A GORGEOUS, translucent, 2.2-cm fluorite ball on amtrix! Complete all around so I could not imagine a better thumbnail example of this new style for botryoidal purple fluorite. Most of these were BIG, and I have gotten only a few thumbnail sized examples.
A brilliantly glistening fluorite with almost silky lustre, from this classic locality! it is just faintly lavender in hue, but this is subtle. The piece has large, gemmy crystals to 3cm in size, many of which are absolutely 100% gemmy and show clear internal phantoms inside their cores. All I can say is that this is MUCH MUCH MUCH more impressive in person than pics can do , because the reflections of internal veils and lines are over-emphasized in such photos. Note the combination of sharp faces with interesting, minutely modified edge growth curving along the corners, characteristic of this locality.
ex. Francis and Patricia Benjamin
This RAZOR-sharp, pristine, totally gemmy fluorite crystal measures 2.5 cm across its longest edge, more through the diagonal. It is absolutely riveting, and disappears on white, it is so clear (except for the minute iron staining on the underside of the piece). This is characteristic of the 1980s production we fondly miss, and referred to as "ice cube fluorites." There are larger specimens, but not of any better quality or in such condition generally. So, for the size, this is a very special, superior quality miniature (as you'd expect from such a well-known fluorite collector!)
ex. Francis and Patricia Benjamin
These multicolored, complexly crystallized fluorites come from a small and difficult cleft and are known as among th emost dinstinctive of Alpine fluorites. Most were collected long ago, when the area first became accessible as the glaciers have been retreating (one benefit of global warming, ugh!). I am not aware of recent finds, and I have sene several specimens over the years with labels almost 40-50 years old attached. This is a really good one as they go, with unusually good rose cores and lustre, plus isolation on the granite matrix. From the well-known fluorite miniatures collection of Francis and Pat Benjamin
Hardin County, Illinois was long known for it's spectacular Fluorite specimens. Sadly this area is now completely defunct and this material will only be found in old collections and dealer's inventories. The Fluorites from this area are found in a myriad of colors, and because of the larger size of the crystals, some spectacular gemstones have been cut. Yellow is a fairly common color for Fluorite from the Denton mine, but is rather rare from most other world localities. One of the great aspects of Fluorite is the fact that large, colorful gems can be cut that are still affordable in bigger stones. This particular gem is a beautiful golden yellow stone that is virtually eye clean with a Square Emerald cut. This mine is one of the few places in the world where one can find a large yellow Fluorite in this quality. This stone would make for a splendid mate with a specimen from this mine to create a stellar "rough and cut" set.
This beauty is 360-degrees complete all around and looks like a Rodin sculpture, with elegant aesthetics that are VERY unusual in that the crystals seem to pop out at you from the core, rather than grow gently out of it as with other pieces here. It is 3 x 2.5 x 2 inches in size. The large crystal atop is transparent and gemmy, and measures almost 3 cm or 1-1/8 inches on edge. It is 3-dimensional and very sculptural, and very clear. This is, for my tastes of aesthetics and condition, the best of the pocket that I am aware of (of what was at Munich, anyhow). This is by all accounts the finest specimen of the lot according also to the Gobins (French dealer-friends of mine), one of whom was luckily already down in Namibia when these came out; and they hands-down had the best lot at the show. This was exchanged from them to me, so it is more or less directly from the source down there, and they were found just a short while before Munich. It is illustrated already in the new finds section of the French journal Le Regne Minerale, which came out this week; and i understand it may be shown in other journals as an exemplar of the find.
This is one of the finest pieces in the lot and I rank it highly, right up there with #3 above. This one has an even more intense color caused by the close clustering of the crystals, with less splaying out. The color is absolutely top for the find and almost electric - you can see why many people are calling this pocket the finest fluorites yet found in Southern Africa. This piece is slightly more massive in appearance, more "juicy" in color, than the above piece. The largest crystal is slightly gemmier, and slightly larger at 1.25 inches or about 3+ cm. Overall, it is about 3 x 3 x 2.5 inches, so the size helps give it a lot of impact. It can display equally well both vertically as shown , with many octos pointing in each direction; and horizontallly with more sharp octo tips pointing "up"in that case. The piece is much more impressive in person, I will add as a final comment.
This extremely sculptural piece is like a tree, with a branch reaching out to the left and right. It has great aesthetics as it is splayed out, thus; and not so closely packed as most other large specimens. The largest crystal in the centre measures 3 cm, and then the grade down in size towards the elegant extensions - all solidly attached to good matrix here. The specimen is very 3-dimensional and it is MUCH MUCH better in person, with more translucency as well.
This specimen, first off, is REALLY MUCH MORE impressive in person. It is a complex piece with many features to it. This specimen has the deepest color of the entire lot, in a whopping 6 cm GEMMY crystal on the left side. On the right side, it features a VERY STRANGE 3.7-cm-long "bar" of fluorite that is either some weird twin or a weird concatenated crystal of adjoining octohedra. This "bar" is perched above a third major featured crystal: a 3.5-cm gem octohedron. The two large octos are free of secondary coating but on the crevasses between, and on the "bar" , there is a secondary coating of minutely crystallized fluorite that is like sparkling sugar, adding lustre and accent to the specimen. Lastly,a thin ridge of translucent crystals , piled one upon the other and measuring to 6 mm, runs like a fanspray BEHIND the largest octo, framing it separately from the rest of the specimen and giving the whole piece a more 3-dimensional look as well as yet more sparkle (since they are so bright and gemmy!). The pics just cannot convey all this easily - so trust me on this one, if you are tempted, its all the more a stunning specimen in person.
Here we have a nicely trimmed crystallized quartz matrix hosting a 3 x 2.5 x 2 cm crystal of....FLUORITE! Looks like green topaz! Is it a twin? I do not think so...I THINK it is some weird octohedral modification. But it looks like green topaz. I just cannot get over it. Aesthetically , it is perhaps the most dramatic and shocking piece in the lot. In person, it is so gemmy and transparent that you can look righ tthrough it to your hand on the other side! It seems to be complete, although perhaps contacted smoothly, even around the backside. Yes, it is expensive. But, its amazing...
This beauty hosts exceedingly gemmy, clear crystals to 1.4 cm in size. They are of HIGHEST quality in that regard, and frame a matrix of crysatllized quartz, that is very balanced overall with the crystals above.
GEMMIER IN PERSON! A single gemmy, very sharp crystal to 2.7 cm on edge surmounts a crystallized quartz matrix, here. This is an exquisite display specimen and it features unusual ISOLATION of the crystal - most from this find are in aggregate clusters. The irregularity that you seem to see atop is, in fact, simply secondary crysatllization adding a few small, gemmy, bright crystals as an accenting fan behind the larger one. In person, it is very much more dramatic, I would say.
SO GEMMY that you can look right through and see the matrix underneath...this piece features a stunning 1.8-cm GEM crystal that is among the best quality of all, gram per gram. The crystal si SHARP, razor-sharp, and complete all around . It is perched dramatically on an edge of of smaller crystals as if set on a pedestal , amplifying the effect of its gemminess and isolation. In person, the brown bit of matrix showing through isn't as distracting, by the way. I think that this specimen, for these qualities, is really exquisite and among the better miniatures of the find.
This specimen is one of the most 3-dimensional and aesthetic of the lot, in association with crystallized quartz martrix. It features a central crystal of 3 cm (beautiful, but i need to say has a slightly bruised upper corner that gets lost in the crowd, anyhow), and perched atop it are two pristine, complete, GEMMY, RAZOR-SHARP, 2-cm crystals. Those crowning crystals are so gemmy that you see through them to the thin shard of iron-stained quartz running up the middle of the crystal cluster. IN person, VERY impressive!
A massive specimen weighing several pounds, this piece has INTENSE DEEP GREEN COLOR.As it displays on a custom base, it showcases a ridge of gemmy, deep green crystals to 4 cm that have the highest saturation for the find (like evergreen in hue), and simply dazzles. It is not "fine" in the sense of the normal usage to refer to elegance and crystal isolation on a piece, but it IS extremely impactful in that it is a sheer wall of color of an intensity of green that is not normally associated with fluorite. It is also in pristine condition on the display face, with just a few contacts and one bruised term at the very periphery to the left or right. The top row of crystals is exceptionally gemmy, and wraps around to the backside, so that the ridgeline is really a good visual horizon even as you look down on it from above. This was expensive to me, when I got it, because it is so darned showy, even though different in overall aspect from others of the lot I show here. It is also the weightiest save only one other piece, and on the large side for recovery from this pocket.
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