ex. Richard Hauck
An elegant, as these things go, skull tha tis very thin and dramatic in its curvature, forming a hollow cup inside.
ex. Richard Hauck
A rough skull showing copper growth on the inside as well, but still also showing clearly the bowl-shape of the cast. Excellent representative example of the style
ex. Richard Hauck
A beautiful skull in a smaller, collectible size for more people! Skull sof this size, unless they are robust and lucky, seldom survive the mining and extraction process it seems. This one is as elegant as something called a "skull" of massive copper can get. It sits nicely on its own, with a few small natural extensions (where copper filled adjacent veins in the congolerate lode) acting as props.
ex. Richard Hauck
This massive skull weighing in at several pounds is unusual in that it is CLEARLY a skull formed as a cast in a conglomerate lode, but then the inside is filled in by roughly crystallized copper...Very unusual! This makes the piece heavy for its size, as it is more like a solid baseball than a skull with hollow space
ex. Richard Heck
Rare old material, from one of the few places where you get copper in calcite! This matrix specimen features glassy and gemmy, mostly colorless crystals of "nail head spar" calcite, to 2.5 cm in length, which has grown on top of dendritic copper. Some of the copper is invested with an exquisite greenish malachite patina. In a few cases the copper has actually included the calcite, giving the latter a pinkish glow. The calcite fluoresces a beautiful rich orange color, as a bonus. One or two calcite crystals exhibit damage at their terminations but that does not impact the specimen negatively, and it is a relatively large example for this style. They were said to have been found in the 1950s or before, and we have seen few for sale over the years.
ex. Richard Heck
Chalcopyrite, patinated green by oxidation, is the host for a spectacular, glassy and gemmy, octahedral crystal of fluorite, 2 cm in length, which is perched high on its matrix. The colorless fluorite crystal exhibits unusual growth on its crystal edges , and the faces appear to be slightly concave. In fact, the overall appearance of the fluorite is that of stepped growth, similar to the pyramids, but with some curves on closer inspection. The combination of fluorite on chalcopyrite is highly unusual from ANY locality
Check out the gorgeous form of this completely crystallized specimen of native copper from recent finds (2007) at the Itauz Mine! This mine has on-and-off produced some of the greatest crystallized coppers ever seen, in a variety of forms, as the strip mining has come back around occasionally to the specimen-producing zone. This would be a rather large example of this habit and style for the locality.
ex. Dr. Edward David
A showy cluster with a very large single crystal of robust form, from the classic Pewabic lode mines here. This is an old piece, long in the Norm and Roz Pellman collection. They recalled buying it back in the 70s from an old collection being sold off. The central dominant crystal is freestanding with a superb termination and a perfect milk chocolate patina to it, no scratches or dings anywhere. For the size, it is a major example of a large copper crystal. A bit of history here for me: I obtained it from the Pellmans in trade for a tourmaline in my first deal with them, back in the mid 1990s. I sold it to Irv Brown, who long kept it as the copper in his small cabinet worldwides collection. When I bought Dr. Ed David's large collection in 2003, I found he had actually traded it out of Irv's display case at a mineral show, the year before; and so I got it back again. I THEN sold it to another collector who specialized in coppers but is culling back, and so I have it now again - happy each time to take it back, actually. Joe Budd photos
It is highly unusual to get silver-copper halfbreeds, as they call them from the old days. In this case the metals, separated in solution, anneal during formation and grow into one another without actually intermixing. I have seen the occasional nugget of part silver and part copper in rounded forms. But this crystallized example shocked me when I first saw it. The contrast is so bright and sharp, and the combination so dualistic, that my first thought was that it had been subjected to a partial cleaning and was in fact all copper or all silver. Unusual, and surely old material from a private collection. Joe Budd photos
This unusual specimen is uniquely aesthetic in my experience. It is a ring, or loop, of native copper (both crystals and massive copper), on which sit little "apples" of silver - rounded crystals of silver, perched in amongst the copper "branches" as they rise. I admit it looks fake at first but here you have it : at the top of the copper loop, right where the two sides would come together, a crystallized rosette of silver crystals is perched. That cluster is 3.4 cm tall and has crystals to 2 cm within it, shooting out from a common core. To continue the tree analogy, its like an orchid sprouting from the crook of a tree. The piece is just bizarrely sculptural, dramatic, and interesting. I have never seen a combo quite like it. From an old collection we got into, recently. Comes with custom lucite base. Joe Budd photos
ex. Arthur Montgomery
This is an exceptionally large and heavily included calcite crystal, with minute dispersed bits of copper giving the calcite itself a rich copper background color overall, AND still showing you bright flecks of native copper inside. Copper included calcite is a highly desired combo, from Michigan's historic Copper Country. It is not unique to Michigan per se, but this is nevertheless where the best come from. Came from, rather...mostly in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Specimens of this size, preserved in such condition, are uncommon today. This one has a pristine termination which is decorated by a native copper crystal perched on its left edge as an accent - most unusual! The calcite is clean and glassy, with no damage. It is a very beautiful display piece simply on its own merits, history and rarity aside. As an extra accent, it has a little outgrowth of quartz crystals at its base. This specimen was obtained from collector Phil Scalisi in the 1990s. It was said to have been in the Arthur Montgomery collection (though no label survives). Recently ex George Elling collection. Joe Budd photos
ex. Clarence Bement
AMNH Curator C. Gratacap described this piece in his 1912 book on the acquisition of the Bement collection with the American Museum as one of the finest dozen calcites in the thousands of specimens in the Bement collection. Firstly, the photos cannot do the piece justice. The photo is accurate for form, but does not capture somehow the full, vibrant life of the piece in person. It is simply beautiful in a case...all else here aside. In person, with light bouncing in and out of it, it is like a jewel and we rank it among the finest calcites to come to market from the old copper district of Michigan - comparable to the few such surviving treasures in major museums like the Seaman Mussum in upstate Michigan. The crystal is complete all around the display faces and PRISTINE as you look at it. It shows much sharper lines in person, and is only contacted on the back and cleaved on one upper-rear-facing edge only (not seen from the display in any case). The crystal is , as a bonus, twinned, which is very rare for the locality, not to mention the size. Again, in person this is more obvious, as it has a visible 3-dimensionality that pushes the twinning plane out at the viewer. This is an old piece from the turn of the 1900s or earlier. It is an antique classic that fits with modern aesthetic sensibilities, is a cabinet specimen, is outstanding just on its own merits, and has a great pedigree. This is a rare convergence and it makes the piece attain a rarified level of quality and desirability to my mind. It was notably in the collection of Clarence Bement, an industrialist and philanthropist whose collection was regarded by 1900 as the finest in the US. It was eventually purchased by JP Morgan and donated in 1910 to the American Museum of Natural History. A copy of the AMNH accession label is provided, showing that Bement bought the piece from dealer Lazard Cahn - the label dates to around 1900-1901, by street address for his business (see the Min Record archives at http://www.minrec.org/labels.asp?colid=324 for more information). It was sold for $45 - a huge sum in those days for "just" a calcite, from a contemporary locality. So that shows you what was thought of it, even at the time. This piece was exchanged out from the museum in 1977 to Lawrence Conklin. He sold it to F John Barlow shortly after. It is shown in Barlow's book (1998), The F John Barlow Collection, on page 287. Barlow's editor for the copper chapter of his book is Marc Wilson, curator of the Carnegie Museum and an expert on the copper country minerals and history. Here is what he has to say: "This superb specimen consists of an outstanding, transparent, colorless crystal on minor matrix from the Hancock Mine..." . So, in sum, it shows well, is cabinet sized, and was owned by 2 of the most prominent collectors of the last 120 years (with a long stay in a museum in between them). Since the sale of the Barlow collection in 1998, it has been in a private collection and not for sale until now, when the owner retired and sold some pieces off recently to me. Joe Budd photos
ex. California Institute of Technology
Classic material from Michigan, these copper-calcite combos are seldom seen in such aesthetic form. This specimen features a 5 cm doubly-terminated crystal perched on a hackly copper matrix, which adds contrast in both color and form. The crystal is remarkably clear and transparent, and has fine oriented patterning striations on the frontal faces which lend it more visual interest than a simple scalenohedron might otherwise seem to have. Most large crystals are tipped, but this one has a complete termination. It is in fact complete, all around, except only a very shallow bit of edge wear on the leading edge (not seen from the front unless you look for it). And, this can be treated to minimize it with acid in any case, but I have chosen not to over-clean and brighten ("modernize") the specimen as its so good the way it is, anyhow. An accenting sidecar calcite crystal makes the piece extra special, though! The 1.4-cm-long gem, transparent, doubly-terminated crystal to the right is perched upon a pedestal of bright native copper, and is perfect. For the size range, this is simply a jewel, and one of the rarer examples of these calcites perched on copper, instead of invested heavily with copper. From the collection of California Institute of Technology (#718), by exchange to a private collector some time ago. This is attributed to the collection of TF Cole, which was donated to CalTech in the early 1900s. He was a noted and important mine manager in Michigan's Copper Country heyday, circa the early 1900's. Although no mine name was given, we presume by comparison that this is from the Quincy Mine, and certainly from its lode which produced similar styles as seen in the Seaman museum today. Joe Budd photos
ex. George Elling
A very sharp and rare example of copper having completely and totally replaced a sharp cluster of cuprites! The piece is complete all around, and quite attractive. Surely an older specimen, but I have not seen another quite like it from here, only partial replacements and smaller crystals as well.
ex. Robert Hauck
Bright, large , rounded silver crystals sit perched atop a hefty mass of copper nugget on this unusual specimen. As the species are discrete, it is not a "halfbreed" but rather an association specimen. From the silver collection of Richard Hauck, this is a really attractive and unusual, dramatic old classic from Michigan
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