Strontianite (Two Colors) and Baryte on Sphalerite
Rosiclare Level, Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 11.5 x 9.0 x 7.0 cm
Ex. Ross Lillie
An exceptional combination specimen with four of the less-common species from the southern Illinois fluorite mines, but all highly desirable. The Strontianite occurs in hedgehog-like clusters up to 2.1 cm across, with the individual crystals being very sharp and up to about 3 mm. Small gemmy Barytes coat the matrix underlaying all. The Baryte is also present as snow-white blades that are lustrous and up to 3 cm on edge. These larger Barytes are impressive and dramatic in growing out from the piece, and then are coated with another generation of strontinanite (this time, of snowy, sparkling white color!) .The Sphalerite matrix is a hefty host rock for all this growth. The Strontianites are top-notch and we have never seen one with two colors on the same piece; and this piece was the pick of the litter when this particular pocket was mined in 1980. Ross Lillie's own label indicates: "Absolutely top-notch strontiantie group. I had first pick of the best pieces from pocket., The one I refused went to Rex Bannister and ultimately to Harvard. Highly recommend Perm(anent) collection..." This was one of the specimens on hold for a hoped-for deal with the Chicago Field Museum, before that sale fell through and the collection sold elsewhere. Fine aesthetics, and deserving of consideration. RCL 2085