A stunning , GEMMY, PRISTINE, 5 x 3.75 x 3.4 cm gem topaz crystal shooting straight up form a matrix of intergrown quartz crystals! This is a dramatic and dominating topaz specimen that really stands out in a case. It is more gemmy in person, with minute veils causing it to look more opaque in the photos than in real life. This is among the best of the new topaz finds from China (from the same pocket as the January Min Record cover piece, which I handled in this same lot). These are the best yet from this locality, so far as I know. Compared to what a similar piece from Pakistan might cost these days, it is not any more expensive for the extra value of the interesting locale. In fact, bizarrely, these go for less than their Pakistani brethren might for a large matrix topaz.
This specimen floored me when I first saw it, as I thought it was Pakistani until I noted the differences in form of the topaz termination, and thought about the (rare for Pakistan) association of the smokies. This crystal is PRISTINE and measures 4 x 4 x 3.75 cm in size. It is phenomenally equant and displays magnificently as it is centered, nestled in albite , between two splaying smoky quartz points. This is among the best of the new topaz finds from China (from teh same pocket as the January Min Record cover piece, which I handled in this same lot). These are the best yet from this locality, so far as I know. Note the different sharp chisel termination and the style of the smokies, unique compared to Pakistani material. I think the value is worth it no matter where its from. Compared to what a similar piece from Pakistan might cost these days, it is not any more expensive for the extra value of the interesting locale. In fact, bizarrely, these go for less than their Pakistani brethren might for a large matrix topaz. I had this recently at a much higher price but am "blowing it out" discounted from the 12,500 on it at Tucson.
This is a well-balanced specimen with a 3.4-cm "raspberry" fluorite crystal perched smack in teh middle. it is highly lustrous, translucent, and has the richest purpley color from here that you can ask for. the starkly contrasting matrix shows it off nicely! These have trickled out now a few at a time, for the last 2 years, never really all that common though.
I have seen MANY of these quartz combos over the last few years but few strike me deeply, as this did, when i saw it. It is a very balanced specimen, with amazingly pristine hematite rosettes nestling the spear of quartz that shoots up and out. the front is pristine, as shown in the left photo. The back side look spretty nice too, and shows more quartz, though one quartz in the lower-middle is broekn off.
This is an oldstyle specimen from finds in the early 90s or even the late 80s, with 1-cm TWINNED cinnabars perched upon matrix of sparkling quartz crystals! It is extremely pretty and the sparkle of the quartz makes for a wonderful contrast to the lipstick-red cinnabars. The crystals are very freestanding and 3-dimensional, rare in such quality.
This piece is a FLOATER, complete all around, even on the backside!!! It is an amazing specimen for the locality and the species, with thick, unusually robust crystals overcapping a doubly-terminated cluster of quartz, twisted around and coming over the other side of the quartz to show yet more crysatllization. The lustre is superb, absolutely brilliant. The piece has no damage, save the most trivial, if any. It is also far more starkly 3-dimensional in person. I think this is a major bourno, especially for a matrix specimen in this size and price range!
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
A brilliantly lustrous ball of stepped stannite crystals, flanked by splaying GEM quartzes at its upper edge, makes this a really outstanding stannite specimen. Usually they are kind alumpy and although great for the species, not much to look at overall. THIS ONE is very aesthetic, though; as well as significant for the rare mineral displayed. The flanking quartzes and golden chalcopyrite to either side simply makes this piece more unique and special than the crowd. In person, the stannite is more lustrous, I should add. Its a hard piece to photograph.
This is the largest solid plate, in good condition, that I have yet seen for mthis spectacular find of what most knowledgeable people are saying is the world's best Babingtonite ever found! Here, the bab crystals to 1.4 cm completely carpet a matrix of prehnite and sparkling quartz (visible from the backside). In person, it is spectacularly beautiful because the crystals are uniformaly lustrous. Most larger specimens of this material have a more dull lustre. This large plate is pristine, complete, and one of the prettier black minerals I have seen around - but more than that, its significant for both teh species and location.
A stunning miniature featuring a single large crystal that has excellent lustre, form, and is dramatically perched on matrix. For the price and size range, this is not only one of the better Chinese bournonite miniatures I have had, but also one at the best price I have yet been able to obtain and offer for a piece of this quality. It leaps out from a case, and is really quite impressive for what you get compared to specimens from other classic bournonite localities.
A beautiful example of this new habit from China, with raspberry-purple crystals of high translucency and vivid color saturation. When backlit even minimally (as shown), it practically "glows" . Many specimens are massive, but this plate is thin enough that much more light than usual comes through the quartz to highlight the fluorites as well (it has been carefully sawn and then roughed up again on the back, to do this).
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
ex. Irv Brown
ex. Jim and Gail Spann
A beautiful 2-inch "bowtie" of inesite is nicely centered on matrix, and accented by a quartz that spears through it! This is of a very high quality for the find both in terms of the SIZE of the inesite cluster itself and the aesthetics. Also, the color is , like the above, very good. I think in time we will look back and see that this find was very significant - inesite in crystal form , freestanding like this, is very rare in the world and such specimens haven't been found but a few times at now-defunct mines. This is going to be a classic, and it happens to be both beautiful and rare as a species as well. It is an important specimen that has made the rounds over the last 4 years in a series of trades, before i acquired it recently. There is a reason so many people wanted it! It is only being parted with now by the owners because of duplication.
I think this is a world-class miniature. This piece features a SHARP and FAT crystal of babingtonite that look slike it was carved out of black onyx, it is so sharp and lustrous. The crystal is 2.4 x 2 x 1 cm i nsize and is perched right on the edge so ou can see all sides, and both terminations! I cannot imagine better aesthetics so I'll say that this specimen is the finest miniature for a single isolated crystal of babingtonite on matrix, that I have seen from this recent startling find - which everybody I know agrees has now produced BEST OF SPECIES. I think that in context, to what babingtonite from the old locales in the East Coast would cost, these are dirt cheap. And, they have better lustre and form. A lot of them were mined i nthe last 2 years and trickled out, but few have this lustre or perfection, or even the crystal size on matrix.
A beautiful large specimen with multihued purpley-green octohedra to 3.5 cm on edge, perched in a quarrtz matrix plate. These practically "glow" when backlit with even the most minimal light. Small pieces and large pieces with dull crystals are common, but large display pieces of this quality are not.
A really dramatic spray from this most famous of pockets. Few Arkansas quartz pockets are any different enough from others to be remembered by name, but this pocket of the mid-1980s IS such a find, with an optical clarity and a great lustre that is just a touch above the norm from here. Note also that the clarity goes deeper down to the base, whereas most larger quartz crystals from here get cloudy as the bottom nears. In person, the difference between a McEarl piece and a "normal" but very high quality Arkansas quartz is discernible. This splayed cluster of large crystals is exceptional for the size and, remarkably, without any major damage (just a few VERY trivial rear-tip dings that are present, but you don't see from afar). This specimen came from a major private collection assembled over decades, in Arkansas, that was dispersed around the year 2000.
This exceptional 3-dimensional specimen is simply impressive. The fluorites a re equant octohedra, and leap off the matrix at you. You could not ask for more stark contrast than this between the deep purple, translucent octos; and the minutely crysatllized snow-white quartz matrix. The larger crystals are 3 inches across! In person, this is very much more 3-dimensional, as well, compared to the photos. I have seen over the last 4 years or so a steady trickle of fluorite from this locality. HOWEVER, the good ones are few, very few - and large octohedra are rare. This is one of the best, I am sure of it. It is dramatic, purple-on-white, big, and pristine. It WILL impress, in person.
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