Small golds do not often have so much sheer impact a this one, for both its shape and overall quality. The crystals are sharp and robust, and the lustre is phenomenal. The pics say it allï¿½This is a competition level toenail specimen (small miniature size)! It is mesmerizing in its intricate details, in person - small but insanely high quality
ex. Robert Whitmore
This is a classic hematite and quartz combo specimen from England, from the classic old English Iron District. It is most likely from the Florence or Beckermet Mines, or the Cleator Moor area. It is a beautiful combination piece, displayable at any orientation , and showing off sharp clear quartzes upon brilliant and very sparkly hematite crystals to 2mm . This is a fine large example of the so-called "beta quartz" from England: Note that I am told these are not true high-temperature beta quartz on a technical level, but they sure LOOK like it at first glance, certainly, and are often termed as such. Large, dramatic, classic combo! Hard to find in such quality today.
ex. Harold Urish
Dioptase from Morenci is a thing of rarity, and seldom do you see any large plates of quality. This is an extremely rare and fine example, with a solidly covered display face AND a pocket in the side that are completely filled with large crystals for the locale, and extremely rich coverage. The top surface features sharp little dioptaes against a sparkling druse of quartz, for contrast. Unusual! It is an important example of dioptase from a US locale, and many people aren't even aware they exist as they are just so hard to come by. Collected in the 1980s, and ex Harold Urish collection . MUCH BETTER IN PERSON!
An incredible miniature from the same pocket as #118 above - superlatives simply cannot describe the beauty of this piece with its ridiculous sparkly covering of microscopic quartz over the deep green pseudo. It is also pristine and complete on both sides, and sharp as you could wish (among the sharper malachite pseudos from anywhere, period). Rare material - I have seen only a half dozen pieces from this pocket over the years, and from context we think it came out in the 1970s sometime but that is just a guess. Pricey perhaps, but yes it is really that good, and is an award-level miniature specimen of a quality and style that seldom comes up
Although seemingly common on the market for the last few years, this is a particularly choice piece, with what I felt was uncommonly good aesthetics and balance for its size and price range. The garnets here are bright and sparkling, and have a slightly deeper red color than appears in the photos in halogen lights. The quartz is particularly gemmy ans symmetric, amking for a very striking combination piece - these are sure to be "classics" someday! Joe Budd photos.
ex. George Vaux
A sparkling, extremely lustrous smoky quartz showing a dramatic twisting effect ("gwindel"). The color here is just incredible - not the typical "smoky" you usually see, but a richer and more saturated color that is dark and yet beautiful. The piece is totally transparent, with an inner sparkle and brilliance to the quartz you do not always get. It is complete on the front and tops, and shows a small amount of edge wear , and one small broken tip, on the sides...acceptable in context of age, overall quality, and price. This piece was formerly in the collection of George Vaux , (1863-1927), the noted collector of Philadelphia, and comes with his handwritten label. also recently in the Richard Hauck Quartz Collection. Joe Budd photos.
A superb piece, which most people would never in a million years believe was from the USA ! This actually came from the famous McEarl pocket, in the mid 1980s, and was then long in the collection of the owner, Jimmy Coleman. From the mid 1990s until recently, it was then in the collection of Marcus Budil. The piece is absolutely gorgeous, complete and 3-dimensional all around. It shows a stark, sharp faden line, which is unusual for the locality - and for this size, from any locality. Joe Budd photos.
A stunning specimen for many reasons, not the least of which is that it LOOKS Chinese, this happens to be considered by many the finest fluorite mined in modern digging at the Sweet Home Mine. I have never seen large crystals like this from the mine, save this one famous piece, long held in the mining company's collection (until sold from that vault, a few years ago to a private collector). Found in 2002, this unrepaired , pristine specimen features teal blue crystals to 2 inches across, perched on sparkling, perfect and pristine, quartz matrix with minor sulfides. It is striking, and truly different in form from other classic Sweet Home fluorite styles. Again, it looks at first glance like a chinese specimen! This cabinet sized specimen is , surely, one of the more significant fluorites found in recent years in the USA. I was honored to get ahold of it, so long after I had seen it exhibited at the Denver show many years ago. Joe Budd photos
This mine produced largely during a short run in the early 2000s, some of the best large tourmaline specimens we have seen in recent years. A spectacular large, upright, gem tourmaline crystal is the highlight of this piece. It is carefully centered on a well-trimmed shard of crystallized quartz, from which it shoots up dramatically. Small , sparkly, sugar-white crystals of cleavelandite are in association, for accents. As with all such pieces from this mine, or similarly gracile tourmalines from any locale, there are a few repairs. In context, however, the repairs are both minimal and acceptable given the size of the piece. The large central crystal is nearly 10 inches tall, and just glows a vivid evergreen hue, when backlit. Even minimal backlighting is enough to bring that color out. This particular specimen was a holdback, long kept in the personal collection of two mine partners until sold to me, and not put out for sale at the time in which they were mined. It is, overall, a dramatic and imposing specimen. Joe Budd photos.
This very rare matrix liddicoatite specimen features a 3.5-cm crystal , doubly-terminated, perched in a matrix of crystallized cleavelandite and quartz. The crystal is very gemmy, so that you can look into it and through most of its depth. The termination is phenomenally sharp. The display aesthetics of this very gemmy, lustrous crystal are great! Rarely do you see one on good matrix, from this classic locale. Older specimen, probably from the early 2000s and not a recent find. Joe Budd photos.
A cluster of tall, slender, elegant quartz crystals, sparkling with little apophyllites, and with phantoms of green fluorite inside the terminations. A sizeable and dramatic Dalnegorsk piece!
A large specimen with TWO kunzite crystals, both terminated on the "business" end. The larger, chunky one measures 4.5 cm and is 1.7 cm thick. The other measures 2.5 cm, with less color but nicely transparent.
ex. Jack Halpern
This is an absolute classic, of pretty high rarity on the market! These little purple fluorites used to be (before Dalnegorsk) synonymous with the rare tetrahexahedral habit of fluorite and were much studied. This is an attractive matrix specimen with excellent pedigree and original labels dating it to the early 1900s. Jack purchased it about 5 years ago from Gene Schlepp for $475 and i traded at the same and left it under $500.
A very unusual and wonderfully aesthetic combo specimen that features gem fluorites in association with a cluster of razor-sharp scheelites – with little snowy calcite rhombs and a euhedral quartz crystal forming the backdrop! Small cleave, tiny an dhard to see, on one bottom corner of the fluorite only. Comes with a custom-cut lucite stand.
This bizarre specimen features a very unusual hollow anatase crystal of 1.5 cm next to an adjacent crystal of more typical habit. I have never seen anything quite like this. It is possible the anatase we see is a cast after an earlier generation, or even after a zircon perhaps, but I am not sure. The crystals sit on a quartz crystal (broken at either end but intact on the display face). In any case, the material has been analyszed and it is anatase now - a whopping huge one for Brazil, I would say. (obviously not a Jonas tourmaline but it fit in well with this update and was also at Munich...)
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