Trimouns Talc Mine, Luzenac, Ariege, Midi-Pyrenees, France
Thumbnail, 1.8 x 1.5 x 1.3 cm
This is one of the thickest clusters present in the lot, with a stack of parallel crystals measuring just a hair over 5 mm thick and nearly 2 cm across, balanced by an attached quartz crystal to one side. It is a significant example for this locality. The crystals are complete all around, and on all sides, even on the bottom where a small bit of attached matrix clings to their bottom terminations. Shown here are both backlit and frontal lighting shots. 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.