ex. Marc Weill
This specimen is from classic 1960s finds here, known as one of the most stylish pockets produced by the famous iron mines of this island. It features DISCRETE AND ISOLATED crystals of pyrite to 4 cm, well spread out on sparkling, specular hematite matrix. The contrast is striking, in person! Usually the pyrites are intergrown and a large specimen like this might be more "clunky" than elegant. Due to the 3-dimensional nature of the piece, and the skill of the trim work done, though, it displays very elegantly indeed. It is hefty, at 7.5 pounds weight. Formerly in the noted collection of Marc Weill.
ex. Lawrence Conklin
Fibbia "Iron Roses" are the most classic and sterotypical of the oldstyle hematites from the Alps, and one of the great European classics. However, try actually FINDING one on the market - few are available that have any sort of aesthetics, complete form, and matrix association. The pieces I have seen for sale at Munich are often very high prices, and yet without the aesthetic appeal that much of the collector world requires as pieces escalate in price. This particular specimen is one of my favorites, which was brought out of an old collection only a few years ago. The "Eisenrose" measures 4 x 3.7 cm, and 2 cm thick at widest. This is a very hefty size and width, and perfectly balanced for the matrix size. It is complete all around save only a few slight contacts , one on each side face, where it attached to matrix, and a small bit of wear on the back face. It is extremely lustrous and the frontal face shows an interesting complexity of slightly splayed faces, making for lots of bright reflections. Overall, just a superb old classic, in unusually presentable aesthetic quality ! Joe Budd Photos
ex. David Stoudt
This is a very elegant and unusual cluster of stalactites made of hematite, that look just like chalcedony in the overall form and nature of the growths. The piece is certainly very old, as it came out of the Gerald Herfurth collection (he started his collecting in the 1940s). The dealer/collectors Cal and Kerith Graeber had kept it for their own Mexican collection as the Herfurth collection was disbursed; and only later sold it to Dave Stoudt. I purchased the Stoudt Mexico suite recently. This remains, to me, a particularly interesting Mexican mineral specimen. If it were "said to be" English, with the prices seen on those older-still pieces, this could fetch a multiple of the price. Joe Budd photos
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
An outstanding hematite of huge proportions, from this very old find. The piece measures 16 cm across tip to tip, and 14 cm across in orientation as shown on its base. It is heavy, and visually impressive as well. The piece is 3-dimensional and looks good from all sides. This crystal is complete except for a few inconsequential small dings or damage at the base, and was long considered to be one of the finest large hematites in existence (perhaps, the finest, according to Gene Meieran's comments to me about his views on it at the time). It appeared to a stir on the market with elite dealer Bob Sullivan at the San Francisco show in approximately 1975. Gene Meieran told me that he remembers agonizing about buying it (it was expensive even then) and was beaten to the punch by Steve Smale while thinking on it overnight. Steve owned it until only recently, for over 30 years, in his important collection. It is still the finest known Brazilian hematite, most people who see it agree. The only close comparables are those few from the Kalahari fields which reach this size, though they have entirely different crystal form and habit. This specimen was featured in the exhibition "MINERAL DREAMS: Brazilian Gem treasures" at the Munich show of 2010. (video now available from BlueCap Productions). It remains an imposing, important hematite. Joe Budd photos. NOTE - THIS SPECIMEN IS ILLUSTRATED IN THE MINERALOGICAL RECORD, SEPT-OCT 1992, IN THE ARTICLE ON THE SMALE COLLECTION. THE PIECE ALSO COMES WITH A HAND-MADE 19 X 15 INCH CIBACHROME PRINT THAT STEVE MADE FROM HIS OWN PHOTO, IN HIS DARKROOM BASEMENT, BACK IN 1991. Cibachrome is now a dead photo technology, as the chemicals used have proven to be rather hazardous to health. The plus side is, though, that this print will last for a thousand years due to those same chemicals.
ex. Peabody Museum (Yale University)
A rare exchange out of the Peabody Museum at Yale (with a rather early number from the 1800s), this is a very aesthetic cluster of sharp, elongated, gem calcites which have a subtle coloring of red caused by hematite dusting. The overall effect is highly unusual! This is an old classic, found sometime in the mid to late 1800s. The aesthetics of the piece, though, are just very different than those of other such specimens because of the coloration. It is dramatic and freestanding, and nearly pristine all around. Few Yale specimens ever were traded out. This one was exchanged, I suspect, because it was of large size and had much damage around the edges. However, after I bought it from collector George Elling, who got it in a collection himself, I trimmed it to consolidate and clean up the periphery. Note the original label is included - few such were ever given out with deaccessions at Yale. Joe Budd photos
We have all seen innumerable quantities of these aesthetic, dramatic combination pieces come out over the years. BUT, few have ever just stunned me for the sheer beauty and symmetry as this piece. It displays dramatically perched on a custom made lucite base which raises it into the air, to appear floating. Note this is somewhat fragile, and therefore hand delivery is a must for this specimen. Nevertheless, once put on a shelf, or in a drawer, it is safely at home! I paid a bloody fortune for this piece compared to what they usually go for, just because it is so striking, so balanced, and appealed to me when I usually ignore most of them. Joe Budd photos
ex. Karl Kempf
This unique association piece is a very rare major QUARTZ from the classic Cavradi clefts in the Swiss Alps that are known for their hematite. The association is well known, but usually balanced the other way, with small quartz as the host for hematites when they are found together. This is supposed to be one of the very finest of the associations with quartz dominance, from what I was told by the previous owner. It was collected by well-known strahler Kaspar Farner in the 1980s, and sold to Phoenix collector Karl Kempf (a lead scientist at Intel who built, over many decades, the acknowledged finest cabinet-sized collection of major Alpine classics in the United States). The Kempf collection was sold through dealer Wayne Thompson in the last few years, and I obtained this by exchange from him. It is hard to capture the brilliance, lustre AND depth all at the same time because of the extreme clarity and brightness of the quartz. The shots are superb, to be sure, but even still, it is hard to capture the true 3-dimensional brilliance of this piece in a case. The quartzes literally sparkles like glass. The specimen is 7 inches wide, 5 inches tall as displayed on its custom lucite base. Joe Budd photos
ex. William Larson
This is one of several pieces which came out in about 1997 to a mineral show in St Marie, France. I have seen nothing of this calibre , since then. The piece has a brilliant lustre and robust crystals that are alpine style in lustre and sharpness - rarely seen from an iron mine, per se. It is complete all around, and is a superb and rare example of a Russian hematite that can hold its own on a worldwide basis. The lustre is superb and brilliant, more so in person as the photography lights are set to emphasize depth and form, rather than brilliant reflectivity that makes the faces look too glaring. This specimen meanwhile was in the collection of Bill Larson, of Fallbrook, CA. Joe Budd photos
At 540 grams, this is a robust, very large example of the famous "hematite roses" that came out of here in the 1950s-1970s , in sporadic pockets. Some are still found today, rarely - but not of such size. This is an older piece from a European collection. It is not pristine - there is some minor edge wear - but this is trivial in context and impact for such a large, impressive, "rose-shaped" example. Most such rosettes are only 1-2 inches. This is fully 4 inches across! Joe Budd photos
There was a now-famous pocket of what most people I know who saw them consider the best hematites found to date, hit sometime in 2006-2007 and "buried" until 2009 when they came to market. The hematite is razor sharp and has a finish like a jet-black mirror, if you can imagine that effect. It is so reflective, you can use it as a mirror in a literal sense; and it is admittedly "black" in color but yet not black in a way that eats up the light going into it. They just, crystal for crystal, outshine other hematites with but a few exceptions. So far as I knew, they had all been dispersed at and after Tucson of 2009. I believe I have seen most of the lot, and it contained pieces that reached larger size but not with such aesthetics. This particular piece was a hold-back, kept in a private collection by one of the sources. It is one of only a handful of specimens we know of which combined the lustrous, mirror-finish hematite with yellow ettringite association. A coating of small jet-black crystals of hausmannite adds contrast, and texture, to the piece overall. The central hematite crystal measures nearly 2 inches across and sits accented by a bowtie of chalk-yellow ettringites. I think over the long run, given how much hematite is out there on the market from other locales and how stunning these few pieces are, they will command a lot more respect in the fullness of time. So far as I know, all the previous major pieces are now sold and dispersed too.Joe Budd photos
ex. Robert Nowakowski
A remarkable specimen of hematite from one of the old iron districts here in the USA, that is so large and fine that it could easily be mistaken (via a lost or assumed label ID) as a classic old English hematite "horsetooth", which would of course be valued at a multiple of the price. This lesser known mine (at least to me as a collector) was near the more famous Montreal Mine, and yielded the majority of the iron ore shipped from the Gogebic Range to market in the mid 1900s. The mine was shut down by 1965. This specimen was collcted in 1958 by a miner named Dante Bruneau of Hurley. It remained in his family until recently, when it was sold to a collector (i have a signed document to this effect from the family). The piece is remarkably preserved and frankly, I am stunned at this one and I think belongs in a museum to important US ore localities. It is large and hefty, at 900 grams (over 2 pounds).
I was shown a small lot from this apparently recent find, at the Tucson 2012 show, in which two large examples stood out dramatically from the others. This was the largest specimen in good condition, and it shows well the hematite crystal habit of the original crystal, which has since been replaced by a solid meshwork lattice of needle-like, glittering, rutile crystallization. Atop this replaced hematite, which now glistens with deep red, needle-like rutile, another generation of larger and more glassy, lustrous rutile crystals was later deposited. These crystals, to 5 cm, are entirely different in form. Overall a really interesting piece with complex symmetry contrasts, and unlike any rutile example I have seen before.
ex. George Elling
These calcites from Egremont, from England's historic iron district, still set the standard for luster and gemminess over 100 years later. They are brilliantly gemmy - though in photos they look more white than clear. Slight red color at the tips is due to an internal dusting of minute hematite specks. This is a classic "pincushion style" calcite cluster from this most classic of all calcite locales. This piece dates to the late 1800s by style and form; but also can be traced more precisely to prominent importer of British classics George English, in the years 1893-1898 by the address upon the label (see Mineralogical Record's enormously useful label archives to see how such detail can be obtained: http://www.minrec.org/labels.asp?page=3&colid=319). Pieces of this size, and in such good condition after 120-150 years out of the ground, are few and far between. This is a treasure, and sparkles like a jewel in person. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. George Elling
This is a large specimen of a classic style, featuring sharply pointed calcite scalenohedra with internal phantoms due to minute hematite specks, dispersed throughout. The contrasting color is classic and striking, and was once highly treasured for this locality. This piece is aesthetic and 3-dimensional, nearly complete all around with just a few minor dings and one cleaved tip (acceptable, considering the price point and that it is likely from the late 1800s!). Joe Budd Photos.
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