Henderson Mine, Chibougamou
3 x 2.3 x 1.8 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
An esthetic cluster of shining Cubanite crystals all showing classic twinningset on just a sliver of matrix. The Henderson Mine at Chibougamou has been closed for many years, it was the only source of these fine, sizable Cubanite crystals. The largest crystal in this cluster is is 2 CM across, and sits well on top of the specimen. Close exam shows some minor bruising, contacts and natural cracks, so this is not for perfectionists, but as Cubanite is a very delicate mineral this is in relatively fine condition. and far better than average. Some areas that look like damage in the photos are on inspection fully intact and crystalized with a rough texture. The metallic luster is excellent and has a nice patina. These are a modern classic and somthing of a "holy grail" for most collectors, the starburst twinning habit is especially desirable. An excellent value for the quality.
Tanzanite (blue Zoisite) gem crystal
Merelani, Umba Valley, Lelatama Mountains, Arusha Region
3 x 1.1 x .6 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
An especially vibrant, sharp and clean gem crystal in impeccable condition. The intense blue hue on this is far better than the average and the crystal shows well the famed color shift to a strong royal purple as it is rotated. As the gem values for good Tanzanite is so high the cost of a good specimen with top color can be prohibitive. This is an exception, a small miniature with big visual impact for well under 4 figures. Many Tanzanites have been heat treated to enhance color, it is almost impossible to tell. This one has a hint of red color when viewed down the C axis from the termination. That is said to be a good indication that the color is fully natural.
A superb gemmy Microlite crystal with very lustrous faces and good color. These were tested to be Fluornatromicrolite but they are also often labeled as "Microlite group" which is a bit less exact. No matter the name, the quality and large size is exceptional and the addition of glassy clear Topaz on the specimen adds some interest too. It is rare to see a crystal so perfect and at 1.5 CM it ranks as a giant for this usually non esthetic specie. From the Urandu mine finds of 2017, this is as fine as has ever been found in Pakistan and for that matter worldwide.
Spessartine on Galena
Broken Hill, Yancowinna County
New South Wales,
5 x 4.3 x 3.4 CM (cabinet)
A killer bright red well formed Spessartine Garnet perched on classic Galena matrix from Broken Hill. The Garnet is nearly 2.5 CM across the long dimension, which is huge for this locale and the color, luster and condition are superb. No damage or repairs, the back of the Garnet has a clean contact but is complete and with no chipping even under 30X magnification. Sits well for display without props, this is far better in person. This almost certainly came from the North mine but the old labels are not specific, so we are listing it as simply "Broken Hil"
A huge somewhat crude but very sharp Helvite series crystal is nestled in a cluster of prase type Quartz. These Helvite crystals are often zoned in this locality and may contain all members of the series (Danalite, Helvite and Genthelvite) in a single prism. This one has clearly also had some secondary alterations, and some parts of the Helvite faces have been encrusted with tiny Quartz crystals. The termination has an extra touch - a purple octahedron of Fluorite perched near the tip adds contrast. No damage, the Helvite is nearly 4 CM tall which is very large from any locale and especially big for Huanggang. An early specimen (prior to 2008) from this now prolific mine. An impressive example of this locale and specie.
A well crystalized cluster of Gypsum I(Selenite) with rich green inclusions and encrustations of the rare mineral Herbertsmithite. This find has produced what are certainly the most esthetic examples of this specie as Herbertsmithite is not usually a "display" grade mineral. Recently Herbersmithite was found to have unique properties of changeable magnetism and with quantum spin properties. This was picked up in some of the popular media and somewhat exaggerated as news, even being called a "new form of matter". There was a brief period where tiny crumbs were being sold for high prices. Despite the inaccurate hype this is a remarkable mineral and on this specimen it is actually attractive.
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi
4.8 x 4.3 x 2.4 CM (miniature)
Austinite is usuall only seen as micro crystals but the finds at Mina Ojuela were by far the best and largest ever found. This is a superb example of the radial crystals of large size and in perfect condition. Esthetic, bright well perched balls of sparkling crystals stand out on the matrix. This Austinite was part of a single small pocket found in 2018, none had been seen for many years. This is far better than typical material and a very choice example.
Raipa Mine, Aija Province
7.7 x 3.9 x 3.3 CM (cabinet)
Superb cluster of classic form Axinite crystals with no matrix at all. The largest crystal here is about 6 CM long and the condition of all is excellent, with no damage. These are translucent with a few areas of transparency and the luster is very glassy. The purplish-brown color is distinctive from this find and this is an excellent esthetic cluster with many perfect, choice crystals in all directions. This was a large and important discovery which has provided some excellent quality pieces that were relatively affordable. Excellent value.