A very rare example of large amethyst crystals from CALIFORNIA, of all places. This old deposit has been worked intermittently over the years, although I was given to understand this is an older specimen and has been in a collection for at least 2 decades. It is complete all around, and a fairly surprising item from California. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Sir Robert Ferguson
I LOVE THESE THINGS! WHAT A NEAT EXAMPLE OF INTERESTING MINERALOGY, having talc replace a hard mineral like quartz !?! This is an incredibly rare pseudomorph of talc after quartz, on massive talc, from old Germany. Such large pieces are almost impossible to find. These pseudomorphs are quite old, and this one dates to the collection of Sir Robert Ferguson (1769-1840). He was amember of Parliament and the nobility from Kirkaldy, Scotland (he had stopped collecting by 1810, it is thought). I purchased it in London when hs colleciton was dispersed in 1998, and sold it to a collector at that time. Unique to this location, the crystals are very sharp and have a soft vitreous luster. One of the hardest pseudomorphs to find in any condition and this piece is nearly perfect, AND OF LARGE SIZE. As you can imagine, this is a "must have" for any pseudomorph collector or historic mineral lover - and the two old labels are a bonus. For more on Robert Ferguson, click here: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1820-1832/member/ferguson-robert-1769-1840 Joe Budd Photos.
ex. David Stoudt
A superb amethyst from this locality, with an unusually robust crystal centered nicely on matrix. The crystal is 5.5 x 2.3 x 2.2 cm. Interestingly, this was purchased from the childhood collection of Dr. Joel Bartsch, current president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Joe Budd Photos.
This polished nodule of silicified (quartz-infused) chrysocolla is certainly one of the finest I have seen.I showed it to some Arizona experts and they agreed its among the best examples of this type seen. It is not carving grade because of the amount of quartz in it as opposed to chrysocolla, so it won't cut even blue cabochons. However, that makes it all the better as a specimen from our point of view, I think. The rich blue-green color and the depth of the "gem silica" through the quartz-rich zones are both remarkable. These are not common in such quality and make a neat accent to a collection of southwest mineral specimens, i think.
This is a fine and aesthetic fluorite and smoky quartz specimen from a locality where it is almost impossible to find good fluorites and difficult to find, when you do find them. An octahedron of lustrous and translucent, lavender colored fluorite, 2.0 cm across, is jauntily perched on a smoky quartz crystal, measuring 1.5 cm across. Very nice combo and aesthetics. Ex. Jeff Starr fluorite collection
ex. Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
Inclusions in quartz are not unusual, however in this polished fragment of quartz is a most unusual one. A euhedral crystal of splendent, bright pyrite, 2.0 cm across, is joined by two smaller pyrite inclusions in the quartz. Superb example of this rare high-quality included quartz that came out in the 1950s. Ex Philadelphia Academy of Natural History collection.
ex. Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
A historic, published piece of huge significance from the noted collection of William S. Vaux (1811-1882)...photographed on plate 23 in the 1944 Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Like the above specimen, a superb large plate from the classic Bolivian locality. It features a matrix covered by colorless quartz, to 3.6 cm , as the host for tabular, translucent crystals of ivory-colored fluorapatite, to 4.1 cm across. The quartz crystals are peppered with sparkling, splendent sulfide crystals, which may be sphalerite. A fascinating sidebar to this specimen, is that the quartz and fluorapatite grew on two sides of the massive quartz vein. So here we have a sentimental specimen linking the curator of the museum to the family that funded his expeditions in the museum's heyday before its decline in modern times, and the specimen in question also CAME FROM the original older museum expeditions funded by the uncle, a major supporter of the museum since its earliest days. Accompanying this specimen is an original copy in decent condition of the 1944 proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, where this specimen is photographed as plate 23. Historical, old, and important specimens are too rarely available these days, especially with such interesting documentation. More than that, this is on its own merit a cabinet specimen of good aesthetics and quality for the locality.
This specimen is a floater, COMPLETE and terminated all around with all three of the quartzes even doubly-terminated. The bottom termination on the emerald is rough, but its a termination. The piece must have gronw rapidly in pocket and then fallen from the matrix, while solution of emerald was still flowing through to cap off and continue growth on the once-broken termination at bottom. The top faces are sharp and lustrous, ingrown with the diagonally-attached quartzes (again, all doubly-terminated!). I had a big doubt when I got offered this down in Brazil that, for the size and aspect, it could be from Brumado. Yet, there are two characteristic Brumado-style magnesite crystals perched off the bottom-right hand face of the emerald. Also, to prove it further, there are a few 5mm, green, disc-shaped uvite crystals present (on the left , attached to the emerald; and another included inside the left tip of the upwards-pointing quartz crystal). Aside from a very clean (nearly invisible!) repair at about the 3/4-up point, it is pristine and complete all around with no damage. It is not gemmy, but it is definitely green - and 4 inches tall. A very surprising, unique style for a Brumado beryl, striking because it is just so different from the norm. Weight is 123 grams
ex. Peter Bancroft
A most unusual, very colorful quartz specimen which has not only display aesthetics but also locality value and provenance. It is a very large example of this rare style of quartz from Switzerland, considered a highly desirable part of any Alpine collection because they have so much color pizzazz, and are so unlike other Swiss quartz styles with which we are more familiar. The crystal is complete all around, a floater, with no points of attachment that is fully terminated on both ends. It is pristine save for a few tiny, insignificant dings. The color is unearthly, as if you took the iron and embedded it in layers to yield a rainbow of refracted colors - indeed, you SEE rainbows shimmering just under the surface on the main faces of the front. This is not citrine (where iron is part of the crystal structure unit cell), rather it is quartz with iron stain incorporated into the matrix but not part of the crystal structure. This specimen was purchased by Pete Bancroft in the 1950s or 1960s, he recalls. He sold it to a local quartz collector in San Diego area in the 1970s (Alice Walters), and there it remained until she sold her collection about 4 years ago. It then went into the most prominent collection of classic, cabinet-sized Swiss minerals in the US, that I know of: that of Karl Kempf in Arizona (a longtime mineral colelctor specializing in this region). This collection was sold off by Wayne Thompson last fall, and now the piece is back on the market. Original label in Bancroft's hand is included.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
This quartz crystal is like a natural cut jewel. The faces are so sharp and flawless, the edges so clean and razorlike, the internal clarity so limpid, it LOOKS cut. The quartz is doubly-terminated, with a bit of lepidolite and a spray of cleavelandite at the bottom tip to give it the look of attached matrix although really the whole piece is a floater with no attachment point. It is the single finest quality quartz crystal I have seen from the tourmaline-famed Pederneira Mine, citrine or not. And it IS citrine...having a distinct orange color when set against white background. The color is not intense, but its there. This specimen was in the collection of Pederneira mine partner Daniel Trinchillo, who sold it to Steve Smale several years ago. Steve collects fancy gem crystals of the highest perfection and quality - seldom a quartz! But this is on equartz that transcends, and holds its own vs. the fancier tourmalines and gem minerals of Brazil. I fear I have used too much hyperbole in writing but honestly, it is THAT good. The thing is mesmerizing.
ex. Martin Zinn
This prospect is now a national park, and collecting is forbidden today - making it hard to obtain one for the new collector, to say the least. This is an older specimen from the collection of Marty Zinn, acquired long ago. It features an unusually well-balanced central crystal on matrix, with superb equant form in its dimensions. The crystal is totally gemmy, pristine, and incredibly sharply terminated. It has a sharp internal phantom, which is rare for this location. New Mexico smokies often are seen only in jumbly clusters, seldom with the overall quality and aesthetics of this particular specimen. Marty prided himself on his New Mexico suite, and I would say this is as good as any you could hope to own in this size range.
Tis ultragemmy 2.5 x 2.5 x 7-cm-long crystal has to be seen to be believed. It is so gemmy, clearn, clean and limpid that you look right through to the underlaying matrix and its almost hard to focus on the outer faces of the crystal itself in its midpoint, the eye is so drawn to look through it. Just a common quartz, but of truly top quality that is shocking. The piece is beautifully trimmed and so displays well on a natrual pedestal of dolomite crystals. I have not seen a piece like this, in overall aesthetics, from Brazil or anywhere.
ex. Dr. Edward David
Ed David had a huge suite of several dozen very fine Herkimer quartze specimens in his collection, assembled over 30 years of collecting. This was, to me, his prize Herkimer quartz specimen. I sold it when I bought his collection in 2005, and exchanged it back at the show, much to my surprise, after it had gone around the block from a collector to a dealer. It is a phenomenally gemmy crystal group on matrix , with calcite, acquired in 1998 from miner Nancy Koskie. The calcite association is highly unusual and takes the piece to a new level. The number of good Herk's I have seen on matrix other than gray rock, I can count on one hand. One should assume that any Herk cluster is repaired, this and others...usually they come apart in the pocket and lock-fit together with a careful repair. Not only is there an association, but the quartzes are of highest quality in terms of clarity, brightness, and form. The cluster is attractively perched on the matrix...if any of these were "off" the piece would be less noteworthy but as it stands, it is, to me, superlative. It is one of the finest Herkimer Quartz specimens I think a collector can possibly obtain, for overall quality - and not the most expensive, either. It is so much better in person, so much more full of life, I won't even try to convey it with the usual 3-5 photos. It is just something that needs be seen in person.
ex. Eric Asselborn
Over about 13 years now, I have seen hundreds of specimens from this locality trickle in bits and spurts, from just after the Wall came down to the current days of more open exports from Russia. Usually, I am not impressed. Hedenbergite included quartz tends to be dull and matte-finished, with barely any color, from this locality. HOWEVER, this piece I love. It and one other similar specimen came to me in an exchange from the well-known Asselborn collection in France. These are the finest examples I have seen, myself, by a long shot. Not only are they lustrous and colorful, but they were aesthetic, dramatic, in the terms you would want for a quartz from any location. Most other specimens are just "locality pieces," something neat and different but not in and of themselves a worldclass quartz piece. This transcends fro mthe locality piece designation, to a higher quality level. It is dramatic for its overall arrangement and geometry, and the contrast between the stepped multiple faces of the stalks and the sharp , smooth terminations , is striking visually. The matrix on which this castle-like cluster is perched is made up of andradite garnet.
A very pretty, very bright and lustrous, bicolored quartz with both amethyst and smoky zoning. From a small pocket in 1968. From the specialized Maine thumbnail collection of Jim Mann (although technically a miniature, this squeezes into a TN box when mounted diagonally).
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