A rare "bubblegum pink" on matrix! And what matrix! The tourmaline is pristine and free of damage , complete all around except only a small bit on the backside where an attached, but broken , crystal had been removed. The size of the tourmaline is 10 x 5 x 4.5 cm. The smoky quartz is pristine and free of damage, complete all around . As i said, it is remarkably unrepaired and pristine despite the obvious tendency to have a big tourmaline fall off a large matrix even in situ, before minign disrupts a pocket. The tourmaline color is what we call "bubblegum pink" and is the top richness of that color type (particularly under good lighting!). There are other matrix pinks, but i think the overall juxtaposition of the smoky and tourmaline rising above it so majestically, and the delicate accent of the "v" of 2 gem tourmalines of entirely different habit at its base, makes this piece special and truly elegant. There is a third, small, pink tourmaline between the "v" crystals, which is reflective of the large crystal atop in form. So, the piece is very complementary in its arrangement of 2 different tourmaline styles. Dealing in high end tourmalines is tricky. there is so much personal variation in taste and style! But, I think this is pretty unanimously "great". The condition, and the accent of the secondary tourmalines, take this beyond great though, and into the realm of the truly finest matrix tourmalines one can own. It has been in two private collections in the last decade since it was mined, and not on the public market at any time that I know of. Comes with custom lucite base for easy display.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
This is quite simply the best matrix Brazil emerald known, and has been featured on the back cover of Le Regne Minerale in 1998 and in a photo in the Min Record as well. It GLOWS with color. Steve has owned this since the 90s. The pocket was found in 1997 and it was sold to noted french collector Gilles Emmringer. He had one of the best collections of fine quality brazilian gem crystals at the time. Shortly thereafter it was exchanged to Steve Smale. Since its deaccession to Smale, Steve has owned it as one of his marquis gem beryl specimens, well-known from being shown at Tucson and at his home You simply cannot find an equivalent emerald from Colombia or Nigeria , as this rich matrix look remains unique as well. In person, the color is a very glassy and rich hue of green that gem people tell me has a "hint of blue" in it. the result is a very intense color that stands out in brightness form the rather more common , and still expensive, Colombian material. There is simply not another matrix emerald like this, to our knowledge, anywhere on the planet. The piece is large, at 7 x 4.5 x 4 cm overall. The crystal is also of good size at 3.5 cm tall, 2 cm wide, and 1.5 cm thick. It is , again, extremely glassy and bright. the extra color pizzazz contributed by all the small crystals on the side of the central quartz contributes a lot of visual impact and helps to "centre" the eye on the middle. EVEN IF THIS WERE COLOMBIAN , it would fetch a very high price for the aesthetics and color brilliance of the large emerald. The fact that it comes from Brazil, from a mmuch rarer and smaller discovery that seems to have been a on-time occurrence, makes this far more significant than any comparably sized Colombian piece could be, however. I consider myself fortunate that we were able to make an exchange with which we both feel happy (he still has one of the best Colombian matrix emeralds!), to acquire this specimen. It was not for sale, only for trade, in other words. Comes with custom lucite base for easy display.
Bubblegum-pinks are rare , for whatever reason, despite the produndity of other colors coming out of Afghanistan. A good bubblegum-pink tourmaline is just hard to get ahold of...and o matrix, almost impossible! This attractive combination piece features a 9 x 3.75 x 3 cm crystal perched dramatically next to a slightly smoky quartz, with both showing freestanding terminations unencumbered of the other. The smoky has a slight chip out of the back (not visible or detracting at all from the front), but is otherwise complete all around 360 degrees! The tourmaline is pristine, has no damage at all, and is ALSO complete 360 degrees except at its junction to the quartz in the lower half on onee side. The termination is perfect. There is one very clean repair only, on the whole specimen, to the tourmaline about 1.3 up from its bottom. You have to really look for it, to find it, the job is done so well. What really makes the piece, though, is the accenting white albite and purple lepidolite at the base of the smoky and tourmaline, nestling the two crystals and providing a contrasting base for them to jump out from. It is an exceptional combination piece that I first sold in the late 1990s and have been trying to trade back ever since to do more work on it (which was done, to trim it to this level). I have not see the like since, in this price range.
This interesting specimen came out about 4 years ago and I have never seen their like since this one find. Weird, and totally unexplainable secondary growths of colored quartz crazily overlap and drape the earlier , normal, quartz crystals in this cluster. Truly a mesmerizing quartz specimen, and one unlike just about anything else out there.
ex. Francis and Patricia Benjamin
An oustanding, truly fine Brandberg amethyst on its own merits, but also with a very large and visible bubble right in the middle! You can quite clearly see the oval shape of it, front and center, above the yellow arrow. In the right photo, lower row, you can see the oval now moved to the other side avoer a diagonal phantom crystal in the middle, sliding right over the top. It is on eof the more dramatic bubble inclusions I have seen, but ALSO present in a fine amaethyst of top quality glassiness and lustre. Together, a superb piece!
A wonderfully elegant daisy-chain of attached crystals, from this classic locale! This was found around 1990, and comes from a private collection assembled over 40 years of highgrading the locality. This is a really beautiful piece, especially for the size, because of the intricacy of the cluster. Now, these are impossible, or nearly so, to get out intact and most chains exhibit many reconnections that are accepted in context, given the nature of the dposit. This one certainly has some repairs, at the natural contact points.
A huge and showy plate with deep smokies to just under 2 inches, and just an incredibly sparkly carpet of evenly sized spessartine all over the plate. Front and back are shown - its nearly a pocket floater!
OK, this one boggled minds at Denver! It fooled me, and it fooled numerous people...nobod guessed BLUE ALBITE CRYSTALS ! The identity was finally settled by analysis at U of AZ. It seems to be a one-opff. I have seen no others of this material while waiting for this one to be cleaned and returned to me, and I think its a very important rarity in that it is an extremely impressive (unprecedented?) example of an extremely common and usually boring species. The major crystals reach 5 x 4 cm in size and the slender, most finely formed crystal in the middle is about 3.5 cm tall, very 3-dimensional. Besides, its pretty! I admit I would normally be the last person in the world to say an albite is a world class crystallized mineral specimen, but then that is the fun of the hobby...you never know what will come out!
An incredible piece with huge crystals, complete and nearly pristine all around, forming one of the largest Herk clusters I have ever seen in 20 years, museum or otherwise. There are such thick, solid junctions that I am pretty sure we have only 1 or 2 repairs here at natural contacts, whereas normally every crystal in a cluster might have to be repaired back together. The signature piece from a collection built over about 40 years, this is a monster!
Another rare, rich, emerald-green species... this is a lustrous, transparent chrome tourmaline, 2.5 cm in length, weighing 66.65 carats, crystallized on transparent quartz. This specimen has been contacted, mainly on the back side, nevertheless, its depth of color and transparency are outstanding. Tourmalin eof this intense hue, due to chromium, is just incredibly rare. Minor damage to the rightmost side, but the rest of the display face and termination atrop and to the left, is pristine. The shot shows the worst angle, so if you tilt it to the right a bit, that rough right side is minimized, when you put it in a case. As a display piece, tthis packs a lot more whallop than you might think from its size and is MUCH MORE impressive in person.
ex. George Elling
Long before the California pegmatites had been discovered, the pegmatites of central Connecticut produced the best beryls and tourmalines in the U.S. This matrix beryl var. morganite, is doubly terminated, translucent, and a pastel pink color. The morganite measures 5.0 cm in length. When properly displayed, a small damaged area is on the back side and is not visible. Gemmy? NO! Significant? YES!
This speicmen surprise dme when I first saw it, because I thought to myself the label was surely wrong - it HAD to be Sweet Home, did it not?! But, it IS a peruvian rhodo,and one of such shocking color quality and gemminess and glassy lustre that it looks more like a Sweet Home rhodo than like any other Peru rhodo I have seen. The sharpness and lustre, just seem to me so unique and so good , that this piece stands above most other Peruvian rhodos except possibly the top pieces of the famous pocket from Pasto Beuno with bigger crystals (late 70s?). However, those had big crystals, but not of better quality. THIS piece is the peru rhodo for a collector who wants a rhodo from Peru that could fit in with Sweet Home and Ncwhaning rhodos, and not sacrifice quality to own the locale.
ex. Lindsay Greenbank
I am really fond of this old fluorite from the venerated Heights Mine even though the crystals do not appear to be twinned in the "classic" manner you expect. The crystal is also rather large. That makes it all the more unusual! The combination of drusy, white, quartz surrounding the green, gemmy, well formed, 3.5 cm fluorite crystals, is as good as it gets for these great pieces. They fluoresce somewhat, even in just daylight...in fact there is a hint of purpley-blue when viewing the fluorite through the side faces just in normal lighting. There is also a second generation of fluorite which has grown on the drusy quartz. Formerly in the noted collection of Lindsay Greenbank. Overall, both aesthetic and significant as a classic!
ex. Charlie Key
ex. Marshall Sussman
Aesthetically nestled in a vug with minor yellow calcite, the arrangement of amethyst crystals in a radiating, floral pattern is both unmistakeable and beautiful. The individual crystals of amethyst have deep purple cores, along with skeletal terminations. The largest crystal is slightly more than 4.0 cm in length. A super mineral specimen of really unique aesthetics! Charlie Key sold the Sussmans his core Brandberg collection about 3 years ago (and has since built another due to a few lucky pockets since then) and I bought this as a fixerupper ensconced in a hunk of rock the size of a large grapefruit. Its a near miracle it survived trimming, but I had to take the risk given the potential for such a dramatic piece!
ex. Carl Rumpff
ex. Prince Stephan von Habsburg-Lothringen
A valid Prince Stefan rock from the mid 1800s! Not only that, but its a good one, with juicy little red pyrargyrites ensconced with sharp galenas in contrasting quartz! Prince Stefan was an Archduke of Austria an da highly regarded mineral collector.
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