Calcite "goblet"
near Havana, Cuba
Cabinet, 12.0 x 8.1 x 5.2 cm
Ex. Jack Halpern
After collecting calcite for 40 years nearly, I (and all of us) can still be surprised: this unusual Calcite "goblet" is from, of all places, Cuba. It is a hollow cluster of two intergrown crystals and it almost holds water but for a couple of small holes in the bottom! It resembles a big white tulip with its elongate, translucent "petals" made of relatively thick, 1 cm, lustrous Calcite crystals that taper down into a cone. Interestingly, a number of Cuban minerals showed up in French and English collections, often routed through the mineral collector Baroness Burdett-Coutts, (,_1st_Baroness_Burdett-Coutts), who had properties abroad and asked for specimens to be sent to her when found from many interesting locations. Her collection was later dispersed, and I would not be surprised if this went that route, although we have no proof beyond a contemporary mid-1800s era specimen label (with no name on the back). This is somewhat reminiscent of similar Calcites from China, and yet different in structure. The individual crystals on this are up to four inches long with the terminations ringing the perimeter at the top, and also forming the cusp at the bottom. This unique piece is from the Jack Halpern collection and is accompanied by his label and two other older labels. Jack christened it "The Goblet" and it has been with him since the early 2000s. It is simply one of the most unique specimens we have seen of any surviving Cuba mineral, and a great piece regardless of origin (although the origin carries a premium).