ex. Richard Heck
Amethyst is VERY rare from Naica and large crystals literally almost unheard of - which makes this specimen a killer for the locale. Lustrous and translucent, light purple-colored amethyst crystals to 12.5 cm in length, form a floater bow-tie cluster! They have small bits of attached sphalerite in back, as the only contact. Although not gemmy, nor glassy like Guerrero or VeraCruz amethysts, this is a significant specimen in the size, habit, and locality representation departments. It is also very aesthetic, on its own merits.
ex. Richard Heck
This is an outstanding specimen of arsenopyrite and sphalerite on matrix with sharp, textbook crystals of each species. Well formed crystals of very lustrous arsenopyrite to 3.8 cm across sit mixed with splendent, black crystals of sphalerite to 3 cm. They almost totally cover a plate of matrix , and the piece is well trimmed and looks good from several angles. It look slike you took Chinese-quality arsenopyrite and glued them to Dalnegorsk-quality sphalerite. You normally do not see such superb examples of both species, together, and this is a top quality Mexican specimen for these reasons.
ex. Richard Heck
This is a solid mass of intergrown, splendent, black crystals of sphalerite, to 2 cm across. Like a sphalerite turtle!
ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran
A very lustrous, yellowish-metallic crystal of arsenopyrite, measuring 4 cm across, is accompanied by smaller crystals of the same species along with a few large black crystals of sphalerite, to 6 cm across. A druse of grayish calcite crystals is present, mostly on the back side of the specimen. Overall an interesting combination piece that I am todl is a very odd association and style for the mine. The arsenopyrite alone, without the associations, would be easily thought to be from Panasquiera by most people. It is more robust than most Mexican arsenopyrites, and does not have the usual "sharp" chisel-like termination. Although not in the Heck collection of Mexican minerals, this piece fit well with the update and is included. It was long in the collection of noted collector and dealer Gary Hansen. He sold it at some point to collector Gene Meieran, who today is known for his big gem crystals but used to have a very large and diverse suite of sulfide species. When his sulfides collection sold to me in about 2005, the piece went next to Mexico & Arizona-collecting specialist David Stoudt, from whom I obtained it back by exchange recently.
ex. David Stoudt
A superb small cabinet piece from the 2006 finds here, one which I sold at the time. The specimen is notable for its display qualities, and the rich contrasting association to the jet black sphalerite. Three crystals of lustrous and gemmy , nearly colorless fluorite to 3 cm across, are aesthetically perched high on a matrix of intergrown clusters of lustrous, metallic sphalerite (along with minor galena and chalcopyrite). The sphalerite is complexly crystallized form smaller crystals, and so throws off a lot of reflections in person, complementing the transparent fluorites above - through which the light just flies on through. The largest fluorite crystal exhibits a green color center although their "bodies" are colorless. Although not in the Heck collection of Mexican minerals as are most others in this update, this piece is from the Stoudt collection which I also recently acquired, and so fit well within the larger update. Out of hundreds and hundreds of pieces I handled (i bought entire lots direct at the mine, in this time), this was one of my favorites of the lot and i recommended it to one of my closest friends and collectors at the time, because of that reason. I stand by it today...such a quality has not been found since, and for my personal taste this remains one of the very finest of the find in its size range.
ex. Richard Heck
Four species on one specimen , with style! Here we have elongated crystals, to 2.8 cm in length, of finely crystallized, splendent, brassy yellow pyrite which have pseudomorphed (replaced) elongated pyrrhotite crystals. though the form is unusual, both the form for pyrrhotite and this replacement is well documented at this locale, and considered an old classic find. These are perched, along with lustrous black crystals of sphalerite to 3 cm across, on milky, translucent quartz crystals to 4 cm in length. All are of high quality and stick out in different directions like they were stuck into a pincushion, making this a very 3-dimensional specimen.
After the closing of the Elmwood Mine a few years back, the supply of good specimens quite predictably dried up quickly on the market. Here is an exquisite example of the purple fluorites the mine is famous for, on a matrix of sphalerite (the zinc ore that was the reason for the Elmwood in the first place). There are a dozen little jewel-like crystals here, to 0.7 cm.
ex. Rob Lavinsky
A fine twinned Elmwood calcite that has been in my own calcite collection since the mid 1990's, this is one I always loved for size and balance. The crystal is 7.5 x 5 x 2.1 cm in size and is just perched there atop the knoll of sphalerite like a frisbee balanced on a rock. It is freestanding and complete all around, which I loved for display, on this natural pedestal. The sphalerite has a slight hint of red and is well crystallized on the front, contacted in back (and with one slight bruise I should mention - but its not visually detracting. you have to look to see it). In person , it is quite gemmier than it appears, and has that nice rich amber-beer color that makes the contrast with the sphalerite all the more strong. You can see through to the sphalerite underneath, in fact. Despite the freestanding nature of the exposed crystal, the piece was collected very carefully and has only very trivial edge wear, minor on the tips and really not significant by any normal standard. I have owned it for something like 15 years now. Joe Budd photos
ex. Richard Heck
A complex crystal cluster of fluorite consisting of gemmy, pastel-green, highly modified cubes, sits atop a perch of sphalerite in this elegant and really special combination piece. The quality is amazing - you just have to see it in person to grasp all the complexity, and catch the full gemminess. One special bonus are the tiny, brilliantly metallic, sprinkles of pyrite floating about inside. It is 360-degrees, complete all around! One of the special fluorites among many in this fine old Mexican mineral collection. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Richard Heck
A very large, pastel green fluorite crystal sits perched on a nest of small , lustrous sphalerites here. Large octos from Naica are much more rare than the cubic forms, and seldom seen in this quality. The crystal measures 3 inches on a line. Actually, is frontal face terminates not in an octohedral point, but in a modified cubic termination (as coming out of the screen). One of the highlights of this fine old Mexican mineral collection. Joe Budd photos.
A cluster of intergrown crystals of purple fluorite from Illinois, with little gemmy sphalerites around the edges. The fluorites measure to 2.6 cm along the edges. They are quite transparent. Just a couple of micro-dings, very hard to see.
A beautifully balanced combo specimen from Peru, combining sharp, brassy chalcopyrite with stacked cubes of silvery galena and dark, lustrous sphalerite. You can see a galena cube buried right in the middle of the chalco! Stark contrast of form and color makes this a chice miniature standing out amidst the crowd from these mines.
ex. Charlie Key
A really neat locality piece with an approximately 8mm amber-colored, gorgeous sphaerlite crystal completely enclosed within the tip of this undamaged quartz point!
Charlie told me to ask $500 as a sphalerite but i don't have the heart. That little arrow points to a 1mm pleiophane sphalerite. It IS very rare for the fields, and her eyou ahve one validated by the master! But, I priced it as a rhodo anyhow.
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.
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