CONSIGNMENTS from 2 European Collections, Tucson 2009 show|
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These beautiful specimens are rare survivors of a small find that produced GREAT carving rough for cabochons and jewelry made of chalcedony (its gemmy and transparent/translucent!), to the detriment of the original specimens from our point of view! Charlie Key saved some from the wrecker, though, and these are a few selected from a flat we have of this rare and beautiful old material from the 1980s. This one is particularly nice because it is a good-sized plate with excellent translucency and good horizons about the edge, one of the best for size.
Scheelite is a rare associate in the Romanian polymetallic deposits. This is a VERY choice specimen with a huge crystal for the locality of about 1.5 cm! It is perfect all around (no damage) and shows an intense deep blue color when backlit. Many are just gray, this blue color being therefore highly desirable. Also, the size of the crystal, and the balanced association, make this a fabulous specimen (especially for the price, which is low compared to what I have seen these go for in even smaller sizes in Europe).
This old specimen from a now-closed quarry features really fine, gemmy, relatively large crystals of the extremely rare zeolite species, Yugawaralite. To 1.5 cm in size, these are quite important. They also happen to be beautiful, and high in lustre and gemminess. This specimen came from the personal collection of an Indian dealer, who sold it to me in the mid 1990s
A supremely sharp, jet-black, metallic twinned crystal of ferberite from perhaps the best locality for the species in its twinned habit. This crystal is 3-dimensional, SHARP, and really quite breath-taking for a "black ugly." It is as close as you could ask to pristine, with just a few really insignificant dings and otherwise compete all around. It was one of the finest pieces, certainly among the best few miniatures, in a small pocket recovered in about 2004-2005 and sold by the dealership of Bolivian mineral specialist, Brian Kosnar, to a good mutual customer. Since that time, no more of this quality have been found
A very large showy specimen of lustrous, metallic berthierite crystals, with huge bladed clusters to over 10 cm. This is a remarkable, large, and frankly quite attractive clustre for the species, which is a rare Iron Antimony Sulfide. I have seen many smaller ones over the years, but only a few of this stature. This is from an old European collection, and is a significant specimen for this rare sulfide species (and the largest I have seen for sale).
This attractive mixed lot of sapphire crystals showcases the diversity of habit and color styles of this corundum species. A very interesting assortment of a dozen crystals, all floaters. The largest is to 1.5 cm.
This attractive mixed lot of sapphire crystals showcases the diverse habits and color styles of this corundum species. A very interesting assortment of a dozen crystals, all floaters. The largest is to 3.3 cm. Note there are several crystals of highly unusual habit here including both color and termination styles; and two very rare butterfly twinned crystals (upper row, rightmost and 3rd from right). Alone, those two twins, and the two or three larger ones, are well worth the price of the lot.
This is a 3-dimensional knoll of sharply prismatic, splendent, black, ramdellite crystals, to 5 or 6 mm across. Ramsdellite from this small and defunct mine in a remote corner of Arizona was first found, I am told, in the early 1900s. However, the locality was apparently lost for some time and only rediscovered by the father/son team of Roy Jones and Dick Jones in the 1960s. Some of this material came out then (Roy says about 6 flats), of which this would have been a MAJOR specimen for the time and the find, large in size and quality both. I have seen this material in inferior specimens, turn up from time to time in old US collections. However, it has remained fairly rare on the market, and thus expensive. A recent find appeared literally in the middle of the Tucson show of 2009, but nothing of this overall size and calibre was recovered and this remains a major example for the lcoality and species. Reference: MINERALOGICAL RECORD: Vol. 14, No. 5 September - October 1983 Ramsdellite from the Mistake Mine [Arizona] 333-335 William H. Wilkinson, Jr., Robert W. Allgood, Carlos Williams & Genne M. Allgood
ex. Marshall Sussman
The Perkin Sams Pocket is so named because, in the early 1980s, Houston oilman Perkin Sams bought nearly the whole pocket for his collection and thus for the Houston Museum of Natural History. There is a remarkable story of this find, and to this day you can go to Houston and see basketball-sized crystals from this pocket, preserved in pristine condition! However, since most went to the museum, VERY VERY few got out to the private market, largely in the form of private placements by people involved in handling the larger quantity, one assumes. This piece ended up in the Marshall Sussman collection, where I first saw it some years ago in the mid 1990s. I bought and then sold it and got it back recently, now. To this day, it remains the most elegant example of the pocket I have seen. The pocket is characterized by this bicolor effect of malachite pseudomorphing the centers of azurite crystals, leving corners and perhaps one edge as pure azurite in the process. It is strange, but nearly all crystals from the pocket show this effect. However, the crystal habit of the pocket can most charitably be described as "blocky" and robust...usually the crystals are more squarish than anything meriting the word "elegant". This splayed, complete-all-around crystal though, with its taperig base and broad , perfect termination, is as good as it gets for the pocket for my tastes. This is a very rare chance to own a significant Tsumeb azurite from one of the few named pockets, which made an impression and are immediately recognizable amongst so many other random azurite finds here.
This stunning specimen looks bright and new, but is definitely from the classic mid to late 1800's finds of these sharp calcite twins, that reigned as the kings of twinned calcite for a century after. Heart twins from Egremont are an "essential classic" in that they are beautiful and important at the same time, and I think add depth to any collection that has more common styles of calcite. Aside from one (barely passing) similar pocket from China about 5 years ago, there still is nothing else like these around from other locales. Most of these twins were collected in the 1860s til 1880s, and famous British dealer John Graves handled the majority (CLICK HERE to see his old advertisement from 1895 !). Normally, you would want a floater twin to have the "classic" style. However, this is much more rare, and unexpected - a twin on matrix! It measures 9 x 8.5 x 5 cm thick, and is REALLY CLEAN with no damage and total translucency not marred by internal spots of color or matrix inclusions as so many are. In person it is bright and shiny, no hint of old dinginess. A twin this fat is unusual, this symmetric and undamaged more so, and on matrix...really there are just a few known examples. To cap off the piece, there are small prismatic calcite crystals at the bottom, total gems no less, that serve as a nice accent between the twin and its matrix host. I collected calcites for 20 years, and I NEVER had the chance to get such an aesthetic, fine, matrix heart twin as this one during that time. I know of a few bigger, a few smaller, with matrix association - but still, a vanishingly small number
A very fat, darkly colored tourmaline from this classic locale, with a lot of heft and size for the price. It is complete all around, technically a floater as the bottom is crudely terminated as well. I like the classic, dark color - this was once called "siberite" , a variety of rubellite from Russia, for this reason. 196 grams
This crystal is a classic example showing very well the steep termination with bevelled edges for which this locality is best known. Unusually colored yellow-brown in its core, with more red atop the termination, this is quite translucent when backlit. 79 grams. 84 grams
A dramatically deep maroon-colored crystal with intense color saturation, this is quite translucent when strongly lit. In normal lighting, it is not gemmy but the intensity of the color and the unique, complex termination makes it nevertheless very interesting, on a shelf. 101 grams
A nicely trimmed small cab that with a pastel-colored multihued tourmaline cluster perched against a bit of attached quartz. The style is classic for these finds of a few years ago, but the "twisted" growth around the core, if you can make that out here, is very unusual. 213 grams . Found around 1997, one of the early ones, as my friend bought it in 1998.
A classic Himalaya pink tourmaline, measuring 6.5 x 2.2 x about 1 cm, is perched , embedded rather, in a complete feldspar crystal here! The feldspar is a floater - complete all around, top , bottom, and sides! Even more, it is a Manneback Twin crystal - and a big, complete one that is really quite unprecedented in this condition for the Himalaya Mine. The tourmaline sits on the floater, and itself is doubly-terminated (though the bottom term is not smooth and lustrous, it IS terminated). Matrix Himalaya pieces are not common at all. Matrix specimens on a feldspar crystal, more so. And on a floater like this, I have seen only a handful. Also, it is of good size and classic color, making this, I think, a pretty good quality and a good investment piece for a Himalaya mine tourmaline that is unique, but does not break the bank. 573 grams. This was long in the collection of a San Francisco collector, Jean Parrish, and comes with her old note that it was "exhibited in a trophy case at the Las Vegas Show in 1975, originally from Norm Dawson." Norm owned the White Queen mine in its heyday and was a wellknown San Diego collector. Definately an old piece from the independent era of mining here, and with good pedigree.
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