ex. Al Ordway
The Crestmore quarry was one of the favorite collecting sites for Al Ordway and this specimen is a good example of the kind of rare material he put away. It features many lustrous and translucent, cinnamon-colored grossular crystals to 1.5 cm across, associated with a few prismatic, lustrous and slightly translucent, diopside crystals (to 2 cm in length). Obtained by collecting it in 1969, according to the label.
This unusual specimen is a very attractive, shimmering cluster of violet-colored diopside crystals, from a new find in early 2008. I picked this up on a trade from a collector at Munich who says he got it from the original collector in Munich as well, and that it was the best of the lot for size/aesthetics balance. I had not seen others, so I will trust him on this. Most unusual!
ex. William Larson
A superb GEM CRYSTAL of diopside from this alpine deposit, long treasured for producing the best diopsides in Europe. Today, these are a classic seldom seen, especially in this size and calibre. Exchanged from the William Larson Collection at Tucson in return for (part of) a large English calcite that to this day he tells me I charged too much for, but which he can seen gushing happily over on the new Whats Hot in Tucson 2008 video...
THis amazing, doubly-terminated crystal is simply the best of its kind I have seen, and came as a surprise in the old collection of John Ydren of Los Angeles. It is doubly-terminated, complete, and lustrous, with a riveting, fake-looking , intense green color to it. This is the locality known for uvarovite garnet, but at the same time it was also an important locality for early study of many species of more common minerals, such as diopside, in crystalline form. As a classic, its worth something. But just as a neon green diopside, of really unique aspect and color, it leaps out and is good enough for any collector aside fro mits historic value, I think. I was really entranced with this piece.
This stone is a fantastic, intense green color, virtually eye clean "Oval" cut gemstone of Chrome Diopside. Chrome Diopside is a very rare gem considering that the only good rough comes from one place in the world (which has a drastically shortened mining season due to the tremendous amount of annual snowfall), and the large percentage of the stones on the market are less than 1 carat. It is very very difficult to find this material in clean stones and inclusions are accepted by most collectors and dealers.
Diopside is only found in a few localities in the world in gem quality material. Some of the best known are from Matala in Sri Lanka, the Italian Alps, and De Kalb, New York. I haven't seen many crystals of Diopside from Austria lately that were clean enough or thick enough to cut nice stones, but this one certainly qualifies as a great Diopside gem from this area. The stone has a nice bright green color. The gem has an "Emerald cut with slight inclusions.
ex. Robert Whitmore
The Whitmore collection was especially well-known for his superb suite of Eden Mills minerals, the product of decades of self-collecting at this remote locality near the Canadian border. Many pieces from this suite were featured in the American Treasures case in Tucson 2008, on exhibit. This specimen , however, was NOT featured there because he had never exposed the crystals fully from the overlaying calcite, and so it lurked relatively unappreciated in his collection for the 30 years until my purchase. It was good, even unprepped...but now it is a killer with the largest complete, robust crystals of this habit that he or others I have shown it to, know of. As Bob said, it SHOULD have gone in the case, but it just got missed. Self-collected by Bob in 1978, this remains a unique specimen. The well-trimmed size of the plate and association with diopside really add interest. Bob considered this among the most important pieces he found in 40 years of collecting at Eden Mills
This is a very 3-dimensional and colorful specimen with a wonderful deep neon, sparkly green color characteristic of the high chromium content found here in the garnets. The garnet is amassed in a 3-dimensional ,thick aggregate of small crystals, individually brilliant and beautiful under a scope but really very small to the eye. There are tiny diopside needles with the garnets by way of accent. THIS IS RARE MATERIAL FROM A NOW CLOSED LOCALITY!
This specimen exhibits classic aesthetics for the locality. Small but superb crystal! . A transparent orange garnet is perched on a lustrous greenish-gray crystal of diopside. The garnet measures .5 cm across and it is absolutely perfect.
This is a particularly elegant cluster of unusually gemmy, unusually lustrous, and unusually transparent lime-green diopside from a famous pocket of mid-2008. The quality of these things is like from no other pocket from the mine, and the diopsides from here do, i think, rank at the top of their food chain. Clusters are quite uncommon compared to singles. This cluster is complete all around, and has minor associated graphite. Note the unusually sharp termination on the specimen...it is beyond the ordinary quality.
A large, intensely lime-green crystal from important finds here over the last few years. This is a fat and robust, 25 gram, crystal that is complete all around and has a well-formed, fat termination It is translucent, not transparent. It has an unusual schiller effect to the surfaces , though, as if there are thin layers reflecting differently on the surface. Overall, just a big fat crystal for the price, an da real burst of color. I think these will stand as one of the more amazing finds from this mine, much more rare than tanzanite itself from here.
A large, intensely lime-green crystal from important finds here over the last few years. This is a fat and robust, 13 gram, crystal. It looks bigger than it masses, because the back is crossed by a contact where it grea against another crystal, and is thus thinned in places. It is complete all around and has moderate translucence. In color, this one is a little bit of a darker hue than the previous two specimens from the same mine, and it makes for a stunning single display crystal.
ex. Marc Weill
Diopside from Pakistan seldom reaches this kind of size, gemminess, and quality level. Normally they are just thin, bladed, rocks of moderate interest only. This stunning gem crystal is , in fact to my eye, the best I have seen for several reasons: its olive-green color, superb sharp habit, broad termination, and size. It is totally unique from the fine diopside being produced in Tanzania, which are the only ones I think even remotely compare, at this level of gemminess.It is actually complete all around, though having very minor edge wear on a few minor back edges. It is big, dramatic, and has glassy lustre....extremely impressive in person! For a Pakistani or rare gem crystals suite, this is a major addition.
ex. William Larson
A superb, sharp, textbook grossular garnet with the choice color for this locality, perched up on a single diopside crystal. Classic and rare combo! From the Garnet Collection of William Larson's company, Pala Intl, on display in their gallery for decades. Joe Budd Photos.
From the alpine veins of Val d’Ala, this classic matrix specimen is covered in glassy and gemmy, cinnamon-colored grossular garnets, to .8 cm across. They are SPARKLING and beautiful! Associated with the garnets are a few glassy and gemmy, pastel green, diopside crystals, to 1.0 cm in length. The dark green mineral underlaying the garnet is clinochlore, a member of the mica family, in crystals to.3 cm across. Obviously, this is an older specimen. It comes from the Robert Gage collection (dated 1926), whose collection partly went into the later collection of Robert Linck.
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