New Wulfenite Crystals From Mapimi|
Literally the week before the Denver show, as luck would have it,
miners struck another specimen pocket at the Ojuela Mine. This mine
had given up only a handful of (generally insignificant) wulfenites in
decades, and now we seem to have hit a "pipe" of pockets with
beautiful wulfenites , some with dark mimetite; and of a really
different style than had ever been found before in nearly 50 years of
awareness of specimens from this locality. This pocket is a
continuation of the seam we saw first produce wulfenite back in
January (and which I have posted elsewhere on this site under the NEW
FINDS page). However, the style in this pocket seems to be less of the
unusual bipyramidal crystallization, but rather with more crystals of
a sharp, rectangular or pseudocubic form that looks more
machine-carved than nature-made. Again, as with the first pocket back
in January, some few specimens occur with unusual dark green
mimetite. Overall, this pocket has produced more specimens of an
aesthetic bend, compared to the previous pocket which , while quite
significant for the locality and for the crystal habit, produced far
fewer specimens with good aesthetics (although far more specimens in
total). It seems that the total production of this pocket was about
much less in quantity, and yielded only perhaps 200 "good" specimens
of miniature or larger, of which i bought 90% (so far as I know) and
present a selection here.
I will soon be posting a selection of 30-40 very good quality, $100 to $250 specimens from this same
pocket, so stay tuned!
(click on a page number to go to that page:)
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This plate of lustrous and translucent, butterscotch-colored crystals of wulfenite, to 1.0 cm in length, exhibit tapered, but blunt-capped tips. Very aesthetic and sparkly specimen, overall, with minor calcite accents in white at the base of some crystals.
Nestled on contrasting limonite is a carpet of olive green mimetite upon which are HUGE bi-pyramidal, lustrous, translucent crystals of butterscotch-colored wulfenite in crystals to 2.0 cm in length. The impact is very strikign in person and these ar emamong the largest crystals I have seen from either recent find. The setting on the carpet of green mimetite, for a 3-color contrast, really makes this piece leap out visually.
This LARGE SPECIMEN is one of the biggest plates recovered in good condition! It has dozens of lustrous and translucent, butterscotch-colored wulfenite crystals, to 1.25 cm in length. Some crystals are tapered (elongated "cubic" with blunt tips), a very few are bi-pyramidal, and some are doubly terminated. They are all perched on a thin crust of grayish-green mimetite upon a really well-trimmed, showy matrix plate.
This matrix specimen is decidedly different from the previous ones and in fact from ALL OTHERS in this pocket...there is not another like it that I know of. A deep vug of limonite is coated with a thin druse of seemingly chocolate colored mimetite (?). upon which are emplaced lustrous and translucent, thick, butterscotch-colored crystals of wulfenite to 2.0 cm across. Some crystals exhibit a lighter butterscotch-colored hue at the terminations, and a few are doubly terminated. The wulfenites are very fat and robust, and yet show signs of solution etching, almsot as if they are "melting" for lack of a better word, a bit deformed in the sharp form they should have. The effect is , for lack of a better word to convey it, " ghostly" in a cute and interesting sense. Itís possible that this specimen is from a different small pocket, it is so wildly different. The photos perhaps do not convey its presence in person (and it is, both large and colorful).
Perched on a stark contrasting gossan matrix liberally sprinkled with pearlescent white calcites, are a few isolated crystals of lustrous and translucent, butterscotch-colored wulfenite, to 1.25 cm in length. The major crystal is super sharp, translucent, and very dramatic!
A stunning minaiture of contrasting matrix of limonite totally festooned with lustrous, gemmy crystals of butterscotch-colored wulfenite, to 1.25 cm in length. A few of the wulfenite crystals are also doubly terminated.
Pseudocubic, elongated, lustrous and translucent, butterscotch-colored crystals of wulfenite, to 1.25 cm in length, are perched on and around a knob of ocherous, gossany, limonite. This specimen also has a few clusters, to .6 cm across of unusual lustrous calcite. Aesthetic overall, it is nearly pristine with just a very few minor damaged crystals.
The butterscotch-colored wulfenites on this sculptural limonite matrix range from pseudocubic to classically tetragonal. The larger crystals, to 1.4 cm across, are lustrous and translucent, whereas the smaller crystals are even more glassy and gemmy. A few crystals are doubly terminated. It is overall a piece that screams quality, where the crystals are just "better" and their elegant arrangement is so desirable. One o fthe best in size range, for my taste.
Sharp and graceful, bipyramidal crystals of butterscotch-colored wulfenite sit on a carpet of beautiful deep green mimetite here. The crystals are lustrous and translucent and reach 1.7 cm in length. They are extremely well formed and elongated, without the robust base of most larger bipyramidal crystals seen here. I particularly like the stark isolation of the crystals, but teh orange-on-green color contrast really draws the eye as well or more than the crystallography itself.
An really wulfenite-smoethered limonite matrix is in places covered by a very thin veneer of green mimetite which in turn is the host for a number of doubly terminated, lustrous and translucent, butterscotch-colored crystals of wulfenite reaching 1.5 cm across. While the largest crystals are isolated, there are two knobs with many smaller, intergrown wulfenite crystals to the left side which add a lot of sparkle and color to the piece, to complement the totally different, more sophisticated aesthetics of the righthand side. Its a wonderfully attractive large piece, overall, and the cyrstals themselves are of high quality.
Although the larger and more isolated 1-cm crystals of butterscotch-colored wulfenite are lustrous and translucent, there is a cluster of tiny wulfenite crystals, in the center, that are absolutely glassy and gemmy (so much so, i had to doublecheck they were wulfenite!). All of this is emplaced on sculptural contrasting limonite with very minor bits of green mimetite and crystals of silky white calcite. An appealing combination piece tha tlooks like snow fell upon the wulfenite plate sitting on the ground, and MUCH more 3-dimensional in person.
This plate of pseudocubic, lustrous and translucent, butterscotch-colored crystals of wulfenite, has crystals that reach 1.0 cm in length. It is overall flashy and shoy, very displayworthy, but lcks 3-dimensional relief compared to others of thebest lot here, and so was priced more cheaply. But, when stood upright, it shows a lot of flash and color for the price and size range combination,m and is in excellent condition with only 3 very minor broken crystals amidst dozens.
MUCH MUCH better in person, this is a very 3-dimensional, large, and significant piece from the find. It is a vuggy matrix of limonite covered by wulfenite crystals, exhibiting classic , tetragonal symmetry which we can call pseudocubic in the overall sense. The butterscotch-colored crystals, to 1.0 in length, range from lustrous and translucent, and are glassy and gemmy. A few crystals are also doubly terminated. Very bright overall for the sheer mass of color on the matrix, and in extremely good condition, this is one of the best of the larger plates I have. It is much more 3-dimensional in person!
The pleasing , dark green color of the botryoidal mimetite contrasts nicely with the pseudocubic, lustrous and translucent, butterscotch-colored colored wulfenite crystals, to .75 cm across. All of this is on a sculptural and 3-dimensional limonite matrix. There is some minimal damage to a few wulfenite crystals or this would be twice the price, but it is still visually quite a nice specimen and worth this just for the mimetite, I think.
This specimen is not only aesthetic, it also incorporates the best assemblage of species for a Mapimi wulfenite. A rich, gossany, limonite matrix gives way to a superb, botryoidal, translucent , green mimetite crust upon which are perched isolated crystals of lustrous and translucent, pseudocubic, butterscotch-colored wulfenite to .9 cm in length. The presence of a fine quality mimetite on the limonite is not common, and this piece really is rich in it.
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Rob Lavinsky, firstname.lastname@example.org
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