A color-contrasting, tan matrix, possibly dolomite, is the host for intergrown crystals of lustrous and translucent, apple green, cupro-smithsonite, to 8 mm across. This sharply formed crystal habit is rare for smithsonite in general, and noted for these Tsumeb greens as one of the finest habits to own. They were rarely found and tend to command a premium in price, accordingly. This piece has particularly good horizons and displays nicely all around
This roughly crystallized specimen of cuprian smithsonite, in crystals to 6.5 cm in length, is a pseudomorph after another mineral species, presumably after aragonite. The crystals are translucent, thin casts forming stalactite-like growths that together form the larger crystals you see. They exhibit a pleasing pastel but rich, apple-green color. A very unusual specimen! It is complete all around. I have not seen another quite like this piece.
This is a MAJOR annabergite specimen with huge crystal clusters to nearly 1 cm, associated with translucent green cuprian smithsonite. Annabergite occurs at its best from this locality, though great specimens are few and far between, despite hundreds of years of collecting. For overall richness, crystal size, and exceptional crystal definition, this is an important and attractive specimen. I have not had a better one, in several decades of dealing in colorful European classics, for what its worth.
An impressive example of the rare yellow (cadmian rich) varietal of smithsonite, from the most important locality for crystallized examples of this style. These came out of Tsumeb in a very few small pockets, through the late 1970s. Such pieces were always rare, and highly valued even locally. Crystals of this sharpness, and in such nice clusters, are uncommon today. This piece is complete alla round, and very 3-dimensional (more so in person), except only a small damaged knob at the bottom. It is, in person, slightly more brown-yellow than yellow-brown, as is typical for the finds. From an old German collection.
These old yellow smithsonites came out decades ago, and this is from the Consie and Dalton Prince collection. It is a lustrous, thick, rolling carpet of smithsonite over a bit of matrix. Quite nice for the size, it has a rare sparkly luster to it. Hard to find, today! Joe Budd Photos
Manganoan smithsonite is a very rare varietal where the red color is caused by manganese, not by cobalt as in pink smithsonite from other finds and locales. The best of this material came from one pocket or zone in the mid 1980s, from Tsumeb, and is recognizable to a discerning eye by the sharp rhombohedral form, distinct red color, and matrix association. These are MUCH MUCH more rare than a similarly sized cobaltian smithsonite, which would typically not have such sharp rhombohedra. Here, the dominant crystal is 1.5 cm. It is a robust, colorful, complete all around thumbnail. From an old German collection.Joe Budd Photos
Most Berg Aukas smithsonite is inferior to Tsumeb material, and one watches for the rare example that just leaps out, stands on its own, and presents so nicely as this piece. The crystals are large, well developed- and nearly pristine. The largest is 4 cm, tip to tip! They dominate a well trimmed matrix, and have a beautiful green daiquiri color to them. The crystals are translucent, and practically glow when backlit as the best Berg Aukas material does. This is from an old European collection where the owner purchased it from the father of the Gobin brothers (dealers), over 20 years ago; and is one of the better examples from this locality I have seen in this style. It is, for the price and size range, a much more important example from this locality than you could get in a comparably sized Tsumeb piece, given that for some reason the Berg Aukas locality is just disparaged in pricing compared to its more famous brother locale. And yet, Berg Aukas is almost as old, and had a history of producing amazing specimens too! It was discovered in 1913, and mined until 1978 (per MINDAT). Joe Budd photos
ex. Consie & Dalton Prince
A large, mammilary cluster of two "hills" of rounded smithsonite, showing a really unusual and nice , consistent yellow color atop more typical gray smithsonite from this locale. This is an old piece from the collection of deceased dealers Consie and Dalton Prince, of Houston. I have seen smaller examples, but none with such neat form and size in good condition. It is an older specimen, though we cannot say how old exactly. comes with custom base for display. Joe Budd photos
Cuprian Smithsonite in crystallized form occurs at its very best from Tsumeb. Rather, it once was found here, generally pre-1980s, and now they are very rare on the market. Although a variety of styles existed with variance in color and crystal habit, size and matrix, I personally have always found this style of sharp rhombohedral crystal very appealing. The beautiful green-blue coloration on these is more like some adamites than smithsonite generally is seen in. This well-balanced specimen has sharp crystals to 1.4 cm, arranged nicely throughout , on contrasting matrix. From an old collection that turned up in Munich, and was trimmed down to a good size from a "big clunker". Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Marshall Sussman
A stunning example of a very rare style of smithsonite, featuring intense copper-induced, neon green color combined with unusual disclike, fat crystals. This is a very unique style, and I have seen only a handful of specimens from this pocket over the years (5 pieces, total, of any quality). Three of those I saw came in a lot to Marshall Sussman at the time he was building his famous Tsumeb collections (now sold). This was the best small cabinet piece he got in the period (late 90s/early 2000s). It is absolutely pristine, perfect all around, and has great horizons. It displays on its side or upright. It is lustrous and bright, with some translucency. The color comes out well in the phtoos but the overall 3-dimensional impact of this piece, and of this style, just has to be seen in person. It is materially different from all other cuprian smithsonites in style, and these pieces just have a pizzazz to them hard to describe without holding in the hand. It is a superb Tsumeb mineral, and a world class smithsonite in my opinion. ex Marshall Sussman and Matt Tannenbaum collections. Joe Budd Photos.
A brilliantly colored, lustrous smithsonite from famous finds here brought out by Benny Fenn in the late 1990s. This was one I picked from a full table of such specimens the month after they came out of the ground. I loved it for its robust 3-dimensional shape and the intense coloration, an almost iridescent and saturated teal-blue color. In sad fact, I have had this all that time, lost in a flat since my move to Texas. Now, such pieces are very, very hard to come by and this specimen is quite good compared to any I have recently seen on the market. But then, even when they came out, I was fairly confident I got an early pick and this was one I really liked even in context of seeing a table full at once. Most had damage and edge issues, or disruptions to the uniformity of color. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Consie & Dalton Prince
This is a fancy hot pink color, seldom seen in large specimens from this mine in the modern finds (late 90s) and more characteristic of old material from the 1970s. This one in fact was such an older piece, trimmed down from a larger specimen with edge issues, found in the Consie Prince dealer stock datign to that time. It is a large specimen with a rolling carpet of the prettiest, most sparkly and lustrous, pink colored smithsonite from here that you can ask for. The display face is clean and pristine now, and it is complete except for some minimal edge contacts. Joe Budd Photos.
A brilliantly colored, lustrous smithsonite from famous finds here brought out by Benny Fenn in the late 1990s. This was one I picked from a full table of such specimens the month after they came out of the ground. I loved it for its robust 3-dimensional shape and the intense coloration, a saturated turquoise-blue color. In sad fact, I have had this all that time, lost in a flat since my move to Texas. Now, such pieces are very, very hard to come by and this specimen is quite good compared to any I have recently seen on the market. But then, even when they came out, I was fairly confident I got an early pick and this was one I really liked even in context of seeing a table full at once. Most had damage and edge issues, or disruptions to the uniformity of color. Joe Budd Photos.
A hot pink plate of sharp, rhombohedral smithsonite crystals. These crystals have a richer, more saturated pink color than one usually sees in this style of smithsonite from Tsumeb, which tends to be either darker or less colorful. This is a large and showy piece, as well. Probably collected in the 1970s to early 1980s, this was in the Tsumeb collection of noted dealer Rob Smith. Comes with custom lucite display base. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Dr. Steve Smale
An almost shimmering, olive-green smithsonite hue with beautiful form and sizable crystals makes this an important locality specimen but ALSO a fine smithsonite by any display standard (certainly good enough for the well-known ultrapersnickety taste of my friend Steve Smale, in fact). This deposit, quite distinct in geology from the nearby mine at Tsumeb, has produced many fine smithsonite specimens, but few with such color like this one. Forming a nice contrast against white willemite crystals, the larger smithsonite crystals, to 3.0 cm across, are a pleasing olive green with chatoyant luster and good translucence. Ex Steve Smale collection to me in trade, January of 2008. I would rank this among the top Berg Auksas smithsonites around....for my tastes of beauty and aesthetics in one. More than that, though,its good for ANY locality.
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