Rhodonite in Galena
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Small Cabinet, 9.0 x 6.8 x 3.2 cm
The most classic Broken Hill mineral from the glory days here is probably the rhodonites, for their gemminess and intensity of color. I am told that most of them were mined prior to 1950, and many date back to the early 1900s work here. In any case, good specimens of this size are very hard to come by today on the market, and turn up only when old collections are recycled. It has been some time since I have seen comparable pieces to these two, for sale. This piece, the larger of the two show here, has a big fat terminated 2.6 x 1.1 x 0.8 cm crystal nicely excavated on a mass of smaller crystals. All are lined parallel to a direction of the plate, and look impressive as heck when lit well. The cherry red color here GLOWS with intense hue. Many more gemmy rhodonites simply do not have the intensity here, and many fatter or bigger rhodonites are included by matrix and do not have the saturation or luster of these crystals, making this overall a superb display specimen. These two specimens of mine come from one large plate which turned up in the Wein Collection, an old German collection sold off a few years ago (and which the dealer sold as is, unprepped, to a friend of mine for $7500 - with lots of damage. I exchanged for it and have now prepared the blocky original piece to yield two finer, smaller specimens that I think are much better pieces overall!). Joe Budd photos