Veszelyite (Huge Crystals)
Thumbnail, 3.1 x 1.6 x 11.0 cm
Black Pine Mine, Philipsburg District, Granite Co., Montana, USA
Ex. Roland and Kathy Sherman
This very rare copper, zinc, phosphate, reaches its worldwide zenith in Montana. Or it did, anyhow, over 30 years ago! Such specimen are extremely rare and this is a HUGE crystal for the species, at the top of its size range except for a few outlying specimens. This cluster of extremely lustrous, rich and deep blue-green veszelyite crystals, is quite simply phenomenal and the best such I have had for sale. This was the major specimen in the Roland and Kathy Sherman thumbnail collection, the non-Southwest-USA portion of which I recently purchased. It is INCREDIBLE in person with a presence hard to convey in photos...very impactful, despite that it is a small miniature/large thumbnail. The story is something like this, to set it all out: It was mined in the late 1960s (1969, I think?) in the major pocket of this material found at Phillipsburg. It was sold in a fishy deal in 1981 by a colorful miner nicknamed "Oreo," at the Tucson show, to the dealership Van Scriver. Brad van Scriver then sold it to well known San Diego thumbnail collector (who also happenned to be his mother!), Beth Gordon, within a day. It was in her collection for decades and she had one of the finest collections of thumbnails for the era. The previous owners, Roland and Kathy Sherman, traded it out of her before the collection was broken up. This then was the best piece in their own thumbnail collection. It was not on the open market, then, since 1981. The blue is dark, true, but it IS a vivid blue color and not as dark as it looks in the photo. This is a very rare specimen of highest quality that ALSO happens to be a superbly balanced thumbnail specimen for the collector. Joe Budd Photos. NOTE ADDED courtesy of collector Russ Hage: Oreo Winginghoff was somehow involved in ownership of BP during the time this specimen was mined. He sold the Vesy xtal to Duane Johnson who sold it on to the Smithsonian (perhaps the only finer example, or one of the very few). Oreo was killed when a loader drove over him will working at Stillwater PMG mine about 5 years ago (2007?) .