This is another fine, old time, specimen. The piece is studded with barrel-shaped crystals of pyromorphite which have been totally replaced by gray galena - an old 1800-s German classic occurrence! The largest crystal measures 2.5 cm across which is quite remarkable in size. The sharpness of the crystals, unmarred by the typical fuzzy edges you often see in these replacements, is also very fine. It looks like a later generation of pyromorphite was trying to coat the old crystals. Collectors of German pyros treasure this type of pseudomorph and this is an unusually fine, display-quality specimen. BETTER IN PERSON!
A 2.3 x 0.6 x 0.5 cm crystal of GEM rhodonite, perched in contrasting galena matrix! GEMMY rhodonite crystals, of this magnitude, are SO rare! I am told this came out in the 1940s. The crystal is complete, and fully terminated (though as is typical, the termination is a bit rounded by nature). I have seen in 2 decades only 3 specimens of this calibre for sale. It is not about size, but about the beauty and quality of this gem crystal....this is a RARE treasure! I was shocked when i saw it available. the last one i handled was of similar size, and quality, and ended up selling for over 10k on the resale market
This remarkable oldtimer features GEMMY purple cubes of the HIGHEST glassy lustre and best color. They are just gorgeous, and pics cannot convey it, given the size of the plate. The largest fluorite , an interpenetration twin, is 2 cm across. The display face is completely covered with these gorgeous crystals, and also a few galenas scattered about. This is a true classic, from the locality which provided the specimens from which the very word FLUORESCENCE was coined in the early days of mineralogy. One seldom sees such pristine, large plates today. It is, of course, HIGHLY fluorescent a neon purple color under UV light.
One of the most fervently treasured of all German classics are these metallic, carved-looking galenas from the Harz, circa the mid-1800's. The best of them have contrasting association with siderite. This one, as well, has calcite for further accent - I have never seen before! It is a very attractive specimen, and has excellent quality 2 cm crystals on the front display, balanced above the contrasting carbonates. It is contacted on the sides and back, but the display face is so good. I have seen very few for sale in recent years, and they tend to be extremely expensive - I saw dribs and drabs of half the quality for twice the price in Munich on the European market where they are so highly valued, in fact.
Silicified limestone with a druse of sparkling white quartz is the matrix for a wonderful assemblage! This piece and others here feature some of the best unaltered galena I have yet seen from Bingham, and were collected by Ray DeMark on his claims in the area in the summer of 2007. This piece shows off frosted, translucent, lavender colored fluorite crystals to 1.6 cm across. Emplaced on the fluorite is a startlingly contrasting cluster of lustrous , metallic- gray, galena crystals which individually reach 3.25 cm across and look as if they were just "put on" and left to dry. They look fresh and bright, unaltered to anglesite as are most galenas I have seen from this area. They are remarkably freestanding and I dare to say this might be the best galena combo piece in recent years - certainly it is by far the best I know of, or others familiar with the locality for a long time to whom I showed it to here in Dallas....and we have collectively seen many collections and been here many times as well. Ray, who owns the claim, thought pretty highly of the piece and the pocket as well! In person, the 3-dimensional contrast really leaps out all the more. the photos just do not convey it. This is a seemingly pricey piece, no question. But it really is that good, I feel, as to be worth a premium. And I had to buy 2 TABLES full of lesser material to get these best-of-pocket galenas and then trim these out of huge blocks of massive rock. Lots of work!
Intergrown cubes of intensely lavender, translucent, fluorite, to 1.75 cm across, completely cover a white quartz druse which in turn, is emplaced on a matrix of siliceous limestone. Aesthetically perched on some of the fluorite crystals are cubes of lustrous, battleship gray, galena, to 1.5 cm across. the contrast is stark and striking, and also highly unusual for the mine! They look fresh and bright, unaltered to anglesite as are most galenas I have seen from this area. This piece and others here feature some of the best unaltered galena I have yet seen from Bingham, and were collected by Ray DeMark on his claims in the area in the summer of 2007.
Crystals of sharp, lustrous, complex galena cover a matrix of quartz and are associated here with the desirable brown, tranclucent siderite that is classic for this old historic locality. The galenas are typical Neudorf style, extremely lustrous with sharp terminal faces and complex sides, sometimes in elongated crystals, here to 4 cm. This MAJOR German galena specimen was purchased by a prominent German collector from American dealer Rick Smith in 1970. This was the same era in which he was trading many old specimens out of the American Museum collections, and in any case it is certainly from an old source as this habit and style is characteristic of the most sought-after Neudorf specimens, from the mid to late 1800s. Such large, robust specimens are very hard to find today on the market. They ONLY come from major old collections, and the occasional museum deaccession. The piece is in remarkable condition with only trivial and peripheral edge wear, and one area near the bottom of broken galena (although it may simply be contacting and not true damage there as parts of that irregular area look crystallized on a micro scale). Even so, I have seen few CABINET sized examples of any quality; and we regard this as a major specimen.
This specimen is from a small new find in Peru, from mid-January of 2010. It produced a number of fluorites associated with sharp, accenting galena crystals. However, few of the fluorites were glassy , most having the matte faces typical of this mine. This piece is a little unusual in that it is a modified octohedron (5 cm long), with glassy side bevels and complicated octohedral faces with minute and intricate surface modifications. It is a complete crystal, even on its backside which sticks off the galena matrix plate (though it is complete around back in a technical sense, it is not a sharp termination in back, I should clarify). The color is a rich pink hue, with a slight green core seen in some lighting. For the size range, one of the best I know of from the find because of its intricate structure and nice balanced association.
ex. Dr. Steve Neely
This hefty galena specimen is really impressive in person. It is just a little bit more metallic, lustrous, sharp, and symmetric than most in this size class. It is nearly undamaged, and complete all around, except for a few minor contacts. Together, those qualities really make it stand out from the crowd - and yes, tonnage quite literally was mined here. Nevertheless, out of all the thousands of specimens that came out in the heyday here, this is definitely in the top percentile as far as the subtle qualities that make it appealing to a collector can be judged. It was long in the Steve Neely collection, and then sold in 1997 with that collection. It was purchased then by French collector Eric Asselborn for his own collection. So, it has graced the shelves of two notoriously picky (and knowledgeable) collectors who were looking for the very BEST of a find. Yes, it looks expensive in flat photos. No question, it IS expensive and I am sure each of them felt the same way. However, this combination specimen, with its minor attached matrix, really looks stunning in person and is worth the premium if you have seen the tables of slightly less perfect material and always wanted one that is "a little better." It is so sharp, and so symmetric, that this looks more like a Spanish pyrite in its simple geometry, than anything. 9.5 pounds weight! One of the few of these relatively common specimens in collections that has ever floored me, visually.
ex. Al Ordway
This specimen features a robust cluster of unusually fat and well developed hedenbergite crystals, attached to a crystallized mass of galena. I am told this dates to the 1940s or prior, from these classic mines. I have seen many small hedenbergites from here, remarkable for their sharpness. But this one is very impressive as a specimen overall, and is nice from any angle. ex Al Ordway collection. Joe Budd Photos
Although I am not familiar with the deposit, I can and will speak about this matrix galena specimen which has value for its own merits aside from being from an apparently obscure German locality. The label only noted it being from the Ruhr. Large, well-formed, discrete, yet intergrown crystals of galena, to 3.0 cm across, completely cover the matrix and make for a sculptural piece. The crystals have fine luster and a uniform battleship gray color. Only around the periphera is there very minor chipping of the crystals. An outstanding and probably old galena specimen! From the old Grieger collection, being dispersed by Bill Larson.
Fine galena specimens from the Southern Illinois Fluorite District are not all that common. This large group of stepped galena crystals, to 5.25 cm across, is a floater! It is somewhat elegant with a slightly curved form to it It has good luster with a battleship-gray color. Sprinkled on the galena are a few subhedral crystals of lavender fluorite. No telling which mine this is from there, but its an older piece I am sure of it. ex David Stoudt Collection
ex. Wendell E. Wilson
Fabulous mirror-luster Galenas with varying complex habits sitting on matrix. This and the pics are all you need to be able to tell what a stunning specimen this is.
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