A surprisingly aesthetic fluorite from the Aquamarine deposits in Nagar. Pegmatitic fluorites associated with aquamarine are at a premium, both at the source and on the market here. This is an extremely aesthetic combo piece with a sharp , very lustrous and bright octohedral fluorite perched on a natural pedestal of muscovite, and with sidecars of aquamarine in association. The fluorite is complete ALL AROUND and shows beautifully. I have seen few of this quality in this size range - usually the fluorites are stuck on big unwieldy plates of muscovite, making this somewhat of a rarity for its aesthetics. Joe Budd photos
ex. Lawrence Conklin
This emerald is one of the finest single crystals I know of for the locale, on a gram per gram size and quality basis. It is gemmy, transparent, bright, with excellent color and the rarest type of termination for the locality (or for emeralds, in general). The termination is sharp and prismatic instead of flat and hexagonal, with brilliantly glassy, lustrous faces. It was exchanged out of the American Museum of Natural History in the early 1980s to dealer/collector Larry Conklin. He kept it for years, and then took an offer and let it go. Recently, he was able to get it back, after (re)-purchasing the collection it went into. The AMNH records disclosed to Larry at the time of its deaccession indicated that the famous gemologist and mineral dealer George Kunz had sold the piece to William Boyce Thompson (1869-1930). Thompson was a major mining investor by 1900, with operations in Arizona and Montana in addition to his financial influence as director for a time of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. His collection was bequeathed to the American Museum on his death. The crystal was once on display in the Museum's mineral hall, although it was wrongly labelled as "Brazil" in origin at the time despite its obvious and easily identifiable North Carolina nature: At the turn of the 1900s there was a premium attached to emeralds from foreign countries, as North Carolina was producing domestically; and it is quite possible that the specimen was intentionally mislabelled for that reason in the chain of ownership. Note that the piece has not, in 100 years, been cleaned fully - it still retains pocket clay attached and shows an "antique " look. Joe Budd Photos
Morganite from Afghanistan is the modern standard, and today is a good time to get these contemporary beauties which offer a lot of color and impact for the dollar compared to the old Brazilian classics. This piece is particularly impressive as a display specimen in a moderate price range, for its shocking gemminess and transparency, deep color saturation, and sharp hexagonal form. From a collection we purchased en masse recently, and not somethig I could replace at today's prices directly from the sources due to both recent price runups and less production here. This crystal is 355 grams (nearly a pound). It is INTENSELY colored, not just a pale pink as are so many. Joe Budd Photos
The photos speak for themselves here. This is a WORLD CLASS level aquamarine of the most intense color seen from this part of the world. It is more blue than 99.99 % of all other aquas and has to rank among the top examples of the species from these modern finds, in my opinion. It practically radiates color, and has a sharp and robust hexagonal form. And as good as the photos are, in person it has an even higher lustre and a more intense and bright gemminess to the eye than the camera sees. It is visible from across a room. Contact us for more information on this important specimen. Joe Budd photos.
At nearly an inch wide and 3 inches tall, this is a dramatic aquamarine "single", flanked by two sharp black schorls that make the piece much more aesthetic and interesting than your normal aqua alone might be. The crystal is super gemmy, and it is like a window to look through and see schorls on either side. A fine, complete-all-around small cabinet specimen from recent finds - but unique amongst them. Joe Budd photos
ex. Marc Weill
This totally gemmy, water-clear crystal is an old piece that was on the market in the late 1990s when it went into the Marc Weill collection. It was later exchanged out and remained in a private collection the last few years. For the locality, this is a significant single crystal of extraordinary thickness and gemminess, combined with sharp form. the top termination is complete and shows nice bevelled edges. The bottom termination is somewhat stepped and intricate, not flat - but is complete and interesting, and shows lustre on the stepped faces that present. So, it is a floater, complete. It is 150 grams. Joe Budd photos
A unique piece, which has not been seen on the market since the early 2000s, has now resurfaced. Among the few collectors and dealers familiar with the great stash of Pederneira Mine specimens which came up to the New York area when the specimens were mainly flowing out through Daniel Trinchillo and his partner (Marcus Budil) , this has always been a talked-about piece. It was a unique piece mined around 2001, and such a combination was never seen again despite 8 more years of intense mining. The piece was nicknamed "Sword in the Stone" and kept in the collection of the mine partners for several years, until sold in a pinch to pay for further mining efforts, around 2003. I lost track of it and then saw it again, in 2010, in a collection overseas. The piece is just mesmerizing in person. It has a shocking color contrast, and both crystals are gemmy and lustrous. Although irregular around the base of the morganite, it is contacted and not damaged or "hacked off." It is, surprisingly, not repaired and not damaged. I am really honored to be able to bring this to market again as its a piece that has long stuck in my mind as something just so unique and pretty, I always wanted to own it. Soon after I got it back, the specimen was featured in the Pederneira Mine case at the 2010 Munich Show exhibit , "Brazilian Dreams." Comes with custom lucite base.Joe Budd photos
This piece was mined in approximately 2004 and was from a small locality in Shigar, from which I have not seen other pieces attributed since. It has the size and robust textbook-hexagonal form with basal termination of a Nagar-style (Hunza Valley) aquamarine, but yet with a deeper color saturation and gemminess characteristic of Shigar Valley pieces. Lustre is glassy, and fine. Overall, for the size and price it is very imposing and dramatic. The large central crystal is accented by sidecar crystals of aquamarine on one side and by mica crystals on the rear-left , which add both sparkle and dimensionality to make the piece more than "just a single" as so many big aquamarines are. It is complete all around, and as near to pristine as you can wish. I had exhibited this for a number of years as part of the natural history minerals exhibit at the Heard Museum in the north Dallas area. Large and hefty, at nearly a kilo in mass (over 2 pounds weight!). Joe Budd photos
A very gemmy, intensely colored example of these famous heliodors from the old topaz mines of Wolodarsk. This piece is fat, juicy, and has brilliant lustre. It has a surface that is more rough than one normally sees, which is a matter for personal taste in the choice of how much complex etching one would like to see on the surface (they all have some degree of etching). The crystal is doubly-terminated, although a bit crudely on the bottom. Now, big fat examples are harder to come by on the market. When they do turn up, they are too often treated by gem labs to turn them into aquamarine, which is far more valuable as gem rough material. Joe Budd Photos.
This is a superb heliodor with outstanding color , luster, and sharp terminations. Although many have come from this old topaz mine, this piece would rank highly. It masses 290 grams, much of which is cuttable for gem rough - and it can be treated into aquamarine by the gem cutters to further enhance its intrinsic value. Aside from the obvious beauty of this intensely colored, sparkly, gem crystal, there are more subtle attributes. Few of the heliodors from this mine are produced with such elegant form, just the right amount of etching to the surface to give character but not too much to detract, and with such intense gemminess and transparency. The extremely sharp, tapered nature of the termination here gives the piece an extra few points for rarity, amongst its crowd of fellow heliodors. Most terminations on these are rather rounded, or lumpy. This is so sharp you can cut yourself on it (literally!). Large heliodors of this quality have proven extremely rare on the market in the last few years, and are hard to replace (this is one of only two examples of high calibre I have been able to buy in the last 2 years). Joe Budd Photos.
The stunning glassiness and clarity of the best Chivor emeralds sets them apart from emeralds of the other local mines. They tend to be a little bit darker in color (forest evergreen), but also a bit sharper and brighter inside. This piece is a beautiful single gem crystal, 36 carats, with inclusions of calcite and minute sparkling pyrite crystals. It is an outstanding emerald crystal and thumbnail, particularly for the price range. Joe Budd Photos.
A remarkable gem crystal from recent finds (early 2011) at this famous old locality. Most heliodor from this location is golden, but not so intense and amber-colored as this piece, which is the single gemmiest and most saturated crystal of a series of pockets (so I was told, and so far as I have seen from the others on market). The termination is exquisitely formed and sharp, and the crystal is complete all around, symmetric except only a small ingrown contact where another crystal seemingly intergrew into this one at some time in the past. It is 35 grams. Joe Budd Photos.
I bought this from the little crystal collection in the office of a prominent gem dealer, who had himself got this down in Colombia years ago. It is a very sharp, bright, rich green crystal of emerald with glassy lustre and good translucency. The front is pristine and perfect. The sides and back are contacted, so it slants in and is not completely symmetric around the backside. Nevertheless, it sure looks like it is more pricey and more big, from the front view - hence you get a LOT of emerald for the price, with this specimen. It just glows on a shelf. Joe Budd Photos.
A classic from this ancient topaz mine, heliodor is occasionally found in gem crystal cavities ("pods") as well. It is actually difficult to find smaller, good heliodor of this style from the locality. Most are large and altered by solution processes in the pocket into rounded lumps at the ends - this process probably having eliminated most of the smaller crystals over time. This piece is approximately 30 grams. It has one of the sharpest terminations i have ever seen of the material! The color is a pleasing yellow golden color with not too much green, as some are. Lustre and reflections are brilliant , like glass. Joe Budd Photos.
This heliodor has superb lemon-yellow color and luster. The upper portion of the crystal is transparent and could be facetted. It is from a small pocket of remarkably fine crystals found last summer - most crystals from here are etched by natural solutions after formation and it is VERY VERY rare to find a non-corroded crystal of such quality in these deposits. Note the fascinating, fully terminated, ingrown steppe about the middle, which in person resembles a shallow cavern with stalactites and stalagmites hanging, adding a lot of visual interest to the piece (see bigger photo for more detail). In person, it is more glassy and much more gemmy, as well!
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