Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock Sub-Dist., Hardin Co., Illinois, USA
Thumbnail, 3.2 x 2.0 x 1.7 cm
Ex. Allan Young; James (Jim) Houran; Kyle Kevorkian

A V-shaped cluster of translucent ghostly-white witherite crystals, this uniquely aesthetic thumbnail specimen has long been considered by many to be among the finest in size class, for its shocking translucency combined with color, perfection, shape, and completeness. Usually, witherites from Illinois do not rank up there with English classics for quality and sharpness. This one, however, is a dead ringer for the sharper style of English material as opposed to Illinois material, at first glance. It has a slight association with strontianite typical of Illinois, and is just a little too translucent to be English...but it is close. Actually, it is gemmy enough inside that you could probably cut a gem witherite stone out of it, and those are quite rare. Allan Young purchased this in 2002, and it has since been in his collection, traded to Jim Houran (after many years of persistent pursuit!); and finally sold to Kyle Kevorkian when he bought all of the Houran thumbnail suite of "American Beauties" which had been built over decades. So, this specimen has at least several decades of history, and more to come. It seems innocuous, but it is, gram for gram, one of the finest and rarest specimens in this update.