A dark gray chlorite schist is the matrix for a few albite crystals, some of which are partially covered by a druse of chlorite. The largest crystal which reaches 3 cm across and is tabular, glassy and gemmy - you can look through it to the matrix underneath. It is complete, except for one small tip. Smaller crystals flank it and add jewel-like accents. This is an interesting display piece, and shows the stunning gem albite from the pocket without breaking the bank
A thin crust of microcrystalline albite is covered by gorgeous, sparkling, glassy macrocrystallized albites, to 3.2 cm across. The colorless albites are mostlly tabular, glassy and gemmy, with the most incredible pearlescent luster you can imagine. They do NOT look like feldspar, but more like some freaky gem crystals or brilliant topaz. A few crystals appear to be twinned. Amidst this find, this is one of the larger pieces. The right half is mostly massive, where it contacted matrix. The specimen can be left large, or trimmed in half through the middle to make a more fully crystallized plate measuring about 3 x 3 inches in size. However, given the small size of the find here, we left it big for the moment because of the overall import of the size, and because the more massive side can also act as a natural pedestal to mount the top , better crystallized area, vertically for display. Otherwise it sits nicely horizontal as shown, too! Very nice, large display plate, at a reasonable price for the quality of the material.
Nestled on matrix here is a cluster of are pearlescent and translucent crystals of clear-to-white albite, to 2.5 cm across. The largest crystal is also twinned. Along with the albite is a tabular, metallic, black-silvery hematite crystal that looks for all the world like a rosette of hematite from Switzerland ("eisenrosen") . The hematite, which should obviously be considered quite large for the locale based on what else I have here, is 2.5 cm across. There is minor peripheral contact to the hematite cluster on its top-rear faces but the display side is impressive and i do believe this to be a FAIRLY important US specimen. In fact, this pocket produced seemingly the only good hematite rosettes of such robust style that I am aware of from the East Coast of the USA (and I asked the same of several museum curators who confirmed this as well). As a combo specimen, it is also aesthetic and displays well.
Aesthetically emplaced among a nest of lustrous and translucent, white albite crystals to 2 cm in length is a cluster of two superbly crystallized, intergrown hematite rosettes (or "eisenrosen"). They look for all the world like a rosette of hematite from Switzerland ("eisenrosen") . The larger cluster of parallel-grown crystals of hematite, which should obviously be considered quite large for the locale based on what else I have here, is 2.6 cm across. It has some minor contact where it grew against chlorite matrix on the right side, and only a tiny nick on the back side of the larger hematite keeps it from being technically pristine and it is otherwise complete. An outstanding combination of color and texture contrasts, we feel this is a major US specimen for the species and locality. In fact, this pocket produced seemingly the only good hematite rosettes of such robust style that I am aware of from the East Coast of the USA (and I asked the same of several museum curators who confirmed this as well). As a combo specimen, it is also aesthetic and displays well.
This dramatic specimen features a 6.5-inch (16cm) crystal standing straight up from a roseate cluster of brilliant, sparklling white cleavelandite blades. They are decorated with sparkling purple lepdiolite, like sugar. The albite is so lustrous and bright, that it is hard to photograph and so is appearing whited out and muted in the photos here. Like most larger Pederneira Mine pieces from the recent heyday of the mine from 1999-2005 or so, the crystal is repaired. In this case, it is repaired (cleanly) in 3 places - but this goes with the territory if you want these big rocket-like tourmalines at a fair price. This particular specimen is from the socalled "rocket pocket" and came out around 2000-2001. It is one I selected from a large stash at the time, for overall aesthetics and display quality for the price and size range, from amidst literally hundreds of specimens. Despite having a number of pricier pieces around the shop, this is the piece that Gamii wanted to paint out of all of them, for its aesthetic appeal to his eye. This mine is now, for all intents, closed and not producing at the moment. Price includes specimen, painting, and custom lucite base for display.
A superb specimen of perfection all around, and complete and display-worthy from either side. The main crystal is 2 cm across, large for the locale. A small allanite crystal seems to be included within, at the base. The crystal reaches several mm thick, robust for this style and locality. It has literally perfect aesthetics and is a significant thumbnail specimen of competitive level for the species. A note about coloration: In fluorescent lights, these crystals look more amber-brown than in halogen lights, where they take on a more orange-red hue. When backlit moderately, as shown, they take on a nice red glowing color. All photos here are taken under sunlight balanced halogen, with moderate backlighting. Joe Budd photos.These were found at the classic old French locality for rare earth species, in the late 1970s, and have until now been hidden away by the collector. For sheer quality and beauty, many collectors have long considered the gemmy rare earth crystals from here to be among the best of their species. The productive specimen zone at the locality is, I am told reliably, simply mined out and gone now.
This crystal is a pristine, complete, translucent jeweel measuring 7 x 3 x 2 cm in size and perched atop a small natural pedestal of crystallized albite matrix. I think the pics say it all! It is SUPERB in quality and among the best brazilianites for the size range that I could imagine.
ex. Chuck Houser
A huge matrix plate of beautiful white albite just sprinkled with lovely, wine-red garnets! Unusual for the county, especially to get such a large plate with all the geologic disruption here! "This was collected 1986/87 by
ex. Chuck Houser
This is a County specimen so outstanding, so atypical, that one at first thinks it must be Afghani! It is a PURPLE CAPPED, gemmy, matrix tourmaline from the famous old Stewart Mine: Mined 6/11/88 from a pocket in the roof of the Little Joe II tunnel of the Stewart Mine. The specimen was found on the floor of the tunnel minus the top of the main quartz crystal. Week later, the miners searched the pile of rubble building up on the tunnel floor under the pocket and located the top of the quartz crystal, now repaired (fairly cleanly) back on the specimen. The tourmaline itself is NOT repaired, only the quartz termination flanking it. The tourmaline is pristine on the display face, though contacted and missing a bit on the rear-right side. However, this does not really detract visually from the specimen, although otherwise it would have been worth more I admit. The back isn't bad, other than this slight discontinuity which again, can be moved away form the display face anyhow. This is a superb display specimen and a unique County piece, with great pedigree. I have not seen another example of the purple caps from Stewart, rare as they are, on matrix and so large. One of my hands-down favorites of the collection! Chuck has added this comment to the draft: This specimen was collected prior to Blue's involvement. Lynn Agabashian was running the shop at the time and Jose was doing the mining. Also, you lowered the price to $10,500, I'd keep it at $12,000 like you had it in the appraisal, I really think it is worth it! By the way, this was the first "serious" SD Co specimen I purchased, directly from Lynn and Gems of Pala, in 1988. Man that was a lot of money!
ex. Chuck Houser
A beautiful combination piece, from this small locality which is considered highly desirable among SD County collectors.
ex. Chuck Houser
On May 15, 1982, a famous specimen called the "Pala Princess" was unearthed by Roland Reed, mine owner. It was one repaired large plate consisting of a half a dozen pieces, 3 of them of some major consequence for the County and for US beryls in general. The piece was judged by John Sinkankas at the time to be the finest beryl specimen found in North America to date. This is the third of the larger plates that made up that piece, as shown in Sinkankas' updated book , Gems of North America, published shortly thereafter. Note he erroneously attributed the find to 1992, not 1982. In 2003, the plate was purchased from a private collector by Irv Brown and Stuart Wilensky; and disassembled into its parts, which were then trimmed and prepped individually to yield 3 major, unrepaired, (and much more) aesthetic morganite specimens. This is the third of those specimens, and it has never been for sale because Irv traded it directly to Chuck within the week. This piece would have comprised about 20% of the original surface area of the specimen, and features one of the larger crystals. You can see the unique nature of the piece, in its multiple coloration of both blue aqua and pink morganite, from the pics. In person, it is more obvious. This is a major County specimen, with incredibly neat provenance and history, the likes of which hasn't been mined since. Now, as opposed to having a too-large specimen with seven repairs and some damage about it, we have several MAJOR and pristine, unrepaired specimens which are individually of as much significance, I would think - but finer in quality.
ex. Chuck Houser
A complete, equant, oddly terminated topaz that is extremely blue for a San Diego topaz! Mined by Roland Reed, this is the finest topaz Chuck or I or Bill Larson have seen from the mine. It is also completely verifiable as Maple Lode and not Little Three Mine (aside from the odd form), as it was mined personally by Mr. Reed , and not from earlier finds here. Very significant!
ex. Chuck Houser
ex. Irv Brown
ex. John Barlow
ex. William Larson
A really outstanding crystal with exceptional gemminess for the size, and particularly good color as well. This is, for the size, equaled only by a few others I have seen in well known collections including that of Bill Larson, who collected it and sold it to Barlow in the early 1980s. It has one very, very clean repair. The clarity, condition, and intensity of this crystal all combine to make it among the top tier of tourmalines for the size; and you can see it was important enough in the Barlow collection to command a half-page spread, even amongst far more "valuable" but perhaps less important tourmalines from other locales. In person, the difference between this gemmy beast and the typical large Himalaya piece, rare already, os obvious. This one is in the top percentiles.
ex. Chris Korpi
A really attractive large specimen featuring a classic Little 3 assemblage in decorative arrangement...the smoky in the middle is pristine save for one small contacted face (not damage), and is nicely accented by stark white albite and dozens of glittering little orange spessartines perched on every other species present (quartz, albite, muscovite blades) and even included within the smoky!
ex. Chris Korpi
A 1.2 and a 0.8 cm crystal of tantalite, which is extremely rare from any mine in San Diego COunty and notably so from the Elizabeth R. From the collection of Roland Reed, mine owner (the mine is named after his daughter). This is a VERY IMPORTANT locality specimen
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