This piece features a thick, sturdy, brilliantly-colored group of gold crystals perched dramatically on a knoll of quartz like an upswept feather about to move in the breeze...it is THAT aesthetic! This specimen really stands out from the crowd of Eagle's Nest material because of the thickness and solidity of the arborescent gold crystal group, which is composed of an unusually thick, interlocking weave of crystals. It is complete and showy on both sides. Gold of serverl crystal forms is present, including an unusual thick weave of crysatls about th emiddle and flattened and twinned octohedra at the sides and top. GOOD FROM EITHER SIDE and BETTER IN PERSON by far!
This well-balanced matrix galena specimen is covered by a bed of green, chloritic to colorless, gemmy, lustrous quartz crystals, to .75 cm across. Perched aesthetically on the quartz are three lustrous, skeletal, battleship-gray galena crystals, to 2.5 cm across. They are more elegant than boxy, if that makes sense to say, though they are technically boxwork in form. It appears that the largest crystal was octahedral in form rather than the more ubiquitous cubes. Truly dramatic and unusual! More 3-dimensional in person, too!
Gemmy quartz crystals, some doubly terminated and chloritic, are the matrix for skeletal, lustrous, battleship-gray galena crystals to 1.6 cm in length. A few, small brassy yellow, chalcopyrite crystals abut the galena crystals, on the back side of the specimen. I particularly like the way the galena crystals are perched high on the matrix, very dramatically.
Note this is one of the largest specimens recovered in good condition, with any aesthetics to it; and is also particularly balanced and well-trimmed. The etched, skeletal, battleship-gray galena crystals are beautifully perched on a matrix of colorless quartz, with nearly all of them exhibiting amazing etching to their hollow cores, where only the crystal edges remain. Magnificent and aesthetic for the rich contrast to quartz!
Take quartz that is part amethyst and part citrine and you get the rare combination material "Ametrine!" In nature, it occurs quite rarely, the finest examples being from the Anahi Mine in the high Andes of Bolivia. The material was briefly common on the market but in the earlier 2000s has dried up considerably and larger stones are becoming harder to source. This stone is untreated and natural - some citrines are heated , for the gem trade (but the hue is distinct). The gem shows superb color saturation in both purple and orange which makes for maximal contrast and quality. The rectangular cut is popular for this material as it highlights the color shift in a piece of finished jewelry. There's a nice 60/40 split in colors, with the emphasis on amethyst. Again, a choice quality of a fairly unique, one-localtion item, that is surprisingly difficult to source today. Cheaper ones are available easily, but this quality is more desirable and so I would pay a little premium to have it.
ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran
Need I say more?! This is ABSOLUTELY gemmy and sparkles all around! Everything is complete and pristine!
ex. Martin Zinn
Here is something you do not see every day - a good PERUVIAN amethyst?! This is from the Peruvian suite of Marty Zinn's collection, sold a few years ago now. I have seen singles and lcusters with less color, but never such a nice piece as this with both aesthetics AND color. It is pristine and complete all around, even crudely doubly-terminated on the bottom of all points. VERY fine for Peru, but good for ANY locality as well.
A really elegant, tapered crystal perched against a doubly-terminated quartz at its base! The two crystals are also doubly-terminated! The piece is complete all around, though with a little matrix stuck to the right side of the tourmaline. I was told the piece is not repaired, though there is a minute crack near the top that goes almost through - its barely noticeable in any case.
This unrepaired matrix specimen contains THREE 6-cm-long , doubly-terminated, unrepaired tourmalines!!! And this from a mine KNOWN fo rproducing etched singles that float loose in the pockets to be recovered later by humans, but NOT for matrix specimens of any kind. Matrix pieces here are VERY VERY rare, and this one came from the person who found this spectacular pocket, written up in 2002. It is the only matrix piece of that pocket, and that I know of for this style. It has at least 3 great display views showing 2 of the tourmalines in full and one in portion, from different angles. It is bright and gemmy, and you can actually look INTO the quartz to see the tourmaline portions included within. Frankly, its a miracle this thing formed to begin with and a greater one that it survived mining! Lastly, this is a floater cluster, complete all around! MAJOR addition for a Brazilian matrix tourmaline suite!
ex. Charles Spang
ex. Clarence Bement
ex. Irv Brown
ex. John Sinkankas
ex. Norman Spang
ex. Smithsonian Institution
This is an important piece because it has closely-spaced rubellites, of gem quality, ON MATRIX, from the type locality for rubellite tourmaline! And, the history goes way back here. It was formerly n the collection of father and/or son Charles and Norman Spang, and retains their number on the bottom. The mineral spangolite was named in Norman Spang's honor. Many of the Spang specimens were purchased by the American Museum of Natural History (for $8,000), and others that were purchased by Bement were ultimately purchased from him by J. Pierpont Morgan and donated to the American Museum in 1900. The piece also retains on the bottom the Bement arrow showing how to display it in the AMNH showcases, drawn on the (sawed) bottom by then-curator Gratacap in black ink. Lastly, Sinkankas traded this piece out in 1960 from the AMNH and it now has HIS label on the bottom as well, all corresponding to the original information. Irv Brown traded this from John in the mid 1990s. To get a good history back to the mid-1800s on one of these is hard to do. A showy matrix specimen is also hard to get. One with gemmy crystals, still harder. Given all of this, I am willing to put up with the fact tha tit does have 3 repairs, one to each crystal at the matrix just above their attachment points (so they don't show until a close look). But, it displays wonderfully, much better than most old Elba pieces! Click on the link above to see more information about these collections, courtesy of the Minerlogical Record Archives . I think i PAID $4000 for this and then decided it was too much, in retrospectf, if memory serves. ugh.
A single SHARP crystal with absolutley GLASSY lustre , and complete all around except for a few contacts on rear faces....this is a VERY good citrine for this locality in particular and for ANY US locale. Most large citrine crystals come from Brazil or perhaps Russia now. Good citrines of this size from the US are not common. This is likely a historic specimen, though how old I cannot say, but it has been in a collection now for some time. The color is vibrant, not pale, and the lustre again is absolutely killer...almost waxy. It is a dramatic US specimen that stands out , not "just" another quartz
A gorgeous single crystal with intense color, due to inclusions of blue Ajoite within. Execllent representative example for the size and price.
ex. William Larson
This dramatic cabinet specimen is from the collection of Bill Larson, who has almost certainly amassed during his travels for gems and minerals there over the last 15 years the best suite of minerals out of modern Burma (obtained before the US government embargo, of course). He pulled this from the collection for me as a favor, as I thought I had a customer who would love it for their own collection. I was wrong about that for some reason, but that doesn't mean the piece is slighted at all. It is , I think, a spectacular matrix topaz and quite unlike any similar beastie from Pakistan. I have seen so many topaz crystals from Mogok, and no good ones on matrix for sale in a decade ...at least, nothing that compares to Pakistani material in overall quality. THIS ONE, however, compares to the best of Pakistani material but has strikingly unique aestehtics both to the quartz and the topaz crystals which are of "burma style" crystallization (different terminations, when you compare closely). The rightmost topaz is 6 x 4.5 x 3 cm, and the lefthand topaz is 5 x 5 x 3.5 cm in size. The topaz crystals have a pale champagne color to them, and are exceptionally gemmy (like glass!). The quartz and topaz are both lustrous...and the quartz is also as clear as can be, so that you can look right trough it. Damage is confined to a VERY small ding on the quartz termination (rear-left), and to contacting in the back of the topaz crystals. The front display face is pristine.
ex. Martin Zinn
Modern Art in minerals, I call this one...and family and friends who are not into minerals immediately "get it" when they see this in my case (i had it at home for a few years). This fantastic display piece is pristine all around, though multiply repaired and restored at junctions (as all from this pocket of any size were). The crystals exhibit an amazing juxtaposition of prismatic and flat basal terminations in a series: pointy-flat-pointy-flat-pointy right across the piece. Never seen the like, with so many examples of two different terminations of tourmaline upon the same matrix?! The largest tourmaline is 11cm and I can tell you that, as far as I am concerned, the price is reasonable because individual crystals that size or clusters such as we have on the right would add up to the whole pirce pretty quickly here, if it was trimmed and sold in pieces (the tragedy!). Stunning white Cleavelandite is host, and it is sprinkled with metallic purple lepidolite as well so that color abounds and everything is nice and sparkly. The gorgeous multicolored tourmalines (to 4.3 inches or 11 cm in height) stick up and out; while gemmy, clear, perfect quartz points grow amongst the tourmaline on the right side and stick out laterally towards the viewer in front (they are so gemmy they are difficult to photograph in contcxt here - better in person!). The tourmalines have a very 3-dimensional geometry, poking out every which way. When this pocket first came to light during re-mining projects to expand specimen production at the Pederneira Mine in 2001, it all went up to Denver to be prepped and repaired (all large specimens had come apart, and had to be put back together carefully using new techniques developed partly for the purpose). Zinn, a longtime Denver collector and longtime supporter of the company handling the pocket, got a few specimens from the find. This is one of those cases where, for the beauty of the mineral, even a sophisticated collector who might normally shun repairs , will readily accept them in context...so long as the result is as clean and beautiful as this piece is. This was Marty's pick of the lot for a cabinet sized matrix specimen, and he had an early shot at it, too. I have seen pieces at literally triple the price that I did not like so much as this one! It is, despite all the hundreds of specimens I have now seen over the years as the Ped ramped up production, still a unique pocket for combination of colors and matrix. Each pocket over the years has been distinct. This piece in particular always was, again out of literally hundreds of pieces I have seen, one of my absolute favorites and one I lusted after when the Zinn collection was sold. This is one of those pieces that, even amongst a tonne of tourmaline from the same mine, stands out. I would always want it back again, should the owner change his mind a ta later time. Comes with custom lucite base for easy display. (First photo by Joe Budd studios). Illustrated in the important book Minerals of Brazil, and in other places over the years.
For the size and overall visual impact, this is a stunning and unusually large rhodo plate with SHARP, and I mean SHARP, GEMMY crystals to 2 cm in size. Most of them average 1 cm. Sprinkled amonst the red, are sharp black clusters of metallic tetrahedrite which make for a really nice contrast. The overall shape of the piece is very sculptural with a slight curvature to it, not "cookiecutter" or blocky as so many large specimens are trimmed out from the plates they are sawed out on. The piece has the TOP CHERRY COLOR. This is not off-color, not strawberry in hue as so many you see on the market today are. This is a piece that has the color and lustre combination (important!) that, even "way back when" only a few years ago when the mine was still open, even in context of the many finds after 2001 or so before it closed, you couldnt get. Most people then and now settle for pieces with lesser color saturation, less lustre, and more damage...its all that is out there. I sold this one back in the late 90s and was happy to get it back recently! You just cannot find large cabinet rhodos of quality around. And this is one I am happy to have owned again and again, and would do so a third time. They appreciate at such a fast clip every year, 20% or so it seems, that I cannot replace my supply except by buying entire collections with specimens in them. So, I rarely sell mine. Or, as with this one, I'll give it a few months on the web and then pull it down and stash it for the future. Just cashflow...this is one rock I am happy to keep as rhodo today is "red gold" in the bank better than the cash is. Comes with custom lucite base for easy display. Recently, I had the chance to trade this older specimen back from a collector and i STILL find it unique, now, 3 years after I first had it.
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