ex. Richard Kosnar
This is a classic twisted quartz (known as a "gwindel") from the classic Russian alpine locality which had its heyday around the 1980s. Along with the Swiss Alps and a few mountains in France, this locale has produced the most famous gwindel quartzes around, known for their bright gemminess and their dramatic twisting style. The twisted quartz here is slightly smoky, contrasting appealingly to the matrix it sits on of normal , upright quartz crystals which are more white in color. This piece has a pronounced twist of, at a guess, 15 to 20 degrees from the vertical as the gem-clear smoky quartz cluster rises up from the matrix of quartz on which it sits. It is one of the more dramatic examples in this size range that we have seen, in fact, for both the degree of twist and the perch on matrix. The gwindel is nearly pristine ( i see only one trivial ding when looking closely), complete all around and good from both sides. This specimen was purchased in Russia by the van Scrivers and traded by them to Richard Kosnar in the late 1980s, for his well-known but secretive Alpine collection. I obtained it directly from the Kosnar family. Joe Budd photos
ex. Richard Hauck
These old Japanese quartzes from which Japan law twinning was described initially, are classics of the late 1800s and early 1900s, rarely seen for sale in sizable specimens of quality today! This is an exceptionally large and complete specimen with no significant damage (only a few small and trivial dings). It is a superbly aesthetic, dramatic piece for Japan, with elegant display qualities you would wish in a contemporary quartz but seldom see in the really old pieces. Given this, and the historic importance of the piece, I think the specimen stands on its own merits with the history as a bonus to the value and the collector. I have had similar old pieces, though smalle rand not in as good a shape, reliably dated to 1914, though it probably came to that owner already in an old collection (as these came out even in the late 1800s). Courtesy of Alfredo Petrov: "mura" means village, "Kai" is now Yamanashi, so the label can be deciphered to be: Miyamoto village in Yamanashi Prefecture. Joe Budd photos
A stunning single , gemmy, sharp, pristine calcite rises majestically from this matrix of deepest purple amethyst. The contrast is striking. To get it I had to buy the 93-pounder amethyst cathedral it was trapped in and have it trimmed out at some large expense...well, I just had to have it! Both are common minerals, but the association and stark display qualities of this hand-sized piece make it stand out from the crowd. I thought it was, frankly, one of the best Brazilian calcites I have yet seen and long kept it.
I do not think anybody has a good explanation for why rose quartz should be so rare amongst a family of minerals so abundant in nature. This is an incredible, GLOWING rose quartz that is literally rosy and not just "pink," from a small new find here that I am told was collected around January of 2008. The Pitorra Mine is well known for its large rose quartz crystals, but it is not so well known for specimens with such intense color, or an association with clear quartz as well - most are floating free of matrix and association. This color, as shown in the photos, is I think accurate. It is simply shocking. Aside from the color, though, the specimen has large, fine, translucent crystals and a good aesthetic form in both the crystal cluster itself, and in the way it is perched on contrasting matrix. Really, I think it is hard to ask for much more in a rose quartz specimen. This is a rare , very uncommon example where a specimen of rose quartz fro mmodern production in Brazil matches head to head with the classic old material from the late 60s and early 1970s from other mines in this area. This one has bigger, more translucent crystals as well, compared to the Sapucaia finds. To me, it is simply better. Comes with custom base.
Prehnite is not normally the first mineral you think of when you say "Brandberg" and "world class" in the same sentence. But there IS more than quartz here, and the rare specimen like this proves it. This piece has large, lustrous, translucent prehnite crystals in golbular clusters to over an inch, perched beautifully and 3-dimensionally on matrix of quartz. It is exceptional for the locality AND the species; and happens to be a pretty piece as well. Comes with custom base.
A significant large specimen with REALLY nice aesthetics from this classic locality. The rhodo crystals form veins running in crevasses through the quartz, showing as elegant clusters on the stark contrasting matrix of crystallized quartz (some of which may be casts after fluorite). the overall contrast of the colorful and sharp rhodos with snow white, cauliflower-like quartz, is visually striking. Old classic material, rare today in this size and condition.
We have all seen eosphorite on RQ combos , of course. These were a mainstay of the mineral market from the late 1970s, and still trickle out on occasion. But THIS superb competition-level specimen has such aesthetics and contrast, it just zoomed out at me the first time I saw it on a colelctor's shelf and I always wanted it since. I exchanged it from them and now have it for sale, years later. The eosphorite spray is what makes the piece unique - so many of these have lots of eosphorite crystals, but widely dispersed on the matrix and thus lacking the impact you see here of the contrast of both color and geometry. ex. Dick and Mary Nelson collection.
I do not think anybody has a good explanation for why rose quartz should be so rare amongst a fmaily of minerals so abundant in nature. This is an incredible, GLOWING rose quartz cluster that is literally rosy and not just "pink," from a small new find here that I am told was collected around January of 2008. The Pitorra Mine is well known for its large rose quartz crystals, but it is not so well known for specimens with such intense color, or an association with clear quartz as well - most are floating free of matrix and association. This color, as shown in the photos, is I think accurate. It is simply shocking. Aside from the color, though, the specimen has large, fine, translucent crystals and a good aesthetic flowery structure. This is a rare , very uncommon example where a specimen of rose quartz fro mmodern production in Brazil matches head to head with the classic old material from the late 60s and early 1970s from other mines in this area. This one has bigger, more translucent crystals as well, compared to the Sapucaia finds. To me, it is simply better. Comes with custom base.
From a large but one-time find at this classic older mine, these shockingly odd apatite crystals took awhile to classify chemically as Hydroxyapatite. They have bizarre green color (with zoning) and a sharp hexagonal form as you would expect, but with unusual bevelled edges coming to a point. There were hundreds of them, maybe thousands of specimens, of which I had many at the time they came out from one of the main exporters of top specimens from the find. However, I had none like this, even when they were fresh. The specimen here has great aesthetics, and high quality to the apatite as well. The crystal has exceptional color and lustre, and is also on the large side. It is freestanding on a cluster of quartz, both of which balance each other nicely. Most specimens were massive feldspar plates with apatites upon them, and FEW were isoalted cyrstals on quartz as you see here. This one was kept in Brazil in the personal collection of a Brazilian dealer, until I obtained it only recently. Comes with custom base.
ex. Mel and Grace Dyck
A highly significant American locality specimen, MUCH MUCH better and simply bigger than any others from this locale that I have ever seen. The specimen is not only significant, but also meets any aesthetic display criteria you could throw at it, as the Dyck collection was based on display and aesthetics before anything else and this had to fit in or they wouldn't have kept it. The crystal is 2.7 cm across. It is surely an old specimen, though the history has now been lost. ex. Mel and Grace Dyck Collection
ex. Mel and Grace Dyck
The Dyck collection was well known for an extremely diverse selection of species, including many significant locality pieces, that showed unusually good aesthetics. This is pretty for "what it is," in other words, or they wouldn't have owned it - but the piece also had to be significant from its find or locality as well. I enjoy the merger of the two criterion, and in owning significant historic pieces which also look good on a shelf such as we have here. This large 3.7-cm bornite crystal is sharp and very fine for the locality with an unusually good lustre for this mine. It probably came out in the heyday here in the 1960s-1970s, and Butte today remains a classic locale for which many collectors cherish specimens. The mines here produced what certainly are the best bornites ever found in the US. Here, we have one that is as I said not only significant, but highly aesthetic as well. This one is likely from the Stewart Mine. ex. Mel and Grace Dyck Collection
Weighing in at several pounds, this hefty galena has somehow survived the usual dinging and damages that heavy galenas from this part of the world tend to accumulate in the mining and travelling to be sold. It is a riveting, metallic sculpture that looks like it was manmade and could go in a museum of modern art showcasing the interaction of planes and symmetries. The white quartz druse is sparkly and snow-white bright in person, overall MUCH MORE intense than the pictures are able to convey. The galenas are brilliantly lustrous, highly 3-dimensional, and we see here at least two distinct crystal habits on one piece. It is complete all around and displays well in any orientation.
An exceptional specimen from old finds here, probably in the 1980s, which features huge tetrahedrite crystals to several inches on size in combination with aesthetic quartz crystals. The specimen is in very good shape, nearly pristine and complete most of the way around the back even. It is a piece of high significance, I would say, for both the lcoality and the species. Most that you see fomr here are either smaller crystals of no significance or , in some occasions still today, large crystals to this size and more but very flattenned. I rarely see any with such 3-dimensional geometric form, much less in association with these great quartz crystals which really covnert the piece from "just" an important tetrahedrite into a display specimen on another level entirely to my eye. Ex. Francis Allegra collection.
From the surprising January 2008 find here, this is a symmetric, complete, undamaged crystal showing rich inclusions of the rare species ajoite. Interestingly, the quartz crystal has a "girdle" of sorts of included material which darkens the stalk and thus draws the eye all the more to the beautiful blue atop. NOTE THIS IS NOT POLISHED, as so many tragically were. Also, while many were found, few of this size with both good color and with perfect terminations were able to be recovered.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
This stunning, unrepaired tourmaline specimen is one of the finest I know of in its size class and style, a greencapped habit which is at the least absolutely classic for this region, perhaps even the most stereotypic form of tourmaline for this region. The crystal is translucent and colorful, glowing with an internal color even with only minimal backlighting. Except for the tiniest of trivial dings, it is for all effects pristine - which is remarkable for a crystal so exposed form matrix. The combination of colors in the crystal make it a great tourmaline, but the placement and matrix arrangement make it a world class specimen overall. The contrast of the quartz form and geometry, vs. the tourmaline, and contrasted so starkly against the white cleavelandite - its just as if it were glued together in a dream. The photo used for the Westward Look show poster (2009) is by Jeff Scovil, and is the same one used in Smale's book on his collection. The other photo is a Joseph Budd photo which I had made for publicity once I obtained the specimen recently. It is a world-class level of tourmaline specimen. No question about it. The price is correspondingly high, but that is how it must be to acquire such a thing and to exchange it from the Smale collection when it fits his own taste so perfectly. This pieec was recently illustrated in teh Texas collectors book and is briefly available again as part of a potential deal.
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