A very 3-diemnsional specimen, MUCH BETTER IN PERSON, with sharp sprays of the rare sulfide semseyite perched off of glistening black sphalerites. The semseyite reaches 1 cm in size individually, though the sprays are larger overall of course. You can see two major sprays of the mineral in the protected crevasse at the center of the specimen between the stalactitic growths of sphalerite, and one is shown in closeup. Superb, especially for the relatively bargain price for this rarity
From a small find that was brought out at Munich, these are specimens I bought there a tthe show in 2006 but only got ahold of in a shipment back to me at Tucson. These are VERY unusual crystals in that they are hollow casts after calcite, and the coating is a true mixture of sphalerite and siderite (almost an amalgam?!). They have been extensively analysed in South Africa, to come up with this conclusion. So far as I am awware, this is a first. I selected just a few specimens on the run at Munich with regards to getting pieces with superior 3-dimensional form, a good surface shimmer (almost metallic!), and no damage. I think these pieces were, from what I saw, among the best for quality that could be had. This one is a complete crystal, all around, very 3-dimensional (more so in person!)
From a small find that was brought out at Munich, these are specimens I bought there a tthe show in 2006 but only got ahold of in a shipment back to me at Tucson. These are VERY unusual crystals in that they are hollow casts after calcite, and the coating is a true mixture of sphalerite and siderite (almost an amalgam?!). They have been extensively analysed in South Africa, to come up with this conclusion. So far as I am awware, this is a first. I selected just a few specimens on the run at Munich with regards to getting pieces with superior 3-dimensional form, a good surface shimmer (almost metallic!), and no damage. I think these pieces were, from what I saw, among the best for quality that could be had. This specimen is one of the bettre clusters I saw, for the size, and has a wonderful surface sheen and shimmer to it, much more evident and almost golden, in person!
ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran
This is an oldtimer, showing classic twinned sphalerites with a dark but translucent yellow-brown color. The intersecting sphalerite twins are perched on quartz, and accented with sharp and brassy golden chalcopyrite crystals. A fine display quality specimen from this very old mining district, long in the Gene Meieran sulfide collection (his label dates it back more than 30 years).
ex. American Museum of Natural History
An oldtime Japanese specimen from the collection of the American Museum. The piece has brilliantly lustrous sphalerites of several crystal forms, perched on contrasting white quartz matrix. Some crystals are translucent. It was labeled "Echigo" which is an old name for Niigata Prefecture, today. This probably came out at the same time as some well-known sphalerites from the Burrage collection, also labelled "Echigo " or "Yechigo" on the contemporary labels from that period (and shown on MINDAT now). No telling which mine for sure, but the region seems to have produced good sulfides in the 1800s. This specimen was formerly in the AMNH collection and , most recently, in the Conklin collection.. Joe Budd photos
From famous finds here in the early 2000s, this is a brilliantly lustrous and sparkly specimen with sphalerite perched on translucent, stumpy quartz crystals. The color is very unique and interesting - glowing red-orange sphalerite with yellow highlights. Totally unique find and appearance! This specimen looks good from several angles and is one of the finer pieces I have seen turn up again recently. Joe Budd Photos
ex. Harold Urish
Perched on a siliceous matrix with splendent, orange-black sphalerite crystals, to .75 cm across, is a large crystal of gemmy, lavender fluorite. Associated in the lower-right is a matte, battleship-gray, crystal of galena, 1.5 cm across. This slightly distorted cube measures 4.5 cm in length and exhibits edge color zoning. Superb! The Deardorf Mine was one of the first really choice localities for matrix fluorite crystals for collectors, and closed prior to 1960, long before the larger and more famous mines in the district opened up. It had, therefore, much smaller production as well. Specimens are noted for their association with quartz, characteristic of this mine but really almost unheard of for the other mines in Hardin County. You can clearly see the quartz association here, and the sphalerite in fact covers a solid plate of quartz. There is no doubt of its pedigree, thus! With the rich combination of sphalerite, the piece at first look smore like an Elmwood (tennessee) specimen than an Illinois piece, but this is not the case. The galena is also not Elmwood-style. It stands on its own merit as a good matrix fluorite specimen, in any case. With the fluorite mines of southern Illinois now permanently closed, specimens of this quality are not only becoming rare they are also escalating in price. Comes with custom lucite base for display.
ex. Harold Urish
A stunning large piece with unusually good aesthetics and high quality - rare in large specimens from this mine. A thin ridge of limestone is the matrix for a large cluster of splendent, dark brown sphalerite crystals with definite orange-red highlights. The largest crystals reach 3 cm in length and exhibit a spearlike form,quite dramatic and sharp. This is a very important specimen for this locality, because of its size and number of sphalerite crystals. Displays beautifully on a custom lucite base.
Elmwood is now closed, apparently for good, and the lucky flood of calcites from the mine will be remembered forever. However, even in its heyday, specimens such as this were never common. This is a perfectly situated gem calcite with the most intense amber color possible for the locality, perched upon crystallized sphalerite matrix (a much nicer contrast than the usual perch upon gray limestone!!). It is good from EITHER SIDE, and frankly I cannot decide which side I like better. The crystal is literally perched atop the shard of sphalerite-coated matrix, and measures 11.6 x 6 x 5 cm in size. The intensely amber crystals tend not to get so gemmy, and so this is a very rare specimen in that regard...you can actually look through all but the very center of the crystal, and see through to the other side or to the underlaying matrix. Most large Elmwood calcites have some damage, and on this it is extremely trivial: a few very minor bits of edge wear and a slightest of ding on each tip. The secondary, smaller calcite below the major one has a cleaved termination, but this is only an accent crystal anyways. On one side, the specimen presents the largest calcite faces front and center, showing a very equant twinned scalenohedron, perched on the sphalerite. But on this side teh sphalerite is very unusual, occurring as flattened crystals overlaying the limestone in a thin, sparkling coating. On the other side of the specimen, the calcite presents more elegantly, showing more of the sharp corners and edges than the broad lateral faces , and the sphalerite is mroe robustly crystallized as is typical for the mine. The choice of front and back is solely a personal aesthetics choice - either is equally winning. Personally, I prefer the more unusual side, showing the sparklng sphalerite as host for the calcite with its more gemmy aspect showing front and center.
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