Talc Pseudo After Quartz
Small Cabinet, 6.8 x 6.2 x 3.6 cm
Specksteingrube, Goepfersgrun, Fichtelgebirge, Bavaria, Germany

This is one of those esoteric mineral specimens that defy logic. How can the softest mineral known totally replace one of the hardest? Nevertheless, this is a superb example of talc after quartz, from the classic and only locality we have seen it. These date to the 1800s and have long been staples in any fine European collection. Today, they are almost unavailable and rarely seen for sale anywhere. To me, they are one of the most desirable of all pseudos for the intellectual and historical value of the specimens. What were once clearly well formed, quartz crystals, to 2.5 cm in length, have been totally altered by tan colored talc. The large crystal here of about an inch is large for the occurrence and is the largest I have seen for sale in some time. The label indicates an early 1900s sale by Ward's.

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