This is a briliantly lustrous, sparkling blue specimen that is large and unrepaired. The major crystal is 4 inches tall, and 2 inches across the termination! ALL crystals here are GLASSY, with the best lustre I have seen, almost glassy and polished in appearance. Even the terminations share the incredible lustre and clarity. Within the larger crystal is a large moving water bubble, easily seen; and a few smaller ones as well. The whole piece is a pocket floater! It broke away from the pocket wall and the backside was microcrystallized, so it is complete even on the bottom in a technical sense. More importantly, it look sgood all around, 360 degrees. I have not seen any aquas quite like this one, with the combination of lustre, color, and interesting inclusions (that serve to disperse light and enhance the color and sparkle inside). I will also add that large aqua plates like this, with no repairs, are VERY uncommon. The "Roof of the World" was not as productive this past summer season...pickings were slim at the Denver Show and this one, which I bought from a normal supplier en route to the show, was one of the very few pieces of any significance I saw there. I was lucky to get it as well, as this person holds a US citizenship and other Pakistani and Afghani dealers seem to have not been able to clear the visa hurdles to get their specimens here, this year.
ex. Dr. Edward David
WEIGHT= 650 grams This is one of only a dozen or so great pieces to be preserved from this most famous Aqua find of modern era! All went into major collections, and this is one of the few of those that may ever be available again. And, you know i normally dont get excited about big single gem xls. this thing GLOWS and has the juiciest deepest richest blue color chacteristic from the famous Medina pocket of 1997. Most folks consider this the most important find of gem quality aquamarine in a single pocket, since the 1940s find of the style of the "Pioneer Aqua" there. This piece doesn't COST six figures, but it is borderline: by which I mean that I could easily see a few other dealers putting a 100k tag on it, and not bat an eye. I just do not happen to NEED that price, in the amortization as I priced this collection. It is the kind of piece that, looking down the road, I can easily see as an investment in that it will be six-figs quite reasonably before too many years, when another collector enters the market and wants one of these baseball-bat-styled gem crystals for a major collection. In fact, I have seen a similarly-sized piece in the mid-six figure range this year from one other source - a slightly fatter, but shorter specimen from the same group of the original find. There just isn't anywhere else to go to get one, and they are "crown jewels" of any highest-tier gem collection, so the price and value can only go up with time. I would not say this for any big aqua, but the Medinas have a special internal vibrance and color to them and are recognized universally as being a quality and rarity above the normal big aqua single. Despite the size, one wonders if there are compromises being made to obtain such a large Medina aqua here: the answer is NO. The quality is every bit as good as what you can ever hope to get from the find; they remain uniquely recognizable in the beryl world as being from a unique and special pocket; the history and pedigree are good; and the piece is just plain impactful. The strength (and the problem) with the material from this find is that it is all gemmy and thus intrinsic gem rough value is very high: so the good part is that makes them beautiful. The flip side is that this makes them "cutters" of obvious and easily realized value to the miners. Most specimens WERE cut at the time of discovery, in fact.. Thus, Wayne Thompson, when he bought the specimens from the pocket in Brazil , had to pay gem rough prices for them by carat weight (5 carats per gram). What Wayne bought is what was saved from destruction and use in the gem trade. They cut big, beautiful stones. Few survived for our market, and a certain percentage of those have even been cut since for the large rough in them. This one was one of two pieces sold to Ed David the year they came out. I just cannot say in words how much this gemmy monster DOMINATES a showcase with color and intensity. Especially when lit from above, it glows like a fiber-optic cable. The price, by the way, translates into the low $20's per carat, and for this quality of cutting or carving rough , this is not a bad intrinsic valuation at all. I nfact, it is a very high percentage of the specimen value compared to most gem crystals in cutting vs. specimen valuations. Comes with custom engraved lucite base, for easy display.
ex. Dr. Edward David
ex. Russell Behnke
A gorgeous small cab specimen featuring the very rare and desirable association of intense gemmy green emeralds on the black calcite, which enhances the green hue of the emeralds visually! The emeralds measure about 1.5 cm each and have not only top color (as with the above specimen) but a glassy lustre that is off the charts, literally the glaassiest surfaces I have seen on an emerald. They are solidly anchored in the calcite, and fully terminated. Pieces of this calibre are uncommon to say the least, and you often have to worry about fakes (though not in this case, as you can see how the calcites overgrew and anchor in the emeralds). Ed had very few gem crystals, and favored beryls - this was one of just 3 emeralds in the colletion, and was purchased by him in 1997. To this day, so far as i know, few black-calcite-matrix pieces have come out since then.
ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran
A remarkable single crystal with much more elegance, due to its splaying form, than you would normally expect of a single large tourmaline. It is complete and nearly perfect all around, 3-Dimensional, and without repair. Note how the top of the piece elegantly splays out from the narrower base, making this less "lumpy" than many large tourmalines from the locale (and not many come out in this size, undamaged, to being with). It is extraordinarily translucent given the size, and practically GLOWS when backlit at all, a wonderful bubblegum pink color. These photos are not taken with anything but ordinary lighting. In person, or backlit in a case, it has a rich bubblegum pink hue that emanates from within. Inside, you can see from the top a "phantom" core of darker tourmaline within, which is an interesting bonus. Rare in such size and quality, at this price due to the fact I got it at a good deal in trade...A very good deal overall, on a giant rubellite, I would say. It weighs in at 1 kilo.
ex. Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
An astonishingly good copper by ANY standard, this is also one of unique historical import: according to several people whom I consulted it should be one of the finest surviving early copper country coppers that is well-documented. it is certainly the best known from this old mine. It is a beautiful specimen with a natural old patina, and sharp crystals of several habits accented by calcite. The documentation is ironclad, between the Mine Company presentation label, the old Academy display label, and the labels glued to the specimen. In my mind, this was one of the 5 most important US Classics in the entire Academy collection, especially considering especially how important Michigan's copper country was at the time and the value that economic import lent to preserving specimens of the era. NOTE: NOW BEING DONATED BY BEQUEST TO TEH SEAMAN MUSEUM IN MICHIGAN, WHERE IT REALLY BELONGS, THANKS TO A VERY GENEROUS DONOR!
An incredibly elegant piece with sharp crystallography, with real crystals and not the "crystalline" style found most often in California. This is a dramatic, arborescent-looking specimen that just has so much character for the size, it stands out even among larger and pricier golds.
For the size and overall visual impact, this is a stunning and unusually large rhodo plate with SHARP, and I mean SHARP, GEMMY crystals to 2 cm in size. Most of them average 1 cm. Sprinkled amonst the red, are sharp black clusters of metallic tetrahedrite which make for a really nice contrast. The overall shape of the piece is very sculptural with a slight curvature to it, not "cookiecutter" or blocky as so many large specimens are trimmed out from the plates they are sawed out on. The piece has the TOP CHERRY COLOR. This is not off-color, not strawberry in hue as so many you see on the market today are. This is a piece that has the color and lustre combination (important!) that, even "way back when" only a few years ago when the mine was still open, even in context of the many finds after 2001 or so before it closed, you couldnt get. Most people then and now settle for pieces with lesser color saturation, less lustre, and more damage...its all that is out there. I sold this one back in the late 90s and was happy to get it back recently! You just cannot find large cabinet rhodos of quality around. And this is one I am happy to have owned again and again, and would do so a third time. They appreciate at such a fast clip every year, 20% or so it seems, that I cannot replace my supply except by buying entire collections with specimens in them. So, I rarely sell mine. Or, as with this one, I'll give it a few months on the web and then pull it down and stash it for the future. Just cashflow...this is one rock I am happy to keep as rhodo today is "red gold" in the bank better than the cash is. Comes with custom lucite base for easy display. Recently, I had the chance to trade this older specimen back from a collector and i STILL find it unique, now, 3 years after I first had it.
This unusually large tanzanite is not just large, but is an elegant cluster as well. It is simply incredible for display impact. The cluster is heated of course, to get this uniform color (though probably not fully treated to saturation, and so it is hard to tell for sure just by looking). Out of the whole cluster, there is only one contact repair in the middle (seamless). Think, how many tanzanites have you seen this size, and in a cluster? The least important and rightmost crystal is contacted otherwise all terminated around. The front is pristine. The lustre is SUPER GLASSY and combined with the color and size, this is why I say it has such impact that it almost glows at you from across the room. I am sure there are a few more larger ones out there, but I do not know where. This is a MAJOR piece of museum calibre, and then some. Comes with custom lucite base for easy display.
ex. Eric Asselborn
This remarkable specimen features one of the largest single dioptase crystals I have ever seen or heard of, smack in the middle (3.2 cm or 1.33 inches). It has intense color, the top deep green hue you would want: riveting in the intensity. Completely free of damage, this is a MAJOR Tsumeb dioptase the liks of which was not common even in the day when they were coming out. It has been in Eric's collection for 20 years. Dioptases from Tsumeb, along with Rhodos from Sweet Home Mine, just go up in value every year; as they stand among the "sexiest" of mineral specimens and their source is now defunct. I have seen many dioptase speicmens priced in teh 20-50 and even higher price ranges in recent years. Every year sees higher prices. However, that being said, I have NOT seen a piece comparable in terms of crystal size and impact - some are larger specimens or show isolated crystals more dramatically, but for overall significance I think this one is a real value for what you get for the money.
WOW. This incredible dramatic specimen, about 13 inches across, is just amazing to me in that it survived the aeons. I think the aesthetics speak for itself. The small inclusions you see are casued by microlite, taken into the crystals during growth. The piece has one repair about the midpoint, and I actually purchased it in two portions - and we only then found they went together in somewhat of a minor miracle! The two portions had come apart in geologic time, and were separated in the pocket when it was found, not realized to connect. There is a small discontinuity to the smoothness at the join because, over time, aquamarine recrystallized minutely over the break and so each half has a few millimeters of extra growth added after the break. When they were rejoined, we left this slight dip at the join as illustrative of the natural processes which form such impressive large pegmatite specimens, rather than grind down the secondary growth to make a perfectly smooth fit. Elsewhere, the pieces fit together semalessly, and you would not even know it was repaired if I did not tell you. It is a LARGE and very striking piece, geometrically, and I think one of the more impressive beryls to come out of here, for sheer visual appeal.
Crystals to 3.5 cm. Only trivial damage, and incredible visual display, from one of the best several pockets of the late 1970s...I think anybody who owns copies of The Manganese Adventure or the Sacco Collection book can simply look in them and see where this piece ranks compared to even the BEST known and illustrated specimens therein. For those who do not, I will just say this is the Holy Grail of collecting NChwaning rhodos - a cabinet piece without tons of damage, with the large crystals, and the glowing GEMMY large scalenohedra. Few exist to be had by those who were not there with big money and luck both, when they were mined some 27-28 years ago. This is the largest and best I have ever had for sale, and one of a very few in this size range I have seen even with others for sale. There is, as with most of these, contacting around the edges; but the piece is so well-trimmed and formed that the contacted periphery displays down and out of sight, and the glorious flashing crystals show to their best. This piece is almost 30 years out of the ground. In that time, NOTHING has been found to rival these save a few more pockets through 1981. Because of its beauty and rarity, a cabinet NChwaning is, therefore, one of the best investments possible in minerals to my mind (along with Sweet Home pieces). Comes with custom engraved lucite base, for easy display.
A superb and colorful specimen with unusually good aesthetics for this material - most from the find are rather more jumbly and as they grew in thick aggregates along the pocket wall many have peripheral contact damage that detracts. This one, with its roseate form, has great 3-dimensionality that enhances the color and the sharp bladed form of the crystals. This is from the a small pocket hit in 1991, which to this day remains the standard for quality from the locality despite subsequent finds in the late 1990s of much smaller, less robust, less well crystallized, and less colorful crystals. Many people consider these, along with the Australian rhodonites of gem quality and different form, to be the best in the world for the species. These great rhodonites came out ONCE in all the time mining has gone on for specimens in Peru, as a second find around 1998 paled in consequence. Few will be on the market now, as they can only come as collections are recycled. It is truly one of the most collectible and colorful of Peruvian minerals as mentioned in a recent column of CONNOSSIEUR'S CHOICE where this particular specimen was illustrated as well; but more than that is just a damned impressive rhodonite from ANY locale.
ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran
WEIGHT= 223 grams A simply superb, 100% GEMMY and TRANSPARENT, complete floater crystal from famous finds here at the Jacqueto mine, that have trickled out over time. Comes with custom engraved lucite base, for easy display.
This is , I think, the definition of the word "elegant" in minerals...The piece has surreal aesthetics you just do not expect to occur in nature. They do occur, rarely; but the problem is, they are fragile. This "Rocket Pocket" as some call it was found in pieces, and put back together over several years like a jigsaw puzzle. All large specimens have repairs, most more than a dozen. I do not accept so many repairs, except in special cases: where the overall aesthetic impact is significant enough that the piece warrants it; where the price is adjusted accordingly; and when the overall context of the FIND ITSELF requires repairs to obtain an important display-quality specimen (as in this case). The 2 larger crystals in this 3-crystal cluster measure 15 and 14 cm in length, and BOTH ARE TERMINATED! In fact, the crossbar crystal, at 15 cm, is DOUBLY-TERMINATED. The 6cm, thin crystal you see at the junction has a termination that sticks out the back of the piece, and is thus also doubly-terminated. The upright vertical strut rises from a quartz crystal, which is an unlikely but extremely nice pedestal for the cluster. This one has only 4 clean repairs and a fifth repair on the midpoint which has a small bit of color-matched epoxy fill in the gap. All are well done and do NOT detract visually. You have to look really hard, with a close-up penlight held at a diagonal, to see 4 of the repairs. The fifth is not obvious, in any case, on first glance. Comes with custom engraved lucite base, for easy display. All I can say is, BETTER IN PERSON.
This is a massive arborescent cluster of acanthite on matrix! Complete all around and just impressive as hell: Charlie Key's reply at the show, when shown the piece, was "oh shit" - and that is a typical reaction. For Mexico it would be a killer already. For this new find, it blows away any other I have seen, and also beats any Mexican acanthite except maybe one i na museum, that I know of. Hefty piece, as it weighs 1145 grams. Comes with custom lucite base for easy display.
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