ganophyllite form the lining of much of an open space filling along with translucent to milky white quartz crystals with a breccia serving as the matrix. Ex. Paulo Matioli collection.
Sao Geraldo do Baixio, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Small Cabinet, 6.6 x 6.5 x 6.0 cm
A big, gorgeous, complex crystal of Smoky Quartz from Brazil. The faces have a superb, glassy luster, and the Quartz is quite gemmy with internal crazing near the core. This crystal has superb form, and is very 'Herkimer-like'. It is contacted along the bottom, of course. Perhaps the finest aspect of this crystal, in addition to the great luster and gemminess, is the three-pointed termination, which is exceptional in every way. It is almost mind-blowing how aesthetic this particular crystal is, and the condition is excellent. The actual specimen is much better than the pics indicate.
Yaogangxian Mine, Chenzhou Prefecture, Hunan Province, China
Small Cabinet, 5.5 x 5 x 2.5 cm
Classic for the famous Yaogangxian Mine, this specimen features an intricate, sharp Fluorite crystal to 3.6 cm across. This lustrous, gemmy Fluorite has a riveting, deep purple phantom just under the surface of an otherwise clear to light seafoam-green crystal, which makes this specimen really stand out from the crowd of Yaoganxian pieces out there. Pristine and transparent, it is an exceptional piece, and is frankly much better in person as the luster and gemminess together are hard to photograph. Excellent fluorescence.
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.
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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