This unusual, elongated and pointed-tipped crystal of phenakite is from a small find made in about 2004, which was brought out by Italian dealers and experts in Madagascar minerals, Emanuele Marini and Federico Pezzotta. It was at the time, the best matrix example from the pocket, which they had for sale. To this day, despite finds of the mineral at other localities, i have never seen another quite like this. The crystal is actually doubly-terminated, and is 5 cm long. It is not repaired, and was expertly exposed in this matrix of calcite. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Ron Pellar
Like many of Ron's top pieces, he found just a smashing example of a relatively common species and sat on it for 20-30 years or more. While dioptase thumbnails are common enough, this piece just has a perfect balance and a sharpness to it, that few have. The dioptase crystal is 1.9 cm from tip to tip, and sits perfectly on a well-balanced matrix, showing all terminations. It is RAZOR sharp. I first saw this on exhibit in the Pellar collection competitive cases when I lived in California in the early 1990s. It is complete all around, and is more than just a "small example", transcending to be superb thumbnail way beyond the norm for a relatively common species. Purchased by thumbnail collector Ron Pellar in 1984, right at the height of the dioptase production from Tsumeb, he picked this and kept it since. At the time he bought it, the price paid was probably a near record for a thumbnail from this find, as much was coming out for 2 years, and smaller pieces were often sold inexpensively. But this is one of the great ones! Joe Budd photos.
ex. George Elling
This barite crystal is doubly-terminated, and quite unusual in its sharp form and its phantom! The crystal is perched on a small bit of calcite matrix. Aesthetic pieces of barite from these mines, in this size range, are simply hard to come by, today - they date to the mid or late 1800s and damage accumulates over time unless they are locked up in museums (as this one was, ex Harvard). The label indicates a date of 1893-1898, based on George English's business locations (courtesy of Mineralogical Record label archives:http://www.minrec.org/labels.asp?page=3&colid=319) Ex. George Elling collection. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Richard Heck
This jewel-like cluster features brilliantly clustrous, clear fluorites showing cuboctohedral crystals. They are perched on equally sparkling galena, making for a stark contrast that really just leaps out , despite not having the traditional pastel color hues most Naica fluorite has. Minor white calcite acts as an accent, and by its opacity , highlights the separation of individual fluorite crystals. The overall look of this combination piece is just different, and more brilliantly lustrous, than most Naica specimens. It stands on its own merits for quality, and is more than another locality piece. Despite the good photos, it is even better in person. One of the special fluorites among many in this fine old Mexican mineral collection. Joe Budd photos.
A huge, fat, 2.6-cm-long anatase hanging smartly from a well-trimmed matrix makes this a very significant and large example of the species. The crystal is well-exposed, amazingly showing both terminations. Despite this it is nearly pristine, with just one small edge chip on the bottom termination, otherwise complete. Formerly in the Paul Stahl and Robert Nowakowski collections. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Klaus Neumann
A dramatic , oldstyle fluorite specimen from the classic Illinois mines. This one ended up in Europe decades ago, and is now being repatriated perhaps. It features intense, saturated purple color with sharp phantoms inside. True, it needs backlighting to be appreciated - but not all that much, and it is worth the effort to aim a light inside as you can see. The sharp cubic fluorites are accented by sharp scalenohedral calcites like little flowers on the surface, front and back. The cluster is complete on the front and sides, nearly so on the back; and is contacted on the bottom. Ex. Klaus Neumann collection. Joe Budd photos.
An exquisite Russian pink calcite, featuring three large, intergrown crystals with sharp form and pretty pyramidal terminations. The color is a pleasing pink due to manganese content. Such well-formed crystals are uncommon for Dalnegorsk manganos
Pyrite from this mine is extremely rare, and seldom seen. This is the biggest pyrite I have seen , to date, myself. It is crested by a delicate flowering of disclike calcites atop, and is fairly aesthetic. Some minor damage, but still in context a displayable specimen. For the systematic collector of minerals from this mine, or of unusual African minerals, I think this was quite interesting. Sorry about the seemingly high price for a little pyrite...they just ask a lot for these over there, when found! I paid $450 for it myself just to have it. And for that matter, why do we not see many pyrites from Africa, anyhow?
LARGE CABINET, 17 x 8.3 x 5.7 cm I just canít say enough about this superb crystal specimen. Letís start off by noting the the Elmwood is closed forever, and the world is now appreciating that these golden, gemmy calcites are among the finest the world has ever seen and that there wonít be any more except out of collections. Second, it is EXTREMELY rare to find Elmwood calcites of this size without tip dings; for some odd reason, it seems almost every specimen above a certain size has had damage to at least one termination. Third, this is a strange "HALF-TWIN" Ė with the top of the piece looking like your classic twinned scalenohedron while the bottom half spplits on the left side (as in top photo) into an untwinned termination on the bottom even though the top termination is a continuous twinned outgrowth of the same single crystal (you will see what I mean when you see it in person, but it is extremely unusual and pretty)?!?! Finally, the crystal shows superb golden gemminess. What more could you ask for? Oh yes, it is almost a complete floater, and at the one small point of attachment, there are actually a few crystals of purple fluorite and sphalerite to give it its Elmwood "brand." Wow.
ex. Jack Halpern
This is a visually impressive ballbuster of a dioptase plate, of good size too! It has numerous crysatls to 1.3 cm in trade and dozens smaller. All are peched on the best matrix of contrasting, sparkly white calcite. There is some damage here and there, though mostly to the back periphery and back of a few crystals on that part of the specimen...nevertheless it displays very well adn the damage is not apparent at first glance. If not damaged evern just that small bit, this would easily be a 10k-plus specimen. Still, its worth $4000-5000 easily , I would think. It is cheap, bluntly, because I am blowing it out to help cash out on the trade I made with Jack. I paid $4500 in trade for it.
ex. Jack Halpern
The first time I visited Jack in the early 90's, I was taken aback by the quality of the cobaltian calcites which he had managed to obtain during their brief window of availability. Anybody who knows him, now, will not be surprised that he got a bunch of them since color and beauty are paramount qualities for him and these stand out in the mineral world for the shocking neon pink color they present in a case. To me, this is his #2 miniature (after the famous matrix piece presented on a former Tucson show poster). That one is admittedly more aesthetic as it is perched on matrix, and gemmier, but it is pale in comparison to this one despite its other qualities; and so I have really always wanted this specimen, of the two. In person, its color and brilliant lustre will impress anybody, I think. It presents from the front as if doubly-terminated, though this is not the case (there is a small cleave angling from the back, atop, and a small contact at the rear of the bottom termination - neither visually detract from the display angles!). This is a rare chance to obtain one of the rarest and most treasured, and most beautiful, of African mineral specimens.
ex. Jack Halpern
This cute miniature features a sharp, deep green, 13 x 10 x 10 mm crystal perched nicely in contrasting matrix! It is not of gem rough calibre, but DOES have a lot of transparency and brightness and is certainly a worthy specimen without breaking the bank. For a specimen emerald, the color is quite intense and the price very affordable!
ex. Jack Halpern
This was the very first rock I sold to Jack when i met him in 1991, as I sold off part of my childhood collection to help pay for moving expenses to grad school out in California (the old card is my campus POB address!). Luckily , Herb Obodda was out of his room at the time Jack went to see him, and Jack walked across the hall to my butt-end of a room to kill time and thus met me. Always regretted parting with it and I was thrilled to get it back in the trade! So, now I'm keeping it this time.
A pristine calcite twin is perched beautifully at the edge of the matrix. The twin is perfectly formed and symmetrical, with perfect pyramidal terminations. It is transparent, with slight hematite staining that is classic for these. Tiny, glittering calcite needles on the iron-rich matrix form a backdrop for the twin. These were in my opinion one of the most exciting Chinese finds of the 90ís and specimens are now almost unobtainable.
These wonderful translucent golden calcites with pyramidal terminations were found on a fluorite-covered matrix for the first time this year, and appeared at the Tucson show. This is a really nice one, with a silky 4-cm crystal canted out at an angle from the matrix decorated with smaller calcites and light purple-blue fluorite. Prettier in person!
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