This is , I think, the definition of the word "elegant" in minerals...The piece has surreal aesthetics you just do not expect to occur in nature. They do occur, rarely; but the problem is, they are fragile. This "Rocket Pocket" as some call it was found in pieces, and put back together over several years like a jigsaw puzzle. All large specimens have repairs, most more than a dozen. I do not accept so many repairs, except in special cases: where the overall aesthetic impact is significant enough that the piece warrants it; where the price is adjusted accordingly; and when the overall context of the FIND ITSELF requires repairs to obtain an important display-quality specimen (as in this case). The 2 larger crystals in this 3-crystal cluster measure 15 and 14 cm in length, and BOTH ARE TERMINATED! In fact, the crossbar crystal, at 15 cm, is DOUBLY-TERMINATED. The 6cm, thin crystal you see at the junction has a termination that sticks out the back of the piece, and is thus also doubly-terminated. The upright vertical strut rises from a quartz crystal, which is an unlikely but extremely nice pedestal for the cluster. This one has only 4 clean repairs and a fifth repair on the midpoint which has a small bit of color-matched epoxy fill in the gap. All are well done and do NOT detract visually. You have to look really hard, with a close-up penlight held at a diagonal, to see 4 of the repairs. The fifth is not obvious, in any case, on first glance. Comes with custom engraved lucite base, for easy display. All I can say is, BETTER IN PERSON.
ex. Richardson Beard
The Smoky Hawk claim has, since about 2006 or so, produced amazonite and smoky quartz combination pieces that rival the famous Tree Root Pocket material of the late 1990s. Some of them, such as this piece, are more aesthetic to my eye because they have not only the super colorful amazonite in fake-looking, intense blue color, combined with smoky quartz: also, the best quartzes are generally gemmier and more translucent than the older Tree Root Pocket pieces. Moreover, on this piece, the quartzes (to 3 inches!) shoot up so starkly and dramatically, that it "makes" the specimen. In many such combination pieces, the smokies are undersized compared to amazonite, or vice versa. Or, the two are often in a more jumbly aggregate that is pretty and of high quality, but not really the kind of stark geometry that I favor. I like specimens best when you have crystals on crystallized matrix, and the two geometries are as different in color and crystallography as you see here. This piece has it all! Like nearly all such larger amazonite combination pieces, old and new finds both, this has a few repairs that would be considered par for the course, so long as they are well done and clean (which they are). This specimen sits nicely in the palm of your hand, spraying three-dimensionally to fill space. I obtained this specimen from the William Ferris collection by exchange, before that collection was sold off in 2007-2008. I owned the specimen for about 15 minutes before it was snapped up...seen in person, it REALLY does leap out at you, compared to most others. Mr. Ferris was the first owner, having acquired it directly from the company of Joe and Tim Dorris, the miners, several years previously. Since that time until now it has been in the Dallas collection of Rick Beard. I regard it , for the size, as one of my favorites of this classic combination in a price range that is expensive, admittedly, but still affordable to many collectors without going for megabuck pieces. NOTE CONTRIBUTED BY THE COLLECTORS, JOE & TIM DORRIS: Thanks for featuring the Night Hawk piece in your vault. My son, Tim, who is an avid fan called my attention to the posting. A bit of information: I found it on 29 June 2006. Only a few other pieces came from the pocket, all smaller and relatively insignificant. All showed the nice translucency which this Night Hawk piece exhibits. You can see from the attached photo, the pocket was quite small, less than a foot across. (so, a far more rare piece from a special pocket, still remembered 3 years later by the folks who dug it).
A totally gemmy, transparent, see-through topaz is the highlight of this fantastic combination piece, which has a striking balance of topaz and quartz, both nestled in crystallized cleavelandite. The topaz is 5 cm wide, 4 cm deep, and about 4 cm tall. It is PRISTINE. Not a ding on it and for that matter the rest of the piece is as close to pristine as you can wish, as well. In person, the topa zleaps out at you as a 3-dimensional jewel, transparent and brilliant like glass. You can see right through it to the quartz behind, the cleavelandite underneath, and the faceted terminations set against them. Topaz , on matrix, of this quality comes but rarely despite all the hunting and searching for these valuable gems. Most people consider this region to be the premier locality for champagne-colored topaz crystals of this style, and this piece epitomizes why. I purchased this in 2008 directly from a source in Peshawar, when it was much larger and needed to be heavily trimmed and cleaned. Joe Budd Photo (on graded background)
ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran
This is a rare matrix bubblegum-colored tourmaline, perched dramatically at one end of a shard of lustrous smoky quartz. The tourmaline has JUICY color, a rich pink-red hue classic for this region. It has a nearly perfect termination with only minute edge wear and a glassy, unusually fine lustre to the top that lets you look right down into the depths of the crystal. The crystal itself is about 10 x 6 x 5 cm in size, though it tapers slightly towards the base. It is repaired, from a natural break in situ, at a point just below the junction to the attached smoky quartz and so the seam is really quite unseen from the front of the specimen. It is a good, clean repair job with minor restoration at the natural break, and without a jarring visual effect when displayed , so I consider it acceptable at a price. A specimen like this would normally be in the 6-figure range if perfect and so, admittedly, this is not quite perfect BUT the price is adjusted accordingly - at a good tradeoff to the collector who can now get a matrix bubblegum pink , that doesn't cost the fortune it looks like it should. This specimen was obtained from a direct source in-country, via email as it came out of the mine, by collector Gene Meieran (from whom I obtained it, in turn).In person, the tourmaline color and photography is most accurate in the closeup (lower-right) photo. The lustre is best shown in the first photo. When we use good lighting on the tourmaline, the smoky quartz appears more black than it actually is, in person (it is more a normal dark gray color, than black as it appears). 1.2 kilos
This is a superb example of the world class bournonite from Yaogangxian, which has redefined what a collector can own for the species. At the very top of its game, this mine's bournonites are, to me and most others, the most beautiful in the world. This piece has the top lustre (so bright and metallic , it looks unreal, like polished aluminum). It has a VERY slight surface oxidation that, in certain angles only, gives it a rainbow shimmering on the frontal surface. The crystallography is complex and geometric, showing a cogwheel -like form. Most bournonites of this size are broken off matrix, but this has a stunning association with water clear, gemmy quartz points.A quartz crystal impales the bournonite, too, making for an unusual accent in the middle of the specimen. It is simply difficult to convey in photos, though we have tried (Joe Budd photograph from the frontal view). I would say that for the quality and size, it would be hard to do better even in the next higher price range. This piece is of magnitude enough to be not upgradeable in any easy sense, and to represent among the best of the species from this mine. As an added note, the bournonites come from old tunnels mined out in the 1950s-70s and to obtain them, artisan miners must travel up to those old levels in the dark, through very dangerous and unsupported tunnels. The remainign bournonite is in the pillars, so pillar-robbing must be practices to retrieve them, leading to a weakening of the supports for the old levels. Sadly, this resulted in tragic deaths in 2007, when a number of miners died. The government clamped down on official access to those levels, I am told. Nevertheless, even if people go in and find more, so few have been found of this calibre
When I was first offered this specimen via email from a source in Peshawar, who said it had just been hauled in from Afghanistan, I passed on it. I thought it must be a glued-together fake, and a pretty bad fake at that since it was so obvious this could not be real. Unrepaired and a pristine floater complete all around?! HAH! (In fact, I was a little upset my source had the poor judgment to pass on to me such an obvious fake.) I have since been proven wrong, as I found when another foreign source bought the piece and put it in front of me here in the US, trusting I would freak out over it. It is real, it is unrepaired despite its intricate geometry and sheer size (nearly a foot tall!); and it is pristine and undamaged all around as advertised. Oh yes, and it is a floater! The morganite measures 8 x 8 x 3.25 cm and is the size of a hockey puck and as symmetrical as a crystal model. It is PERFECT, as if it were carved from pink ice. The color is a classic pink, not peachy-orange. The contrast of the pastel pink morganite and its sharp hexagonal form to the crazily tilting vertical spray of intense pink kunzites is, obviously, quite startling and exciting to see. It is one of the most 3-dimensional mineral specimens I could imagine and I feel privileged to offer this all-too-real miracle of survival. I was told recently by another dealer that they were offered the specimen in Peshawar when visiting (this was in 2007) but through an intermediary, and at a much higher price. My suspicion is that it did not sell simply because any buyer would have had to be suspicious of its reality - which I have thoroughly checked now in a modern prep lab to be sure of. This is a world class gem pegmatite combination specimen. Note that in normal lighting the photos below are more accurate. The first photo was taken by Joe Budd using stronger, studio lighting.
Purple-capped tourmalines are quite rare, and this piece has a distinct purple zone, above a blue zone, on its termination. More than that, it is just a VERY FINE and aesthetic tourmaline specimen by any standard, with the color as a bonus feature. It is, first off, NOT repaired. Most large matrix tourmalines from this region are repaired at least once, especially when connected to a quartz as this is. And, the quartz and cleavelandite are arranged in great balance, not overwhelming but accenting the tourmaline itself. The tourmaline is very equant and fat, about 7 x 7 x 7 cm overall in size. It has an extremely unusual and GLASSY termination...intricately scalloped, for lack of a better word. It has many subtle growth features that result in incredible reflections and sparkle coming off that termination. I cannot say that I have ever seen this style of termination on such a large crystal - just on small ones, before. Lastly, the piece is shockingly pristine - protected in transit and collecting more than you can normally hope for in such large specimens (782 grams). It has a greater visual "size impact" than you'd think. The purple color , especially in a lustrous termination, is perhaps the rarest of all colors on a tourmaline. In particular, its very rare from this part of the world where they tend towards pastel hues of pink and greens. One can own any number of tourmalines and at the end of the day must ask yourself, which ones are really SPECIAL? This one, it stands out.
This remarkable piece dates to the 1960s heyday of Brazilian pegmatites, when spectacular pieces were found more frequently near the surface than they seem today. The piece is from a famous old deposit, which today produces beryls but nothing so impressive as what you see here. The matrix of claeavelandite is actually typical of this region, and quite nice in its own right. The morganite, though, has KILLER color, really a hot pink and a form more associated with modern material from Afghanistan than anything from Brazil. Most people would immediately peg this as an Afghani piece, I would bet (and in fact this has happened). However, the giveways are the slightly different cleavelandite (more sharp and sparkly than Paprok material) and the coloration and style of the small tourmaline included in the morganite. The morganite itself is complete in about 95% of its display area, with only a small bit in one corner restored with matching epoxy. The morganite is VERY sharp, totally undamaged otherwise, and measures 4.5 INCHES (11.2 cm) across. Believe it or not, this piece came up from Brazil in the 1970s, in a suitcase, as a specimen that was triple this current size and mass at the time. A natural history collector purchased it from the Amsterdam Sauer Museum in Rio de Janiero in around 1976. This museum was both a display for the owner's well known personal collection and a storefront for selling specimens outright. Apparently, this collector simply put it on a coffee table where it sat, unappreciated by anybody in the core mineral community, for the next 30 years. After a tipoff, I bought the piece and had it trimmed down to its current, more aesthetic and balanced size. Still, at the weight of perhaps 20 pounds and the size of a decent watermelon, "trimmed down" has a whole different meaning here.
This old specimen from a now-closed quarry features really fine, gemmy, relatively large crystals of the extremely rare zeolite species, Yugawaralite. To 1.5 cm in size, these are quite important. They also happen to be beautiful, and high in lustre and gemminess. This specimen came from the personal collection of an Indian dealer, who sold it to me in the mid 1990s
These beautiful specimens are rare survivors of a small find that produced GREAT carving rough for cabochons and jewelry made of chalcedony (its gemmy and transparent/translucent!), to the detriment of the original specimens from our point of view! Charlie Key saved some from the wrecker, though, and these are a few selected from a flat we have of this rare and beautiful old material from the 1980s. This one is particularly nice because it is a good-sized plate with excellent translucency and good horizons about the edge, one of the best for size.
ex. Wendell E. Wilson
Brazil has produced literally tons of rutilated quartzes. But how few good thumbnails do you see amidst the beasts of larger size?! This 1.7 cm beauty, lustrous and sharp, sits on a nest of shiny metallic rutile needles. Very aesthetic.
ex. Martin Zinn
A rich specimen of exceptionally sharp and lustrous ilvaites from this old classic locality, probably 40-60 years out of the ground. It features thick wedge-shaped crystals to 2 cm across, ON MATRIX! This is one of the best Idaho ilvaites I have seen for sale.
ex. Martin Zinn
This is one of the best larger specimens I have seen in awhile for the species, with SUPER LUSTROUS crystals, like glass, blanketing a large display face . It is obviously very difficult to photograph, and will be better in person where the lustre and fiery internal blue colors can be seen better.
ex. Martin Zinn
An unusually bright, gemmy, sparkling specimen comprised of beautiful gem amethyst crystals. The piece is complete all around and 3-dimensional!
All Content and Design ©1996-2012 The Arkenstone
Powered by http://mineralwebsites.comMineral Specimens by species; or by specimen id.