Fluorite With Quartz and Sphalerite
Deardorf Mine, Hardin County, Illinois, USA
Cabinet, 9.6 x 8.7 x 4.4 cm
Ex. Harold Urish
Perched on a siliceous matrix with splendent, orange-black sphalerite crystals, to .75 cm across, is a large crystal of gemmy, lavender fluorite. Associated in the lower-right is a matte, battleship-gray, crystal of galena, 1.5 cm across. This slightly distorted cube measures 4.5 cm in length and exhibits edge color zoning. Superb! The Deardorf Mine was one of the first really choice localities for matrix fluorite crystals for collectors, and closed prior to 1960, long before the larger and more famous mines in the district opened up. It had, therefore, much smaller production as well. Specimens are noted for their association with quartz, characteristic of this mine but really almost unheard of for the other mines in Hardin County. You can clearly see the quartz association here, and the sphalerite in fact covers a solid plate of quartz. There is no doubt of its pedigree, thus! With the rich combination of sphalerite, the piece at first looks more like an Elmwood (tennessee) specimen than an Illinois piece, but this is not the case. The galena is also not Elmwood-style. It stands on its own merit as a good matrix fluorite specimen, in any case. With the fluorite mines of southern Illinois now permanently closed, specimens of this quality are not only becoming rare they are also escalating in price. Comes with custom lucite base for display.