ex. John Marshall
A glistening, brilliantly lustrous plate of really good quartz, serves as matrix for a jackstraw cluster of elongated brown pyromorphite crystals on this rare locality piece. I had personally never even seen any pyro from this mine, and here is not only a rich cluster (6 cm across), but on beautiful quartz matrix?! It is an oldtime specimen from the well known collection of John Marshall.
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.
This is one of my favorite such combo pieces out of literally hundreds seen in the last decade or so. It is a strinkingly 3-dimensional, sparkling, jewel-like specimen with beautiful sharp spessartines of intense color, covering all but the points of glassy and gemmy, transparent smoky quartz crystals. Rarely do you get such elegance and color in both species of the combo, and in pristine condition as well. This remarkably well-trimmed specimen is pristine AND complete 360 degrees all around. Although common in principle in smaller sizes, such superb pieces in this size just are not out there. From a major dealer's personal collection, this was cherrypicked from his many years of travel in China during the heyday for this locality in about 2004-2007 (production now is much reduced). It is a stunnign specimen, and the photos simply do not fully convey its full impact in person.
ex. Marc Weill
Aesthetic, undamaged, unrepaired matrix specimens are EXTREMELY uncommon from this locality. This particular specimen is a very aesthetic cluster, complete all around, and showing quartz of several styles on one piece. It has phantoms and inclusions that make it more interesting. The grape-jelly purple color is all the more intense when contrasted to the crystal-clear, colorless tips. (and in fact, this deposit is known for such phantom crystals). It is pristine, razor-sharp, all around. The more you look at the piece, the more complexity you see; but first of all the impression is of condition, and color. Matrix amethysts are hard to pry from the tough rocks of these mountains, and despite a huge interest in collecting there today , few come out. Usually, to get a piece like this, one would have to remove a large block of matrix with a diamond chainsaw, to minimize vibrations and damage in collecting. Trimming later is admittedly risky, but necessary to produce a piece like this of good size and balance. They just do not "come out" like this! It is a superb piece literally in the top percentile for its size amongst thousands of other specimens to come from these mountains in recent years. It seems expensive, I admit - but to my eyes it stands out so dramatically from the crowd, that it IS a premium piece. Aesthetic, undamaged, unrepaired matrix specimens are EXTREMELY uncommon in this quality level and size, despite increasing use of diamond chainsaws to extract them. The deposit just doesn't cooperate in making them. Formerly in the noted collection of Marc Weill.
Much shattuckite has come out, and often you can get beautiful drusy carpets of the crystals, which look like blue velvet, on thin plates. Sometimes you get nice pockets, but not always of this top quality. This is TOP quality for condition, color intensity, and a rolling 3-dimensional surface inside. It screams out in color, and is one of the best such pockets I have seen in the few years of trickling production out of here. There are really few colors in nature so intense. This vug is nearly 2 inches across, and the crystals within are pristine and protected. Again, if you think you have seen TOP color for this material, i can only say that this piece is another 10% beyond, in color, anything I have seen for sale on a general basis.
A true rarity! Few shattuckite in quartz inclusions come from here, despite the profusion of both species. And, of the ones we do see more routinely, most are very small inclusions (sub-mm) in very small quartzes. This piece hosts a big fat 3.5 x 3 cm quartz point rising out of massive quartz matrix. In that quartz point, which is well-terminated by the way, are discrete, large, individual and isolated, floating balls of shattuckite to 5 mm. The effect is striking and unique, and I have seen only 2 other similar pieces of quality.
ex. Lawrence Conklin
Tourmaline from the Himalaya Mine is known for its exhibitions of break-healing and growth interruptions, which sometimes create "bent" crystals. This particular specimen shows another style resulting from the disruptive environment of this pegmatite. When found in the early 90's, this was referred to as the "healed pocket" because nearly all the crystals, which are beautifully intergrown with nice lustrous quartz points, showed broken terminations that had then been "healed" by a later phase of tourmaline growth. So there was no extension and regrowth of the crystal afterwards, but just a soft covering of the broken tips, resulting in a weird flowing look to the terminations here. On close inspection, they look scallopped, as if composed of many small multiple terminations. Although rare for this or any other mine, this is how 90% of the pocket was , when found. The top crystal in the cluster, though, shows a completely normal, sharp, flat, termination for contrast (do not ask me how that could have happened!). Overall, a VERY interesting piece, of some elegance, from a highly unique pocket at this famous mine. ex Larry Conklin collection.Joe Budd Photos
These superb gemmy, red sphalerites came out a few years ago and promptly vaporized from the market. This piece is aesthetic, and features isolated , translucent, sphalerites to 3.5 cm perched on contrasting matrix. It is 3-dimensional and good all around, 360 degrees. I believe this find will be long remembered as one of the great classic pockets of China minerals, and I was happy to pick this one up at Tucson 2011. I had not seen many for sale, in a number of years, of this size and significance level.Joe Budd Photos
I have seldom seen an eosphorite to fall in love with. Normally, they are rather brown and clunky. But, there was an old find that once produced a combination of beautiful, lustrous, translucent bladed eosphorite crystals in ball-shaped aggregates, perched on rose quartz. Those, I buy ever one I can get. This is an exquisite specimen that has a sparkly 2.2-cm ball of radiating crystals on a sparkly matrix of smaller crystals, all draping over pink rose quartz. I am told these date to the famous rose quartz finds, from the region, which dates them late 1960s through the 70s. This piece is just a stunning large miniature and really has a brightness and life to it that so few examples of this species give up.Joe Budd Photos
ex. George Elling
This mine produced the world's finest liroconite specimens more than 150 years ago in the early to mid 1800s. Perched nicely here on quartz crystals are several, intensely blue, very lustrous, liroconite crystals, to 5mm across. This is a pretty very old, specimen almost never found in dealers stocks. The color intensity and saturation here are top quality, and it is a rich specimen for the price compared to what I have seen over in Munich, in Euro pricing, especially . I buy EVERY GOOD ONE of these I see, that I can get ahold of - and i've had a whopping dozen or so in 20 years!? That tells you something of the rarity.Joe Budd Photos
ex. Terry Szenics
Found by Skip Szenics over several years of collecting here, this is a miniature from his persoal collection which was first sold to me at the Springfield show in the early 2000s. After trimmign it up, I sold it to a collector and it ended up with a dealer, who traded it back to me all these years later. Chrysocolla from here forms thin sheets, usually. These large spheres (this one is an inch) are very rare, and are the most desired of style from this mine. The best pieces have this intense blue color, and a thin layer of drusy quartz that gives it a sparkle ; and also a "crackling" pattern that further makes it look like a blue disco ball. The combination effect is stunning! This is one of the very best balls I have seen from here over the years, all coming out through one person. I believe he sold this piece only because it was in a big ugly rock at the time, and I had to make a risky trim of it..Joe Budd Photos
ex. University of Arizona
This older specimen has the most intense glassy luster, high transparency, and internal limpid brightness that you could ever imagine in a Mexican amethyst. Its grape juice color has a clean and sharp "feel" to it, that just places it at the absolute top of its game. I have handled a thousand Las Vigas amethysts, and yet this one stuns me every time i hold it. It is really bright and stunning in a case. This piece is perfect and complete all around. It was in the collection of Bryan Sage, who left his collection by bequest to the University of Arizona in the 1990s. For its size, it is among the best examples I have seen of this otherwise common material.Joe Budd Photos
ex. Klaus Neumann
Quartz matrix hosts an intense crystal with HOT PINK color, just flaming bright and more "neon" than Himalaya Mine produced by a slight bit. Atop, it is capped by a clear zone topped by several millimeters of intense purple zoning (when viewed from the side). The tourmaline has extraordinary glassy lustre and is complete all around! The quartz matrix is actually a crystal fragment, even if broken on most faces, and serves as a nice contrasting pedestal. This is old material, and crystals with such color saturation are hard to obtain today. From the well-known tourmaline collection of Klaus Neumann. Also, this was formerly in the F John Barlow Collection (dispersed in 1998).Joe Budd Photos
Dolomite from Shangbao has set a new standard for the species from a Chinese locality, and is really unique in its overall form and aesthetics, too. This is a beautiful cluster from 2010 mining, complete all around 360 degrees and with no damage. It has complex, stepped dolomite crystals stacked one atop the other, and associated with little transparent fluorites and with some quartz crystals. It is one of the more elegant examples of this habit that I have seen for sale.Joe Budd Photos
ex. Klaus Neumann
Stak Nala produced mostly in the 1980s, but has given up occasional pockets for the last 25 years. The style is very distinct, and at its best very aesthetic as well. The most classic examples from here, such as this, have multicolored tourmalines embedded in matrix. Usually that matrix is a bit of quartz and a lot of cleavelandite matrix. This one , however, has reversed that trend and consits of two tourmaline sto just over 5 cm (2 inches) long, perched on the quartz, and with only minor cleavelandite in association. Some purplish lepidolite mica shooting out in places is a definite bonus , as well. This piece is elegant, and complete all around 360 degrees. The pink prism terminations here are sharp, and grade into other color zones below. And, those terminations, combined with the overall style, are unique to this locality. from the well-known tourmaline collection of Klaus Neumann. 155 grams.Joe Budd Photos
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