A very unusual citylike cluster of elongated, tapering aquas, from a new locale. This was picked up by Dr. Emanuele Marini on site, in his travels there. I have not see others, and he told me the find was quite small. It is slightly etched, and looks frosted on the surface, thus. They are quite unique! The piece is complete all around except a small bit in back, and sits nicely on its own. A small quartz crystal sits atop
A very unusual citylike cluster of elongated, tapering aquas, from a new locale. This was picked up by Dr. Emanuele Marini on site, in his travels there. I have not see others, and he told me the find was quite small. It is slightly etched, and looks frosted on the surface, thus. They are quite unique! The piece is complete all around and sits nicely on its own.
A highly unusual specimen featuring mediocre but colorful emerald, which serves as the background for superb, sharp crystals of chamosite, the iron analogue of clinochlore. The sharpest crystal here is a doubly-terminated , razor-sharp crystal measuring 1.7 cm across. I had not seen these before from this productive emerald locality and was suspicious when first shown this piece as an "axinite" which generally would not occur with emerald. The identity was confirmed by RAMAN and XRAY analysis in the lab of Dr Robert Downs at University of Arizona. I think this is a quite good example of the species, and one wonders how many such crystals have been thrown away as rubbish in the mad search for crumpled green emeralds!
This is a dramatic piece, one of my favorites in the size and price range for its unique 3-dimensional display qualities. The two aquas splay out from the central, curving cluster of sharp albite crystals. They have a porcelain look to them and contrast sharply with the gem aquas. This is NOT repaired, which is amazing given its exposed crystals. The large crystal is approximately 8 cm long sticking out from the core (though it is longer, and goes through the albite cluster to their base. The smaller crystal is 8 cm long, of which 5.5 cm sticks out freestanding. Overall, it is crazy to thikn this survived withour a break and repair...but it did. The piece is actually pristine except for one very small nick in the side of the smaller aqua...something i think allowable for the size and quality of aesthetics here. Also, I have purposefully chosen not to restore that one little ding with plsatic "fill", as its so trivial in context and the piece is more remarkable unrepaired, in my opinion. Direct from the mines to me, this was mined in 2008. I regard it highly for the aesthetics, in this size and price range.
A very attractive, complex cluster of glassy, totally gemmy, aquamarine crystals from this classic modern locale. It is pristine and complete except one small ding in the top termination. It is 360-degrees-complete all around and very 3-dimensional, conveying a great impact for a moderate price. Comes with custome lucite base
ex. Robert Nowakowski
A sharp hexagonal crystal of pink morganite beryl, showing high transparency through the core of the piece, and extremely well-developed bevelled edges. All front faces and side faces are sharp, though the sides are tapered and so the piece is thin in depth. This makes it all the more transparent to light The back is contacted where it grew against matrix, but is techinically complete and not broken in any place. The crystal is so symmetric, and shows its gemminess so well, that it has considerable impact for the price.
This stunning, sky-blue aquamarine measures 9 x 3 x 2.5 cm in size. It has a superior glassy lustre and a totally gem upper half , that is transparent. I love the little "button" sticking out the top! The aqua is NOT repaired, which is miraculous given its perch on the side of a crystallized feldspar matrix. The feldspar crystals (over an inch in size) are unusually blocky and geometric, adding to the appeal of the specimen by their contrast. Overall, one of the most stylish and impressive, unrepaired matrix aquamarines I have been able to sell without breaking the $10,000 mark, and one I am proud to offer without having to...though it could easily look more expensive, on a shelf, I feel.
An exquisite emerald specimen, simply "different" to my eye than so many others. It has a very castellated, complex multiple termination that to me looks like towers out of a fantasy movie made of gemmy green emerald. The color is a vivid, bright hue. Some collectors prefer darker colors, some lighter shades, and this is somewhere in between; and very vibrant for it. You can see the piece shimmering from across the room, as it also has sparkly lustre on both the calcite and the emerald associations. The piece is beautifully trimmed, to accentuate the 3-dimensionality of the emerald and of the adjacent twinned calcite, atop. The calcites are not just "matrix" here, but worthy in their own right, and the twin is particularly sharp and gemmy. Most collectors would probably go after your stereotypic emerald - a single crystal sticking out of matrix. My argument there would be that, however nice it may be (and price can be $5k-500k), the overall aesthetic is still the same, from piece to piece, on a general basis. THIS ONE, though, is subtly differrent to my eye and always stood out to me. I first owned it about 2004, and recently had a chance to exchange it back from the collectors (not for quality reasons, just simply as they broadened their tastes a bit to other species). Joe Budd photos.
ex. Charlie Key
This is a very bizarre beryl specimen, of a style that seemed to trickle out of the Erongo in 2007-2009. I am not sure how many pockets there were, but I AM sure that Charlie Key, who is based over there, acquired two of the finer examples for his collection just before he sold it to myself and a partner in 2007. This is a balanced, aesthetic small cab, with a fat central crystal measuring 1 inch across the termination. The termination is heliodor for a depth of 12 mm, and then beryl. There is no gradation! The change is sharp and sudden, and very striking. Both sidecar crystals are complete, though there are a few very minor dings here and there (as is typical with Erongo material). The major crystal is freestanding and complete all around. Joe Budd photo (I had this shot at Tucson for the Whats New report in MR)...and it IS illustrated now in the MAY-JUNE issue of Mineralogical Record (2010)
ex. Charlie Key
This is a balanced, aesthetic small cab, with a fat central crystal measuring 1 inch across the termination. The termination is heliodor for a depth of 12 mm, and then beryl. There is no gradation! The change is sharp and sudden, and very striking. This is a very bizarre beryl specimen, of a style that seemed to trickle out of the Erongo in 2007-2009. I am not sure how many pockets there were, but I AM sure that Charlie Key, who is based over there, acquired two of the finer examples for his collection just before he sold it to myself and a partner in 2007. Both sidecar crystals are complete, though there are a few very minor dings here and there (as is typical with Erongo material). The major crystal is freestanding and complete all around. Joe Budd photo (I had this shot at Tucson , for the Whats New report in MR)
We have all seen innumerable aquamarines from modern finds here. However, every now and then, one stands out. For size and price range, this piece just screams quality and is one of my all time favorite aquas I have handled, amidst some far pricier. It is so elegant in first glance, you think it must be repaired. But it is in fact totally complete, all around 360 degrees, and pristine. An exquisite specimen! Crystals, to 7 cm, are obscenely gemmy and have the best Pakistani blue color you can ask for (especially since color here is generally volumetric and smaller crystals are seldom this rich). This piece came out some time ago and has been in the collection of Marshall and Charlotte Sussman for at least 5 years. They collect African minerals, not aquas! They just loved this piece and, after obtaining it in a collection, simply could never put it up for sale just because they liked looking at it for so long. For more or less the same money, there are lots of "nice" aquas out there. Many bigger. Few as special as this.Joe Budd Photos
ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran
Aquamarine is now abundant from Pakistan, and it takes a really novel form to get my attention to anything that is not super gemmy, per se. This is a beautiful piece that has really sculptural form, like a piece of art glass. It is intricate and semeingly delicate, yet robust. The narrow termination seems to have been either truncated in situ, or broken and then "healed" over with later growth, but it is terminated either way. The bottom shows etched, cityscape terminations and is mostly complete (only a few minor breaks to sidecar crystals are present on the piece, which I find acceptable in context of size and interest overall). This came out in 2008 and was briefly in the Gene Meieran collection.Joe Budd Photos
This is a classic, very gemmy, unusually sharp heliodor from the infrequent finds at this mine since the late 1980s. It has SUPERB COLOR and an unusually fine, sharp termination which set it off from the crowd. This crystal is SUPER GEMMY in a way hard for even these accurate photos to convey. The human eye sees through it with less refraction and bounceback of light than the camera, apparently. It is doubly-terminated, with the bottom being a bit crude but with the top termination having this unusual steeply tapered style that is VERY rare from this mine where so many are simply etched. 133 grams.Joe Budd Photos
ex. David Stoudt
Aquamarine is rare from Mexico, let alone a big fat crystal with enough size to carve or display as a specimen. This is surely an old specimen, long in the David Stoudt Collection. I have seen only a handful of such pieces over the years. This one was purchased from a Mexican source, originally, and from an old collection of a miner there. Weight is 125 grams. Joe Budd photos
ex. Peter Lyckberg
Collector Peter Lyckberg shocked us a few years ago (in 2004) when he brought out a widely-reviewed small pocket of etched gem heliodor crystals from this remote mine. Only a few ever hit the market, and this was a superb miniature he kept back in his private collection before parting with it in exchange to me at the Munich show in around 2006-2007. I sold it right away, and got it back recently as that collector's tastes are changing. Hefty at 108 grams, there is sizable carving value here. It is a beautiful and unique heliodor with glowing color. See MINDAT for more reference on this obscure locality: http://www.mindat.org/loc-21777.html. Joe Budd photos
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