Bastnaesite-Ce on Albite
Thumbnail, 2.0 x 1.9 x 1.1 cm
Trimouns Talc Mine, Luzenac, Ariege, Midi-Pyrenees, France
A superb specimen of perfection all around, and complete and display-worthy from either side. The main crystal is 2 cm across, large for the locale. A small allanite crystal seems to be included within, at the base. The crystal reaches several mm thick, robust for this style and locality. It has literally perfect aesthetics and is a significant thumbnail specimen of competitive level for the species. A note about coloration: In fluorescent lights, these crystals look more amber-brown than in halogen lights, where they take on a more orange-red hue. When backlit moderately, as shown, they take on a nice red glowing color. All photos here are taken under sunlight balanced halogen, with moderate backlighting. Joe Budd photos.These were found at the classic old French locality for rare earth species, in the late 1970s, and have until now been hidden away by the collector. For sheer quality and beauty, many collectors have long considered the gemmy rare earth crystals from here to be among the best of their species. The productive specimen zone at the locality is, I am told reliably, simply mined out and gone now.