Fluorite on Sphalerite
Minerva No. 1 Mine, Ozark-Mahoning group, Cave-In-Rock Mining Sub-Dist., Hardin Co., Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 13.4 x 9.0 x 7.6 cm
Ex. Walt Gaylord
$9,500.00 Payment Plan Available
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A large, dramatic, and unique Illinois specimen featuring one of the famous "mushroom clusters' of fluorite, where blue/lavender-colored fluorite phantoms formed as a second generation of later growth atop a previous yellow generation of fluorite. Uniquely, the fluorite here remains on matrix whereas I cannot recall any other large example that was on matrix - usually they are simply found and kept as singles, or clusters of fluorite on etched-looking fluorite beneath. Here, the fluorite formed, and remains on, a spherical aggregate of thick sphalerite crystals! The classic phantoms of fluorite are pretty, to be sure, but when you think about the whole entourage here, and how it must have formed in several separate geological events over millions of years, it makes you scratch your head. Because of the perch on matrix, this stands out from all other similar specimens that are singles or on massive fluorite. Also, surprisingly, it is not repaired. For some reason, these tend to form as stalks, or rather end up looking like stalks or scepters since the cubes end up atop yellow fluorite with unusual growth features not seen often in fluorite (although Erongo in Namibia has produced some, smaller, recently). It is thought that this form due to dissolution effects that make them look etched out from the bottom, as they partially dissolved into solution at the same time as the new fluorite layer formed atop. Out of all the piece here, in a large update of our Midwest inventory, this is perhaps the most surprising and in that there is value, as so many Illinois fluorites are more of the same variation, but this stands out. Please note that we do not show it in strong lighting at all but rather took photos and video in conservative normal light options. It shows sharper phantoms and slightly different colors depending on strength and color of the lighting used. Fluorescent under Sw UV light. From the collection of local Tennessee miner and dealer, Walt Gaylord.