Fluorite with Quartz
Cantera Llamas, Duyos, Caravia
2.5 x 2.1 x 2.1 CM (thumbnail)
Pristine thumbnail of Fluorite cubes having clean beveled edges and a delicate purple hue. The cubes are fully transparent with a slight frosting on some faces which under strong magnification seems to be a complex recrystallization. In perfect condition damage wise, this is a nice example from this small but important locality that has been sporadically producing small numbers of specimens but sometimes of very fine quality. The matrix is perfectly visible through the crystals and the Fluorite is nicely perched at a nice display angle.
A choice Almaden Spanish Cinnabar with great provenance as well. See the excellent Mineralogical Record article on the locale for in depth background. Vintage specimens of this quality are almost never available, this one is rich red, sizable and with old labels including Alvin Schortmann and John Marshall collections. The Shortmann label tells he had this prior to 1939, though this is likely far older. Johns collection card reads "Group of fine sharp xls in center of matrix. The British museum specimen on display is nowhere near as good as this piece." John wrote that in 1991 when he obtained the specimen. A label from Joe Vajdek reads " Very rare, Irreplaceable classic".
The display area also has a number of tiny Calcites scattered on the Cinnabar, which is in several forms and habits. Some micro chipping exists as it does on practically all pieces but his is not noticable without magnification, and is equal to or better than many well known, published pieces. Before the availability of Chinese Cinnabars these were prized as the best specimens in the world.
Super clear, a transparent purple cube with flat proportions and edge bevels. Very attractive and lustrous, the condition is very fine, there are old contacts on some edges and faces as seen that have fully recrystallized and show fine stepped etching, there is no chipping or normal damage. A choice and richly colored single crystal fro the Llamas Quarry, this is an excellent very gemmy example.
Fluorite on Quartz
La Viesca Mine, Huergo, La Collada, Siero
6.6 x 4.1 x 3.8 CM (cabinet)
Late Summer 2018
A multi-color phantom Fluorite nicely perched on a sculptural matrix covered with druzy Quartz crystals. Excellent transparency and in fine condition, there are a few additional Fluorites on the specimen one of which is a slender, highly elongated cube. A classic European locale, the La Viesca Mine is famed for vibrant color varieties and general quality of its Fluorites. This one is a bit unusual but still has the look and style well known from this venerable locality.
Barite- perfect rosettes
La Union Mine, Sierra de Cartagena
5.8 x 3.3 x 2.6 CM (cabinet)
Late Summer 2018
Remarkable, perfect and esthetic. Free standing rosettes of Barite crystals on a rough matrix arranged in a line. This locale has produced a lot of nice Barite specimens but very few have anything close to this elegant perfection. Under 40X magnification there are no chips or damage seen, which is incredible with such a delicate mineral in thin bladed crystals. Better in person too.
A choice single crystal of the blood red "Eisenkiesel" habit, complete all around. With strong bright Hematite inclusions, these Spanish Quartzes are distinctive. The local name for these is "Jacinto de Compostela" and they are unlike any other Quartz.
A very rich specimen of several uncommon Copper species, most importantly Lavendulan. Also containing a sizable zone of Conichalcite, minor Azurite and what appears to be Barahenaite (not analyzed). The Lavendulan is present in thick bands, crusts and small crystals of several habits. The Conichalcite is in translucent green globules covering one entire face. Lavendulan is a Phosphate and also an Arsenate, with the complex formula ofNaCaCu5(AsO4)4Cl·5H2O. Not often seen on the mineral market except in small blebs or micromounts.
A fine transparent cluster of Dolomite crystals from the classic Spanish locality of Eugui, Navarre. An uncommon matrix piece, the crystals are up to 4 CM in diameter and very sharp, undamaged. Dolomite is a very common mineral and crystals are not rare at all, but sharp, gem clear Rhombs like this are really only found at this one locality and they are very rare in such quality. Some minor dark zoning is seen but overall these are white to colorless and mostly transparent. The penetration twinning is textbook sharp and clear, an excellent piece found in 1998.