This specimen features a 4.6 x 1.3 x 1.1 cm emerald of deep evergreen color, on quartz. As with most emeralds from this mine, the surface is a little rough and pitted compared to Colombian emeralds, but then there is admittedly a tradeoff for sheer color and impact vs price; and this difference in surface texture is part of the explanation for more reasonable pricing on Kagem emerald crystals for their size. To get a similarly-sized Colombian emerald, without repair, and with such intense color, would set you back 10 times this price in any case, so I felt that the Kagem pieces are a pretty good value in comparison to other worldwide emerald specimens. This piece I chose for its very fine exposure, showing the whole crystal and a freestanding termination. The termination is slightly asymmetric, but is complete. The color is very dark, but still teh piece is quite translucent and even transparent in zones. In person, it is much more impactful if backlit slightly. Upper-row professional photo is by Joe Budd.
Few Kagem emerald crystals were as gemmy and lustrous as Colombian pieces, but this comes as close as any I saw in the new finds. It is a very transparent crystal, perched in a rare crysatllized quartz matrix (at least, the quartz has some surviving faces on the front, though is massive on back). The emerald itself is 34 x 11 x 8mm in size. The temrination looks complete but on close inspection admittedly has some minute edge wear (as do many from these finds). It is nicely freestanding and displays well, and is a choice miniature from this interesting new specimen locality. More than that, its just a good big emerald for the price, regardless of where found. Upper-left professional photo is by Joe Budd.
In some ways, this was my favorite of the emeralds on sale from the first specimen production out of this world-famous gem mine, for its overall quality and aesthetics. The knoll of quartz matrix features a SHARP and VERY EQUANT, 2.6-cm-long emerald perched atop its natrual pedestal. Remarkably, it was excavated without it falling out and needing repairs. It is nestled, still, securely in the quartz which once enclosed (and protected!) the crystal. The top termination is very fine and sharp. The lower termination is not lustrous, but is nevertheless complete. It has a consistent , rich, evergreen color, darker than most Colombian emeralds and so distinct. It has better lustre and sharper form, than most Kagem pieces I have now seen. For a thumbnail-sized specimen (or it could display on a little pedestal as a small miniature), it was the best in the size class that I have seen for sale. Professional photos by Joe Budd. THIS SPECIMEN IS FEATURED ON THE ARTICLE ON THIS FIND, IN MINERALOGICAL RECORD JAN-FEB 2010, PAGE 64
This gemmy pink to green crystal has great glassy luster and is nicely placed on part of a quartz crystal. The tourmaline crystal has great form and clarity. The colors are unusual and produce a very attractive specimen. The crystal does have two repairs but they do not detract from the piece too much visually, and its really dramatic as you can see! Mined by Louis Spaulding in the 1970s, sold to Chuck Houser of San Diego, and from him to me to Kevin in the mid 1990s. It is a VERY unusual locality piece for the gemminess and color! Ex. Kevin Brown collection.
Thin blue, pencil crystal imbedded in a quartz matrix from one of the more uncommon Maine locations. The crystal, crudely terminated on one end, has a rich blue color and very glassy luster. Could probably have some quartz removed to expose more of the crystal if someone wanted. Ex Kevin Brown collection. Unusual and odd for the Maine collector!
This is a rare matrix specimen from these mines, with a deep wine-red crystal enclosed in a quartz point, grown together somehow. The quartz is frosted or altering on its surface, giving a stark matte white background to the tourmaline which offsets it nicely. Complete, no repairs...this is rare, for the location , where most tourmalines are found as loose singles or big chunky matrix specimens but few in aesthetic associations. 188 grams
This incredible large specimen is the finest large pyrrho I have seen since handling the well-known "Freilich specimen," from Sotheby's, in 2001. That piece was bigger, but this one is more elegant and significant because of the larger size of the pyrrhotite clusters. And I have seen a lot of them! The piece has stark , 3-dimensional clusters leaping off of crystallized quartz matrix. Despite the massiveness of the pyrrhotite clusters, their bright brassy color and curving form give them an elegance that a similarly sized galena or sphalerite would not have. the piece looks almost biological, with "snakes" of golden pyrrhotite "climbing" up the matrix to jump off the top like lemmings. The specimen is complete on all sides but the back, where it is naturally contacted. It was mined in 1996, I am told. On the whole specimen, there are just a few small spots of edge wear and thats it. It is nearly pristine, remarkable given the size and composition. Here is a world class example of the species, at a frankly bargain price. But, I got it cheaply, myself, so....
A very attractive, bright, and sparkling cluster of quartz crystals perched upon a thin plate of matrix. Striking in person! The large crystal of quartz has unusual hoppered faces on its sides, though strangely not on the top faces as you'd expect of a hoppered crystal. The smaller crystals are all slightly sceptred and in the right lighting have a faint lavender hue.
Kongsberg is of course famous for silver, BUT to the true collector a good calcite or fluorite from that mine has always been right up there on the almost-impossible-to-get list. This is a cluster of attractive crystals that are of good size for the locality, and they are perched on a plate of sparkling quartz points. The main crystal is completely terminated all around. It has only one defect, being one rough area on the left edge (as shown in upper row, rightmost photo) where there are two grooves that look like an adjacent crysatl was attached. In any case, there are two display views for the specimen, one of which puts that spot towards the back if it bothers you (my preference). A very 3-dimensional piece that is better in person!
SHARP, lustrous crystals of SPHALERITE to 1.3 cm across, perched on golden siderite! The crystal is really quite brilliant - better in person! This locality is of course classic for the world-reknowned galenas, but I would guess sphalerite is just as uncommon if not more so, since I have never seen another for sale. This would be a good miniature for any location, but its got to be damned good for Germany and for the Neudorf mines (at least in terms of what might come to market) and is certainly an old specimen. The label with it dates it to 1955, but I would assume it was mined long before. Still, the exact mine name was preserved which is unusual and nice to know.
A choice calcite specimen recovered from one of the famous quartz or amethyst geodes of old Idar-Oberstein, long-ago exhausted and now difficult to find (which is what sent so many German craftsman off to Brazil). This is a fine miniature with crysatls to 2.5 cm. It shows phantoms consisting of hematite-colored reddish scalenohedra within a later generation of sharp hexagonal crystals and is complete all around.
ex. Wilhelm Leithauser
This is a superb example of the twin habit called "Japan Law" twinning. It features a japan law twin quartz with really exquisite aesthetics, since its basically floating free like its in mid-air, showing all terminations, perched upon those smaller, prismatic crystals. The piece is 4 inches wide, 3 inches tall. it is pristine and terminated fully. the twin hangs on some prism quartzes. all are translucent to fully transparent - more the former. this is one of the most elegant jap twin quartzes i have seen, and its an old one from brumado in brazil, out of a german collection. Custom lucite base included.
This is a superb miniature of an old classic species from this important silvermining district. More importantly, and unlike so many other such surviving examples, it is on matrix - and contrasting matrix at that! These crystals are not as massive as some I have seen from the locality but in fact are much more elegant and sharply crystallized than you normally see. Though it has lost the original labels, tags glued to the bottom indicate that it came from the Metzger collection through the Schwethelm collection to Leithauser. Again, as with most of his German specimens, it is not only imporant but also as aesthetic as you could ask for in such a creature.
A rare locality piece featuring highly modified galena crystals to 9 mm in size on sparkling quartz druse.
This piece features 2 simply exquisite cuboctahedral galena crystals, highly modified, to 2.25 cm in size. It has minor sphalerite in association. It is a rare locality piece made all the better by the fact that the galenas are well-situated on a sparkling, snow-white quartz druse. The trim job is pretty darned good too - overall, making this one of the better galena miniatures I have had from any locality, old classic or not.
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