Dolomite from Shangbao has set a new standard for the species from a Chinese locality, and is really unique in its overall form and aesthetics, too. This is a beautiful cluster from 2010 mining, complete all around 360 degrees and with no damage. It has complex, stepped dolomite crystals stacked one atop the other, and associated with little transparent fluorites and with some quartz crystals. It is one of the more elegant examples of this habit that I have seen for sale.Joe Budd Photos
ex. E. Mitchell Gunnell
With crystals to 1.2 cm, this is an attractive matrix specimen of the truly rare GEM pink fluorites from the Alps. There are many finds of pink fluorites, but few are totally gem-clear, transparent, and as lustrous as these. The specimen is an old piece that was donated by collector and dealer E.M. Gunnell (1903-1986) to the University of Arizona collection. Recently deaccessed from the University Museum. Joe Budd photos
A surprisingly aesthetic fluorite from the Aquamarine deposits in Nagar. Pegmatitic fluorites associated with aquamarine are at a premium, both at the source and on the market here. This is an extremely aesthetic combo piece with a sharp , very lustrous and bright octohedral fluorite perched on a natural pedestal of muscovite, and with sidecars of aquamarine in association. The fluorite is complete ALL AROUND and shows beautifully. I have seen few of this quality in this size range - usually the fluorites are stuck on big unwieldy plates of muscovite, making this somewhat of a rarity for its aesthetics. Joe Budd photos
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
This fluorite crystal is transparent, colorful with subtle zonations, and RAZOR SHARP. The edges are to 4 cm in length, and you can cut your finger on them, they are so perfect. The crystal is completely transparent in person, and shows subtle cubic phantoms inside that are hard to capture with the camera. The piece is a complete floater, as the fluorite rests on a shard of quartz from which crystals pop out on either end of the plate to accent the fluorite. This is a superb specimen in every sense of its aesthetics, from the noted China collections of Steve Smale.. Joe Budd photos
An intense, very deeply colored fluorite with color that is literally the saturation of grape jelly. This is from a small pocket that came out only a few years ago, and was sold even in Mexico for a super premium. Most of it, if not all, was controlled by the New family (a dealership) and Jason New kept the best in his collection (which I purchased in 2010). This specimen, with crystals exceeding an inch, shows beautifully from several angles. Most of these few specimens were not recovered in pristine condition. Although it has some contacting attachment points in back, and one noticeable ding on a side crystal to the left of the main frontal crystal, this is in good shape otherwise and certainly displays dramatically. A choice Mexican fluorite specimen. Joe Budd photos
This specimen comes from a unique pocket hit in the late 1990s, featuring small hexagonal APATITES perched on the rhodochrosite, with a bonus of little jewel-like cubic purple fluorites for accent. The three larger crystals reach 2 cm across, and have very good cherry-red color, not the more commonly seen (today) pale, partially-ripe strawberry hue. This specimen has been in a private collection for some time, and was recently given to me for sale. I believe their asking price to be very fair, in light of recent prices I have seen on specimens remaining with the former miner, as they also are buying back specimens in the marketplace for resale now. Comes with custom lucite base. NOTE: I am selling this for a friend and i think he lowballed the price. this is, i feel, a pretty good deal...
A very aesthetic and unusual specimen from this classic mine, with a thick coating of sparkling white quartz over large fluorite octohedra. THEN, LATER in the history of this pocket, more fluorite was deposited on top of the quartz layer, making for little lavender tufts of fluorite poking out like mushrooms from the sharper quartz crystals underneath. I have not previously had such a good example of this multiple-generation material from the mine, nor seen one so aesthetic and balanced, as this piece. Ex Karl Faddis Collection (a Seattle-area native collector) - he specialized in minerals of the Northwest USA and British Columbia. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
A superb specimen from the noted China collection of Dr. Steve Smale, this piece has balance and contrast. It is pristine and complete all around with crystallized calcite on the backside as well as the front. The finely isolated fluorite crystals measure to 4 cm and show amazingly intricate effects of oriented growth patterning in both color (purple zones) and in form (flat vs. stepped faces). The piece is simple in geometry but mesmerizing in complexity. This was probably found in the mid-2000s. For its combination of qualities, I rate it VERY HIGHLY. Joe Budd Photos.
A remarkable Alpine fluorite from the single greatest pocket of modern times, which was worked by French field collector Frederic Eva from 2006, for a few years. Many crystals from this pocket had mattte faces or more pink color, with less saturation. This piece is lustrous on all major octohedral faces. This piece practically GLOWS with intense pink-red color, very saturated throughout and with no pale zones. IT IS MUCH BETTER IN PERSON, DESPITE ACCURATE PHOTOS, AS THE CAMERA CANNOT SEE HTE INTENSITY AND DEPTH OF THE EYE. THIS IS NOT JUST "ANOTHER" PINK FLUORITE, BUT A STEP BEYOND MOST. The crystals are complete all around 360 degrees, and have absolutely no damage whatsoever. They are fat, robust, and just plain "juicy," for lack of a better word. The combination of those qualities with an overall aesthetic display, is rare. The piece has a small amount o fmatrix granite still attached at the bottom, as well. Taken together, this is a rarified level of quality, and I was shocked to have been able to buy it dirty all these years after it had been mined and set aside in a French collection, still with pocket material on it that needed to be cleaned off in preparation. Joe Budd Photos.
An unusually large and colorful Cornish fluorite with sharp fluorite octohedrons to 3 cm in size, forming a very beautiful display face on rolling chalcedony matrix. This piece is more than twice as rich and showy as any comparable I had seen before , of this material. It came out of an old Cornish collection being dispersed at the Tucson 2012 show. Comes with custom lucite display base. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Al Ordway
Witherite from Illinois sets the standard for the species, to most collectors. The only competitors are old English specimens, and there are few enough of them - plus they are white or chalky in color. This piece has amber-colored witherite intergrown over fluorite, and makes for a very choice small cabinet specimen. These mines are now closed and defunct, and good witherites have not been found in decades in any case, from any locality. The specimen was collected in the mine in 1971 by collector Bob Bartsch, and given to his friend Al Ordway on his return to California. It is a very aesthetic, choice example of the material from this mine both for its color and form, as well as exceptional luster for the species. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. California Institute of Technology
Witherite from this locality , seldom seen in this quality today, is considered by most to set the standard for the species for beauty. This piece has a complete-all-around, gorgeous witherite cluster situated on a transparent, sharp fluorite crystal. It is a rare combination piece with balance and aesthetics both. The color is also exceptional. From the Cal Tech collections, by authorised exchange to a private collector a few years ago, this is a major piece in its size range, for what it is. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Ken Roberts
A simply stunning fluorite specimen that is like looking into a TV set. This was purched in China by dealer Ken Roberts in summer of 2005, and kept til now in his personal China collection of miniatures and small cabinet pieces (which has been sold off over the last 2 years). It is mesmerizing in person, even better than the photos, really, because the human eye sees it as more transparent than the camera does (due to light refractions captured in the camera lens but missed by our eyes, it is thus even more cleanly transparent in person). The cube is prcisely 3 cm on edge. It is almost complete all around, with just a few little contacts in back that, in context, simply can be lived with because the piece is so great. I was in China recently and I can tell you, things of this quality just ARE NOT coming regularly from the mine any more, and they never were common to begin with. This level of fluorite is just almost impossible to obtain, even at the source. Joe Budd Photos.
An unusual floater crystal of deep purple fluorite from this classic district, complete all around with steplike crystallized faces even running around the backside. While not symmetric in back, it is completely crystallized. It has unusual stepped and bevelled edges to the modified cubic crystal which add character. The color is a very rich, beautiful purple with blue core. Overall, an unusual specimen apparently from older finds here. From the noted European fluorite collection of Dr. Jan Buma, Netherlands. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Al Ordway
I am not aware of other fine fluorite locales in California - this seems a freak-of-nature deposit. These green fluorites were collected by the Gochenour brothers in the early 1990s, and are seldom seen on the market even within California. The vein was very small, and hard to work. It was tucked into a now-inaccessible canyon in a suburban development within the greater LA area, and can be considered a mineral from a very urban locale! This particular piece is very gemmy and translucent, with excellent color. Few of this size, in good condition, were ever found. Ex Al Ordway Collection. Joe Budd Photos.
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