ex. John Sinkankas
Smithsonites from the old Kelly Mine are around�name a size and price range, and with a little patience any collector can get a beautiful specimen. However, most pieces are flat, and have no association. This is a gorgeous, 3-dimensional, mounded piece with intense color AND a really unusual association with flower-like rosettes of calcite crystals. It is complete all around and has no damage, just a superlative example. It was purchased shortly after mining by well known book author and collector, John Sinkankas of San Diego. He described it in 1966 as "a very fine specimen of shining botryoids, color rich blue-green," at a time when they were generally available and yet this was special even then. Note on his card, he valued it at triple what he paid, on the day he accessioned it to his card files! The piece stayed with John through the sale of the majority of his collection (possibly thousands of pieces) in the 1980s; and I last saw it in his home in the mid 1990s before he passed away. By then, he had picked up water color painting as a hobby and painted his favorites. I bought a number of remaining pieces from him in the late 1990s but did not have the funds at the time to purchase this piece. It was sold to another dealer, who sold it to Jack Halpern at the first showing of the piece. It remained in Jack's collection in San Francisco until exchanged to me (with some evident agonizing on both sides) in 2009. I have seen so much of this material over the years (25 years of dealing), and so few pieces ever struck me the way this one did both when i first saw it, and still today. It is a sentimental piece that has a lot of meaning to both myself and its previous owners, both gentlemen-collectors of the old style who truly are passionate for their pieces. I can admit i feel a little guilty trading it out of Jack, to tell the truth...but he wanted a REALLY nice rock from me in return, towards it all, and that's how it has to work. Joe Budd photos
A classic coronadite stalactite from old mining at Broken Hill, but unusually with rice-grain smithsonite crystals festooned all over it! From some place called the "Melendy Mineral Museum" on an old yellowed label.
ex. Marshall Sussman
A riveting specimen of the rare, "sugary" style of intense green smithsonite from Tsumeb, produced in a single pocket in the late 1970s or early 1980s. This piece came from a collection purchased in Africa by the Sussmans, solely to get this specimen. There are few that rival it for size, and they are held by major museums or collectors not releasing them. Of the examples I have seen, even including the Houston Museum example and the piece formerly in the noted smithsonite collection of the Zweibels, this one excels because of its aesthetic edges, dramatic 3-D form, and translucency. There is no damage at all - it is perfect despite the large size. Joe Budd photos.
For the collector of rare Tsumeb association pieces, here is a killer! Gemmy crystals of mimetite to just over one centimeter, in a shallow pocket lined with rhombs of pink smithsonite! Ex. Ulrich Bahmann Collection.
A good-sized place of the prized APPLE-GREEN smithsonite from the classic 79 Mine locality. This is actually from finds not long back where a couple of miners went back into the old works and pulled out a trickle of nice pieces not seen in some years otherwise.
Kelly Mine smithsonite has gone from being readily available to being depressingly hard to find. This specimen has the fine robins-egg blue color and surface shimmer that makes these specimens so distinctive and sought-after.
ex. Martin Lewadny
Quality Smithsonite crystals are hard enough to come by, and they are particularly uncommon from Zambia, so this excellent piece deserves accolades- it is exquisite! This superb cluster is composed of four major, individual crystals, as well as several smaller ones. Several are doubly-terminated, and the largest is an impressive 2 cm long. Each complex crystal is gemmy, with a silky luster that causes the crystals to almost glow under good light. Additionally, the crystals have wide, modified stepped faces with a small amount of rotation that increase the interest and appeal mineralogically. Just a wonderful thumbnail. Ex. Stan Korowski collection (he was an exploration geologist in Zambia in the 1950s-1960s).
ex. Martin Lewadny
A shocking, large, First-class cluster of GEMMY, intergrown Smithsonite crystals from the long defunct Broken Hill Mine in Zambia. The luster is excellent. The Smithsonites are clear, well-defined, and average 1.4 cm across. THEY ARE GEMMY AND TRANSPARENT! WHEN YOU LOOK AT FIRST, YOU THINK THIS MUST BE A CALCITE, IT IS SO BRIGHT AND CLEAN INSIDE! The terminations are sharp, and it is much better in person. Quite unusual for the locality, it is a significant specimen Ex. Stan Korowski collection (he was a mine geologist here in the 1960s and 1970s).
ex. Martin Lewadny
Superb thumbnail of thick, elongated scalenedrons of very light Cobaltian Smithsonite. Such well-developed crystals, in this size (up to an amazing 2 cm) and thickness (4 mm) are quite unusual. These Smithsonites are lustrous, gemmy, and the cluster is quite aesthetic. Rarely will you find one this good. Ex. Georg Gebhard.
ex. Martin Lewadny
Lovely specimen of very fine blades that rest along the matrix and on one single stalactite. The Smithsonite is a delicate pink color and has a beautiful silky luster - a unique combination of features tha tmakes pieces from this one pocket quite distinct. Tsumeb is renowned for its Smithsonites, and this would not disappoint.
10.9 x 9.5 x 6.4 cm. Smithsonite in a range of sizes, grown in two generations. There is a layer of smaller crystals, on top of which have grown silky, transparent crystals to about 0.6 cm.
3.7 x 3.6 x 2.9 cm. Highly lustrous, very sharp, midnight-blue azurite crystals aesthetically set in contrasting botryoidal smithsonite matrix from Tsumeb. The azurite crsytals reach 1.5 cm and the scattered trivial bruising is barely noticeable.
2.9 x 2.7 x 1.9 cm. A mini of shimmering, bright green cuprian smithsonite (green from the copper content) from Tsumeb.
6.2 x 4.0 x 2.8 cm. From the Willy Israel collection (purchase by him in 1978), a rich cluster of Tsumeb smithsonite crystals to 0.6 cm, with orangey inclusions - in fine condition, with sharp crystal form and good luster.
3.9 x 2.8 x 2.3 cm. Smithsonite crystals to over a centimeter along the edge! They have a wonderful silky luster, and a light cream color. Ex Gary Hansen.
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