Calcite with Realgar and Picropharmacolite
Jiepaiyu Mine, Shimen deposit, Shimen Co., Changde, Hunan, China
Miniature, 5.7 x 4.4 x 3.0 cm
Ex. Dr. Robert Lavinsky

Without a doubt, this is one of the more striking Realgar-Calcite combination pieces in its size class from this deposit that we've seen. The 5.4 cm Calcite is absolutely water clear, so clear in fact, you can see tufts of Picropharmacolite and Realgal "frozen" right through it on the other side AND everything on the other side is double refracted! Remarkable. And if that isn't enough, the Calcite is twinned about its "waist" and has white to ivory colored Picropharmacolite needles attached to the side, backside and bottom of the crystal! The Calcite has pale champagne color and is perfectly terminated. For dramatic effect, the Calcite is growing on a matrix of vibrant, fire engine red, super lustrous granular massive Realgar that is crystalline near the base of the Calcite scalenohedron. This is a remarkably well composed, well balanced and startling colorful piece. It does have to remain in the box and kept away from sunlight to protect the Realgar from deterioration. Ex. Rob Lavinsky childhood collection with a D. J. Parsons label. (Note from Rob: this was one of my best, and most expensive, calcites in the extensive calcite collection I built from 1985 through about 2001. The piece was obtained directly from Doug Parsons. Doug was one of the earliest people we knew to both get into China and get minerals out, and often sold minerals on the side through his father's existing mineral business. He was actually there to help build their nuclear reactors, in his job as a nuclear engineer!). It is a gorgeous piece of mineral history, from a time and place. Note that this has been kept in a box all these years, and the realgar is pristine (you should not expose it to light for prolonged periods).