ex. Marilyn Dodge
Beautiful cluster of Chrysocolla blades that is outstanding for its color and its architecture. It is equally amazing that something so seemingly fragile has only suffered the most minimal of damage in only one tiny spot near the base. Nearly pristine, and as aesthetic as can be, this is a killer. These form as replacements after selenite and were generally found 30-40 years ago, by and large.
Lustrous deep green round aggregates of crystals from one of the main localities for this species which is, interestingly, NOT really chemically related to malachite: it is a phosphate whereas malachite is a carbonate but often they are confused because they look similar. Rich and colorful!
Truly COMPLETE stalactite clusters from the classic Ray Mine are uncommon and go for a premium already, painting or no painting. This piece is a particularly aesthetic miniature, complete all around, with surreal "reaching" stalks that are translucent and slightly curving as they reach out from the matrix base. This would be an older specimen, from the 1970s or early 1980s. Most specimens from the modern finds here just look different, and also tend to consist of smaller stalactites on larger matrix. I love how the quartz coating on the chrysocolla "dimples out" at the tips, creating a clear translucent cone atop each stalactite. Price includes specimen, painting, and custom lucite base for display.
ex. Martin Zinn
This specimen is remarkable for several reasons. The color is a wonderful aquamarine blue, from the cryptocrystalline core to the surface of the specimen. There was a secondary growth of azurite, in crystals to 2.5 cm across, which was later pseudomorphed by sparkling quartz druse. In spite of minor damage to the largest crystal, this piece is rare and exquisite.
ex. David and Emily Stoudt
When these pseudos were first discovered at the Ray Mine in 1976, they were x-rayed, which determined that the blue-green outer rim was chrysocolla after either gypsum or azurite. But a question was raised that the original crystallization appeared to be that of an unknown orthorhombic mineral, which would exclude both azurite and gypsum, both of which are monoclinic. The color has deepened over time with a natural patina, in this specimen, for when it first came out it was a sky blue. On the back side, there is an unterminated crystal but it does not materially affect either the appearance or value. Most people seem to be labelling these as after azurite now, in this habit, although some others DO look more like selenite and get that appelation. Anyways, a fine one of competition quality!
ex. Charlie Key
A beautiful specimen with unusual contrast both in color and in relief...most Kaokoveld dioptases are pretty flat on the matrix but this one features fat, 3-D crystals that are themselves standing largely free atop a rounded knoll of matrix, for double effect. The piece has a 3-cm-long cluster atop with two intergrown, doubly-terminated diop crystals hangiging out into space. It is VERY dramatic. The crystals are 2.5 and 2 cm in size, and again are doubly-terminated. Smaller crystals provide accent. At first glance, we had appraised this at a much higher price. On very close inspection, you can see a small chip, probably one form geological time that has been partly healed over because it is so hard to see, in the left-rear side of the smaller crystal in the cluster. I have to be hnest and admit this detracts a bit, from ONE angle out of four for potential display, and from the overall quality of condition...but visually, its really a pretty trivial damage and in a backwater spot, so you get a lot of visual impact for the buck on this specimen ; and it remains in my mind a very significant and impactful Kaokoveld dioptase.
ex. Charlie Key
Quite simply, for the color contrast and striking sculptural quality of form, one of the most striking stalactites of any mineral that I have ever seen! Wow! I have never seen this combination in such quality, before. Comes with custom lucite display base.
ex. Sam Nasser
The best thumbnail example of this material I have ever seen! Complete and perfect all around!
ex. Edward Swoboda
WOW! This is a very rare specimen! These were found in the early 1980s, and the specimen consists of small calcite crystals on dioptase, that were completely replaced by the copper mineral plancheite and turned a rich blue in color. This is only at ONE end of the piece. AT THE OTHER END, the calcites have been replaced by chrysocolla, I think; or at least so heavily coated one cannot tell and its a moot point visually. This is a very interesting, colorful, and fun specimen from the prominent pseudomorph collection of Ed Swoboda (see MinRec nov/dec 1997). He sold to Carter Rich in 1999, who sold this to George Loud right after, and it now is coming back to the market.
Old material I had never even HEARD OF much less seen, this is a very rare example of chrysocolla from Quebec. I had no idea you could get copper minerals there, myself. These were collected in 1967 and only recently came to light in an old Canadian collection being sold off at the Springfield Show. This miniature has a robust, 3-dimensional cluster of dark blue chrysocolla leaping off at one end
Old material I had never even HEARD OF much less seen, this is a very rare example of chrysocolla from Quebec. I had no idea you could get copper minerals there, myself. These were collected in 1967 and only recently came to light in an old Canadian collection being sold off at the Springfield Show.
Old material I had never even HEARD OF much less seen, this is a very rare example of chrysocolla from Quebec. I had no idea you could get copper minerals there, myself. These were collected in 1967 and only recently came to light in an old Canadian collection being sold off at the Springfield Show. This extra-rich specimen has a nice dark blue color and good relief
Old material I had never even HEARD OF much less seen, this is a very rare example of chrysocolla from Quebec. I had no idea you could get copper minerals there, myself. These were collected in 1967 and only recently came to light in an old Canadian collection being sold off at the Springfield Show. I only saw 4 of these available and bought every one.
ex. Frank Valenzuela
This piece looks fake, in person. It has the most intense bright turquoise blue color I have ever seen in a specimen. It is a bubbly, 3-dimensional example of a rare SPECIMEN quality "gem silica," that is practically glowing with color. This is old material, and over the years has been treasured as cutting and lapidary material , where it sells by the gram. It is actually chrysocolla, with an overlay of transparent chalcedony (quartz) which gives it strength and sparkle. I have never seen a piece of this magnitude of color and brightness, on the market. Frankly, I ignore the material most of the time as it is usually in the form of flat slabs or little seams/pockets in big matrix. This is a SPECIMEN, though: two sided and nearly complete. It is not entirely complete - there are some gaps in coverage, due to contact or damage around the bottom periphery, but it certainly is complete on the display faces where it matters and all around the top, 360 degrees. I showed it to oldtime Arizona collecting expert Bob Jones, who was as impressed as I was; but comes to the scene with a much greater knowledge of context. He told me it was the best he had seen for sale in 60 years of collecting Arizona material, better than any he had obtained for his own Arizona collection when he was actively collecting; and he thought about buying it, even though he no longer has an Arizona collection. The piece is one of the oldest specimens in Frank Valenzuela's collection, and the oldest valuable specimen he had kept through years of trading and upgrading. He has been collecting since he was a teenager in the early 1950s (Frank is 73 now). After proving himself a pretty smart guy, he was promoted to a shaft supervisor position at the Inspiration Mine by the late 1950s, in his early 20's. He made friends with an older miner and fellow shaft supervisor, Tex Burlison, at that time. Tex had collected this piece in the late 1940s, and kept it for himself on a mantle at his home. Frank recalls always wanting this piece, the best piece of the whole shelf there, but Tex would never sell it to him. Well, it turns out that Tex's wife collected old antique bottles. Seeing another angle, Frank spent 3-4 years collecting old bottles he would find in the mine shafts here and in other Arizona mines he explored (some dating to the late 1800s) . He assembled a whole collection of them which he traded to Tex for this piece in the early 1960s. Is it expensive? Absolutely. It was dear to Frank and it was dearly sold to me. But at the same time, it is a perhaps unique piece of superb quality and unusual aesthetics. Moreover, it is 70 years out of the ground, surviving when most such material was long ago cut for pendants and belt buckles, and they are not exactly making more of this at other mines. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Frank Valenzuela
An example of this material would be a highlight of any major collection of the US classics , Arizona minerals, or in a pseudomorph collection. Or, just because they are so unique and beautiful, in any collection - I am not aware of pieces that look like this from anywhere else. But, there are few to be had. This large piece features unusually sharp crystals, whereas most are rounded. It displays well horizontal or vertical. As a bonus to its beauty, these crystals are actually a rare double pseudomorph! The quartz has replaced chrysocolla, which itself has replaced malachite. Some people say that the malachite replaced original azurite crystals, as well. Then, a layer of sparkly gem chalcedony (quartz) draped and coated it all , for sparkle and a thin transparent coating that also is protective of the altering chrysocolla underneath. With intense color, sharp form, and good size, this is an impressive piece that just "glows" with translucency, instantly visible in a case for its purity of color and its brightness. My own instincts and experience say this is very good. According to a very prominent Arizona collector I showed this to after acquisition, this is hands down one of the best examples of the material (and he knows more than I). According to MINDAT: "Mineralization also involves the copper silicate Live Oak vein. All outcrops of this vein has long since been obliterated by caving operations of the Inspiration Mine. The vein occupied a fissure in the sill-like body of granite porphyry facies of the granite that overlies the schist in the western segment of the Miami-Inspiration disseminated copper deposit. The chrysocolla was undoubtedly deposited by supergene solutions that collected in the fissures and contained copper leached from the surrounding rock." (see http://www.mindat.org/loc-6777.html) . In other words, a rare and now vanished occurrence. I often see damaged, rounded examples which seem rather lumpy to me, for sale at already high prices. This one is one of the best such examples I have handled or seen in collections, including the major old Arizona collections. It has been in the Frank Valenzuela collection for nearly 40 years. Joe Budd Photos.
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