Hematite and Quartz on Granite
Cabinet, 10.0 x 8.0 x 8.0 cm
Cavradi gorge, Curnera Valley, Tujetsch, Vorderrhein Valley, Grischun, Switzerland
Cavradi hematites are iconic in the mineral world, and not just only Swiss classics. Nothing else looks like these, from anywhere... These sharp hematites generally have the finest luster and sharpest form, but it is the association with clear gemmy quartzes that makes them rise to the top of collector desirability in Europe and overseas. This particular specimen has all of those attributes, and in a balanced specimen that is remarkably complete all around and without repairs (which are common in such specimens, due to the difficulty of reaching the pockets and extracting them!). The main crystal is a full 4 cm across, and is fat and well developed on all its edges, with no damage. It stands atop the matrix of granite like a sentinel, with smaller hematites cascading down the front, in association with the most gemmy and clean and sparkling quartz you can ask for. It presents even more superb hematite crystals on the back side, each fully terminated with nice fat beveled edges; and is 360 degrees viewable although the best quartz is on the front as I show it here. This memorable specimen was first in my eyes in about 2002, when I saw it in the collection of Marc Weill in Connecticut (see the MR book on his collection). He had gotten it from the collection of Marcus Budil, if I recall. I assumed it was repaired. At that time, it was about the size and weight of a bowling ball but I recall being impressed by the dramatic hematite crystal and the glistening quartz. I lost track of it and then saw it in another collection years later, and was able to buy it and invest the time (and risk!) in trimming it down to this balanced, manageable size in two stages over a few years. At that time, we found surprisingly that it was in fact not repaired at all, as are so many of these matrix hematite specimens due to the decayed granite and rough collecting conditions. It is now smaller, but preserves the granite matrix in a more balanced manner, and shows off the hematite so much better in the new size. It displays 360 degrees around, with the back side featuring even more robust hematite crystals. I am proud to offer it online now, as a major European classic of top collector quality. Comes with custom lucite base. Photo and video by Joe Budd. A video can be seen at this link: https://vimeo.com/198295983 (less light) and a second video at https://vimeo.com/198295712 (more light)