Bastnaesite-Ce on Calcite
Trimouns Talc Mine, Luzenac, Ariege, Midi-Pyrenees, France
Thumbnail, 1.8 x 1.4 x 1.1 cm

A complete, perfect, transparent crystal measuring 1.75 cm across, perched beautifully on small calcite crystals. This is a competitive-level, impressive thumbnail specimen. 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.