ex. Lawrence Conklin
Here you have a dramatic, large, 3-dimensional specimen from a very rare and old find. It looks good from ANY angle and to be honest, I cannot decide which "front" i like better. It is good horizontal, sitting flat; or standing up vertical. The balls of crystals are also VERY large for the material, reminding me well of the famous Pellman specimen from this pocket. The gossan matrix is completely smothered by sparkling balls of botryoidal mimetite. The color is almost a saturated yellow, nearly the best you can get for the locality and considered more desirable than orange-yellow hues. It is brilliantly sparkling in light, and colorful and complete all around 360 degrees. As a bonus, there are little sparkly calcites perched here and there atop the mimetite balls - a very rare association for the pocket and one I have seen only a very few times before. ALL such mimetites as this were collected in a single large find in end of 1968 and start of 1969 by Benny Fenn (right before the Tucson show of that year!), from a one-time pocket at a small prospect. It was literally a small prospect, not even a developing mine, and it never panned out or produced more specimens again. Despite attempts to find another mimetite pocket, no more ever came out. These remain unique in the world for their overall aspect; and large, colorful pieces like this are treasured by those who have them. No other locality has produced mimetite of such aspect to this day. Even at the time, this would have been considered exceptional for its size and all-around aesthetics. Again, from my perspective, the color grade on this is particularly high, making it a choice specimen even among those of us who have seen many over the years. As a bonus, this piece has the history all the way back to when it came out, going through three collections - in reverse order being: Larry Conklin, the late John Marshall, and Karl Vossbrink. Offered now for the first time in over a decade. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Smithsonian Institution
The shape of this twinned calcite crystal is simply sexy: the combination of sharp pseudotriangular termination , penetration twinning, gemminess, and phantoms is totally unique to this day. This is an exceptional, and impressive, large twinned crysatl that is glassy , gemmy and colorless. Unlike most of the English butterfly twins which are robust and thickly 3-dimensional in general, this twin does not extend into a 3rd axis, being no thicker than 2 cm , along its very flat front and back sides. Although there are really fascinating vertical striations on the front and back, there are not protuberances sticking out in all directions as you'd expect for most twins. It is aligned vertically. All similar crystals I have seen from this old find were similarly formed. For that matter, I'm not sure that I have seen calcite twins quite like this one from ANY other locale but this old classic find (I know they were found in the "old days" but not exactly when. They do turn up only in museums and old collections, it seems; and quite a few went into the Smithsonian and then were used to trade out for other minerals in the mid-1900s). This one turned up in the Gary Hansen collection (Gary is a retired mineral dealer, and he exchanged it from the Smithsonian in the 1970s and held onto it for 40 years!). Small ones turn up time to time but I have only seldom seen one so good, so big, and in this condition. comes with custom lucite display base. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
A superb specimen from the noted China collection of Dr. Steve Smale, this piece has balance and contrast. It is pristine and complete all around with crystallized calcite on the backside as well as the front. The finely isolated fluorite crystals measure to 4 cm and show amazingly intricate effects of oriented growth patterning in both color (purple zones) and in form (flat vs. stepped faces). The piece is simple in geometry but mesmerizing in complexity. This was probably found in the mid-2000s. For its combination of qualities, I rate it VERY HIGHLY. Joe Budd Photos.
A gorgeous plate of hot pink calcite crystals, in unusually robust condition and with heavy color saturation for this locality. We have seen many, and this one is simply among the better end, recognizably so in person. If you have waited to acquire one of these modern cobaltian calcites, now is the time. Each year, only a few truly good ones are found amidst lesser pieces. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. George Elling
These calcites from Egremont, from England's historic iron district, still set the standard for luster and gemminess over 100 years later. They are brilliantly gemmy - though in photos they look more white than clear. Slight red color at the tips is due to an internal dusting of minute hematite specks. This is a classic "pincushion style" calcite cluster from this most classic of all calcite locales. This piece dates to the late 1800s by style and form; but also can be traced more precisely to prominent importer of British classics George English, in the years 1893-1898 by the address upon the label (see Mineralogical Record's enormously useful label archives to see how such detail can be obtained: http://www.minrec.org/labels.asp?page=3&colid=319). Pieces of this size, and in such good condition after 120-150 years out of the ground, are few and far between. This is a treasure, and sparkles like a jewel in person. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. George Elling
This is a large specimen of a classic style, featuring sharply pointed calcite scalenohedra with internal phantoms due to minute hematite specks, dispersed throughout. The contrasting color is classic and striking, and was once highly treasured for this locality. This piece is aesthetic and 3-dimensional, nearly complete all around with just a few minor dings and one cleaved tip (acceptable, considering the price point and that it is likely from the late 1800s!). Joe Budd Photos.
This is a superb, exceptionally sharp twinned calcite from the famous Leiping Mine (where the more well-known V-twins were found in the late 1990s). This habit is fairly uncommon and usually the crystals are included, off-center, or otherwise marred. This piece is a perfect miniature with symmetry you could only wish for in most calcite specimens. It is gemmy and lustrous, and complete all around. Joe Budd Photos.
Otherwise known for its great cuprite specimens, the Red Dome Mine has also produced a FEW small pockets of fine calcites, as is in evidence here. There were not many, and I bet most stayed in Australia, but this is as good a miniature as I know of. It is SHARPLY twinned. This is a colorless, glassy and gemmy, twin crystal of calcite which is also doubly terminated - nearly a floater, but not quite. Overall, it is like a little jewel, and Exquisite! Ex Jeff Starr collection.
ex. Dr. Edward David
Ed David had a huge suite of several dozen very fine Herkimer quartze specimens in his collection, assembled over 30 years of collecting. This was, to me, his prize Herkimer quartz specimen. I sold it when I bought his collection in 2005, and exchanged it back at the show, much to my surprise, after it had gone around the block from a collector to a dealer. It is a phenomenally gemmy crystal group on matrix , with calcite, acquired in 1998 from miner Nancy Koskie. The calcite association is highly unusual and takes the piece to a new level. The number of good Herk's I have seen on matrix other than gray rock, I can count on one hand. One should assume that any Herk cluster is repaired, this and others...usually they come apart in the pocket and lock-fit together with a careful repair. Not only is there an association, but the quartzes are of highest quality in terms of clarity, brightness, and form. The cluster is attractively perched on the matrix...if any of these were "off" the piece would be less noteworthy but as it stands, it is, to me, superlative. It is one of the finest Herkimer Quartz specimens I think a collector can possibly obtain, for overall quality - and not the most expensive, either. It is so much better in person, so much more full of life, I won't even try to convey it with the usual 3-5 photos. It is just something that needs be seen in person.
ex. University of Arizona
Because we see so much more production from Naica, good Fluorite from the Zacatecas area is sometimes confused with material from the much more common locales in Naica, and I have found them on occasion mislabelled as such. This large display piece, however, has a decidedly non-Naica look to it. Naica produces octohedra, but not large purple crystals of this color; and the pagoda-like calcite is distinctive here also. This specimen is complete all around and shows off a great contrast of the small but brilliantly metallic chalcopyrite crystals perched upon the large fluorite octohedra. This is an oldtime specimen, and I have seen only smaller examples of the style for sale before. Ex University of Arizona Mineral Museum collection
ex. Harold Urish
This specimen, I think, is spectacularly bizarre! Flower-like crystals of translucent, light pink manganocalcite, to 3.5 cm across, are surrounded by a druse of minute, lustrous, black crystals of manganite. The arrangement and color contrast is really unusual and leaps out at you in person.
ex. Harold Urish
A cluster of lustrous, translucent, milky, calcite crystals are cemented by a thin veneer of basalt. The crystals, some of which are doubly terminated, reach 6.0 cm across. These ar ecommon enough in principle, but NOT in such elegant and palm-sized specimens of this quality. Exceptional example from this large deposit!
Franklin minerals do not tend to be, very often, what you could call "gemmy." Even by a stretch. Most muscovite I have seen from there follows this rule of thumb, and although they have fantastic barrel-shaped form, tend to be dark and opaque. This specimen, which I got from Phil Scalisi's collection last year, stunned me. It is the quality of gem muscovite from Afghanistan which we see very rarely come out, but this is from Franklin, 100%. It is beautiful, and a significant Franklin specimen, AND just a really fine muscovite crystal by any standard. The crystal is complete all around and measures 3 x 2 x 2 cm. It has been very carefully excavated from calcite matrix to display this robustly atop a natural perch. These photos show it with MINIMAL backlighting. With a closer light, it glows more deeply, and a more golden hue. Scalisi said he obtained it decades ago from Ward's Science Est., who had it from an old collection at the time.
ex. George Elling
A large, matrix rhodonite with sharp red crystals in contrasting stark white calcite matrix. The little black crystals are franklinite. The large rhodonite in the middle is 6.5 cm , doubly terminated, tip to tip (though it has a growth interruption in the midpoint). These crystals are sharply terminated, and of high quality, thus. Photographs dramatically as a vertical but in person, it looks much better with the crystals diagonally up, and the piece horizontal overall. This is an old specimen, Ex Harvard Museum to Paterson Museum collection, to George Elling collection.
ex. Ken Hollman
This choice calcite specimen would look at home in a display if you were tol dit was Russian or Indian, where you expect such quality from. But for NJ, its a killer! You do not see many this gemmy , and so sharp. There is minor edge wear here and there, which could be ameliorated with a few drops of acid but I have not bothered as it is trivial in context. ex. Ken Hollman Collection - and note the old label from Charlie Key in his early dealer days in the 1960s or early 1970s.
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