ex. Sam Nasser
A bright, beautiful specimen of tetrahedrite with a coating of golden-colored, sparkling pyrite!.
A unique specimen, like none I have seen before from this region. It features a superb, gemmy, transparent, twinned calcite measuring 3 cm across, perched with smaller calcites cascading down the termination of a deep purple amehtyst point. It is amazing such a thing survived being found and cut out of the enclosing amethyst cathedral in which it surely grew. The lustre, and contrasting colors, the complex form of the calcite...all combine to make this a really stunning and unique piece.
I am told that these were mined prior to 1850, and I can say that I have only seen a handful of specimens in 20 years of dealing. Perhaps 5 pieces in all, several of them frankly just reference material. This is probably the most aesthetic of those few, that I cna recall. This beautiful and historic specimen is composed of roseate crystals of radiating covellite that are partially coated by a druse of secondary pyrite. The iridescent, neon blue, color along with the lustrous pyrite and rosette form, make this specimen both historic AND fine...that great merger I love to get. This specimen compares , surprisingly, quite favorably with the best covellites from Butte, Montana. And I have to say that a Butte piece of this calibre, would sell for even more money though it is more common material (wiht more people systematically looking for one). This specimen is GORGEOUS, BETTER IN PERSON!
ex. Francis and Patricia Benjamin
This is a large cluster of intergrown, splendent, brassy crystals, of pyrite, to 4.5 cm across. The back side is made up of sparkling, pyrite crystals averaging .5 cm across. Only at one end on the back side is the specimen contacted, and this is of no significance at all - it is absolutely complete everywhere else and remarkably pristine! This is one of the few pyrites from this locality I have ever seen, out of literally thousands, that has such completeness and condition combined with the top quality of lustre and form. It is common material, absolutely, in a general sense...but a piece like this is NOT common quality and you could spend a decade looking for such. Francis, who has taste so persnickety in damage and aesthetics that he is almost impossible to sell to (I say this as a friend, as a compliment!), took this one as one of his few non-gemmy crystals and held it for many years. It is THAT good.
This reddish-brown, equant, crystal of goethite (once called limonite) after pyrite(?), is one of the best crystallized members of its species I have ever seen. It is a floater, with no visible point of attachment. Extremely sharp, like a sterotypical crysatl model!
From the recent finds in Peru (January 2010), this is a hefty, 750-gram specimen of pink fluorite perched BETWEEN bright pyrite on one side, and stark, metallic galena on the other side! The contrasts are striking - I have never seen such a nice combo, with BOTH species side by side flanking the fluorite. The pyrite is in the form of small crystals, with brilliant lustre; while the galenas are bigger crystals with a strange waxy lustre and almost silky in appearance. The contrasts and sparkle factor are very pronounced , here. The pink fluorite measures nearly 5 cm across its bottom edge, so this is a sizable and significant piece. It is pristine as well. We saw a large part of this pocket, and I felt for the overall associations, this was one of the most interesting pieces among them.
A beautiful, rolling plate of classic dark red-pink rhodochrosite, from the famous Oppu Mine. These are noted for their association with flat, embedded pyrite crystals as you see here. Old material, seldom seen today.
ex. Dick Jones
This superb large miniature/small cab specimen features a central pyrite of 2.7 cm on edge, perched in between beautiful gem quartz points. It is a classic combo, and in extremely balanced proportion. There is some very minor wear to the back of the pyrite, but overall it is in fine shape, particularly considering how difficult these are to collect. Dick Jones, a well known collector and dealer, bought this from the mining partnership that ran this remote, difficult to access claim. My own mentor Neal Pfaff collected this as part of a partnership with the Bob Jackson team, probably in the 1980s.
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.
This unsual specimen wsa purchased at the Munich show from late 2011 finds, and was the only good example I saw with sharp white, acicular crystals of what was at the time, unidentified. On a hunch, I bought the piece to test it. It was analysed at the University of Arizona and found to be mesolite. Minor diopside and graphite matrix underlays the mesolite clusters. Unusual find for the locality!
ex. James Zigras
A very rare fluorite specimen from a single famous find in the 1960s as they dug a railroad cut near this dam site. Few specimens turn up today, and this one is not only a beautiful fluorite, but has a great assemblage of accenting minerals. It actually has the most fluorite I have yet seen on a single specimen from this small old find. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
Inclusions in quartz are not unusual, however in this polished fragment of quartz is a most unusual one. A euhedral crystal of splendent, bright pyrite, 2.0 cm across, is joined by two smaller pyrite inclusions in the quartz. Superb example of this rare high-quality included quartz that came out in the 1950s. Ex Philadelphia Academy of Natural History collection.
This is the first of two superb, sharp, lustrous specimens of antique pyrite from the famous French Creek Mining area,. Both are from the collection of ER Chadbourn, early 1900s, through Phil Scalisi's collection rife with US classics, and recently belonging to another US East Coast collector. This piece is dramatic and shows a curving and graceful cluster of pyrites stacked upon a small bit of matrix; and it looks like pyrite from no other locality I can think of. It is pristine and shows no sign of decrepitating "pyrite disease."
This is the second of two superb, sharp, lustrous specimens of antique pyrite from the famous French Creek Mining area,. Both are from the collection of ER Chadbourn, early 1900s, through Phil Scalisi's collection rife with US classics, and recently belonging to another US East Coast collector. This piece has sharp crystals, somewhat curving, upon a knoll of matrix. It is pristine and shows no sign of decrepitating "pyrite disease."
ex. Ken Hollman
An adorable little thumbnail, not expensive but just too cute to pass up and have left laying around with the less valuable parts of the colelction to be lost to time and collectors. ex. Ken Hollman Collection
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