A remarkable Alpine fluorite from the single greatest pocket of modern times, which was worked by French field collector Frederic Eva from 2006, for a few years. Many crystals from this pocket had mattte faces or more pink color, with less saturation. This piece is lustrous on all major octohedral faces. This piece practically GLOWS with intense pink-red color, very saturated throughout and with no pale zones. IT IS MUCH BETTER IN PERSON, DESPITE ACCURATE PHOTOS, AS THE CAMERA CANNOT SEE HTE INTENSITY AND DEPTH OF THE EYE. THIS IS NOT JUST "ANOTHER" PINK FLUORITE, BUT A STEP BEYOND MOST. The crystals are complete all around 360 degrees, and have absolutely no damage whatsoever. They are fat, robust, and just plain "juicy," for lack of a better word. The combination of those qualities with an overall aesthetic display, is rare. The piece has a small amount o fmatrix granite still attached at the bottom, as well. Taken together, this is a rarified level of quality, and I was shocked to have been able to buy it dirty all these years after it had been mined and set aside in a French collection, still with pocket material on it that needed to be cleaned off in preparation. Joe Budd Photos.
The holy grail of pyromorphite collectors is a truly great Les Farges pyro of this classic, waxy-wet , dark evergreen color. They are "magically delicious" to collectors, and almost never seen on public sale, for that reason. These came out a long time ago and are now almost impossible to find on the market. This is the top and most desirable style for the material. I have seen a number of them over the years in major old collections, but only a handful have ever come up for sale. This specimen is a superb large miniature with outstanding aesthetics. It is almost pristine, with just a few trivial breaks amidst over a hundred fine crystals. Few are so 3-dimensional. This is complete all around and looks good from all sides! It is a superlative old classic and would be nearly impossible to replace, if you wanted a fine miniature example of this famous find. I have seen much lesser pieces at $10,000 already; and have seen at least one fairly comparable piece sell recently for slightly more than this amount. This is a top level miniature and fit for any collection of classics with beauty and aesthetics as a conjoined target. Joe Budd Photos. From a prominent European Collection.
Scolecite, in the form of very bright, glistening crystals shooting out in all directions, is perched atop contrasting salmon-pink stilbite. A SUPERB large combination specimen, with killer aesthetics, and in pristine condition. Although not �expensive� in a relative sense to other top minerals (partly because of a supposed �fragility discount� in that dealers do not wish to travel with it extensively), the piece is nevertheless among top of its species and can hold its own with far fancier mineral specimens - though you get more for your money buying the top of something "common" like this , than you might amongst tourmaline and gold and aquamarines. A pocket such as this came from has not been seen since the early 1980s, and such top grade examples of this species are NOT common at all. As well, they happen to be among the most dramatic specimens in terms of sheer whiz-bang value when shown off in a case, as I can imagine. Indian minerals, because of their sheer quantity of production for the last 20 years, are downgraded in price at the moment under the illusion that great Indian mineral specimens are common. This is not the case, and never has been. Someday, when the flood is over, people will look back on this find, and this specimen, as a modern classic that was simply not valued highly enough it its day due to market confusion amidst a quantity of lesser material. Comparables: There are few examples of this species at this level of condition or quality, and in size. The most famous such examples are a piece in the Houston Museum, and the Gibbs' specimen on display in the Dallas Petroleum Club. Both are from the same famous find of the early 1980s and of slightly different style, and not on such nice pink matrix as the robust stilbites we have here. In the time since then, only a few specimens have merited comparison. This piece was found in 2009, and an example from the same pocket is featured on the cover of Mineralogical Record for the following year (March-April 2010). Joe Budd Photos. NOTE - obviously, this specimen has to be hand delivered and cannot be shipped.
To those who know this specimen, little more need be said. It is an almost mythical piece to people in the San Diego community. This specimen is the so-called "6-pack" which was collected in 1984 in the Tourmaline Queen Mine. Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Al Ordway
The Cryo Genie produced only a few magnificent pockets in its short and erratic lifetime as a specimen mine in the 1990s, but this was always one of the more celebrated pieces, for sheer impact and color. It went into the noted collection of the late Al Ordway, who specialized in unusual California localities. This piece is huge and dramatic, and has NEON PINK color, not anything normal in a shade of pink or red hue for San Diego or any other mine. this is quite literally the hottest pink tourmaline I have seen in this size, from San Diego. Aside from its specimen value, it is worth a fortune for carving value to the people who make carved buddhas and dolphins out of tourmaline...what a tragedy that would be, though! It is a real honor to have another great Cryo-Genie specimen of this magnitude to offer on the site. Very, very few tourmalines of this size and importance came out of the mine. This weighs several pounds, by the way; and I feel that it would be carved and sold already if it was from a more famous locale than this remote little mine in San Diego. Joe Budd Photos.
This specimen features unusually sharp sulfur crystals showing double-ended terminations and, unusually for sulfur, high luster rather than the usual matte finish on the surface. The crystals are very bright, as sharp and as glassy as you can ask for in the species. The piece is, despite its size, nearly pristine and has no repairs. The crystals are aesthetically perched on matrix. All of these qualities are rare enough in a smaller example, and almost impossible to get in a large specimen of this magnitude. This is a world class sulfur, that is at the top of its game and should be considered of the same caliber as top gem crystals of �fancier� species. Interestingly, as a side note, the crystals grew on matrix that was exposed to flows of bitumen and oil, which became included in both the calcite matrix and in the sulfur crystals themselves, during growth. This is an unusual feature unique to this location, and proof of a natural (and not synthetically made) Italian pedigree. This location is the classic old locality for crystallized sulfur. As stated in the superb reference work on old classic locales, Peter Bancroft�s GEM & CRYSTAL TREASURES (chapter 75): No other locality produces pristine sulfur crystals as large, as brilliant, and as well formed as Sicily. Few specimens seem to have been preserved until the 1800s, for museums and science. Most was crushed for gunpowder, and working conditions were quite literally horrendous in the past, not suited to relaxed specimen collecting until modern times. This specimen was from the collection of a mine engineer, who lived and worked in Sicily and was said to have self-collected these specimens in the 1950s and 1960s. This collection was recently sold in Europe, and I was able to get the first viewing of the material when it arrived by pallet shipment to the United States ahead of the Tucson 2012 show. To my taste, this was the single finest specimen in the lot for overall quality and display (although there were bigger pieces, they were flat plates and not as visually appealing). 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.
This is a superb heliodor with outstanding color , luster, and sharp terminations. Although many have come from this old topaz mine, this piece would rank highly. It masses 290 grams, much of which is cuttable for gem rough - and it can be treated into aquamarine by the gem cutters to further enhance its intrinsic value. Aside from the obvious beauty of this intensely colored, sparkly, gem crystal, there are more subtle attributes. Few of the heliodors from this mine are produced with such elegant form, just the right amount of etching to the surface to give character but not too much to detract, and with such intense gemminess and transparency. The extremely sharp, tapered nature of the termination here gives the piece an extra few points for rarity, amongst its crowd of fellow heliodors. Most terminations on these are rather rounded, or lumpy. This is so sharp you can cut yourself on it (literally!). Large heliodors of this quality have proven extremely rare on the market in the last few years, and are hard to replace (this is one of only two examples of high calibre I have been able to buy in the last 2 years). Joe Budd Photos.
ex. Lawrence Conklin
Here you have a dramatic, large, 3-dimensional specimen from a very rare and old find. It looks good from ANY angle and to be honest, I cannot decide which "front" i like better. It is good horizontal, sitting flat; or standing up vertical. The balls of crystals are also VERY large for the material, reminding me well of the famous Pellman specimen from this pocket. The gossan matrix is completely smothered by sparkling balls of botryoidal mimetite. The color is almost a saturated yellow, nearly the best you can get for the locality and considered more desirable than orange-yellow hues. It is brilliantly sparkling in light, and colorful and complete all around 360 degrees. As a bonus, there are little sparkly calcites perched here and there atop the mimetite balls - a very rare association for the pocket and one I have seen only a very few times before. ALL such mimetites as this were collected in a single large find in end of 1968 and start of 1969 by Benny Fenn (right before the Tucson show of that year!), from a one-time pocket at a small prospect. It was literally a small prospect, not even a developing mine, and it never panned out or produced more specimens again. Despite attempts to find another mimetite pocket, no more ever came out. These remain unique in the world for their overall aspect; and large, colorful pieces like this are treasured by those who have them. No other locality has produced mimetite of such aspect to this day. Even at the time, this would have been considered exceptional for its size and all-around aesthetics. Again, from my perspective, the color grade on this is particularly high, making it a choice specimen even among those of us who have seen many over the years. As a bonus, this piece has the history all the way back to when it came out, going through three collections - in reverse order being: Larry Conklin, the late John Marshall, and Karl Vossbrink. Offered now for the first time in over a decade. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Matthew Webb
This piece is a rare crystallized gold from the old Victorian goldfields. It shows a large, robust, 3-dimensional crystal atop a nugget base. Such pieces are rarely found, and always went for a premium even before the spike in gold prices simply based upon weight. This specimen stands out from a crowd of pancake-like and rolled nuggets from the region and really presents dramatically when stood up on a custom base. Crystals of this size are rare for gold of ANY locality, but all the more scarce here where so much of the gold was eroded and stream-worn before settling into this deposit tens of millions of years ago. It is, overall, a very unique specimen from the Victoria goldfields, and from the noted collection of Matthew Webb of Melbourne. 200 grams
A stunning specimen for many reasons, not the least of which is that it LOOKS Chinese, this happens to be considered by many the finest fluorite mined in modern digging at the Sweet Home Mine. I have never seen large crystals like this from the mine, save this one famous piece, long held in the mining company's collection (until sold from that vault, a few years ago to a private collector). Found in 2002, this unrepaired , pristine specimen features teal blue crystals to 2 inches across, perched on sparkling, perfect and pristine, quartz matrix with minor sulfides. It is striking, and truly different in form from other classic Sweet Home fluorite styles. Again, it looks at first glance like a chinese specimen! This cabinet sized specimen is , surely, one of the more significant fluorites found in recent years in the USA. I was honored to get ahold of it, so long after I had seen it exhibited at the Denver show many years ago. Joe Budd photos
ex. Bruce Oreck
This important specimen features the best spinel twinned fluorite I have yet seen from Pakistan, over many years. It is not green as they typically are, but PINK! And not pale pink, but a rich pink. The fluorite crystal, fully 10 cm across, has great lustre, with the bonus of sparkly highlights on the subtle, intricately modified upper edges of the twin combined with total transparency looking through the twin. There is no damage, and even the muscovite matrix is in excellent condition - perfect condition, in fact. The matrix is aesthetic on its own merits, and the contrasts of form and color really enhance the fluorite display. Moreover, the piece is a floater, complete all around (both the fluorite AND the muscovite) !. Joe Budd photos.
From the mid-1980s finds here, this is a multicolored specimen with excellent coloration and aesthetic form, in pristine condition. Specimens of this size, to 4 inches, are rare in high quality and without a repair. The luster is as important as color saturation - some specimens have it, and some do not. But what really makes this piece even more special is the contrast of two colors, in that it shows yellow upon orange (arsenian-rich) pyromorphite in such a nice way (see the photo taken from the top looking down into the piece, showing how the thick layering pairs the doubly-terminated yellow crystals perched upon the earlier generation of orange crystals. This is an important American classic, in exceptional size and quality. Considering what even small cabs and miniatures go for today (i have seen small pieces up to six figures!), this one will seem reasonably priced in the low six figure range. Most people still consider these to be among the world's finest examples of the species, and certainly of the yellow and orange varieties. Joe Budd photos.
This is a very showy, large plate of wulfenites from this classic locale which stands out in several regards: The crystals (to 1.5 cm edge or 2 cm across) are super sharp and unusually well-isolated on the matrix; they show the best-quality "sandwich style" of coloration which is really hard to find in such specimens; the condition is just impeccable whereas normally such large plates are pretty bunged up; the lusre is a rich and waxy style, not dimmed by overcleaning or acid; the matrix is unusually well-covered and evenly colored; the matrix is sparkly whereas most is dull or matte; and last but not least, the piece is 3-dimensional with humps and waves, instead of the usual flat plate. This is simply an exceptional piece for the size and condition. Formerly in the Stuart Wilensky collection into the 1990s. Recently sold out of a major, private east coast collection where it has been for many years. Joe Budd photos.
This is a large, impressive specimen of Morganite (pink beryl) from THE classic old find in Brazil, dated to 1965. The story of this find is related on page 200 of the book Gem & Crystal Treasures. Few specimens recovered had complete crystals on matrix, and of such transparency. Few have complete hexagonal form not overgrown by ugly matrix. Few are this size and condition. Few are in an aesthetic quality for the advanced collector. This crystal shows sharp hexagonal form, excellent color, bright luster, and transparency. And, it stands straight up from contrasting black matrix of tourmaline that accentuates the pink color and sharp form. These are highly sought after, and to obtain a freestanding single of this size on matrix should be considered a rare chance. Joe Budd photos.
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