A giant Sphalerite crystal stands on a mix of Quartz crystals and Sphalerite. Bright luster, translucent and in fine condition, a dramatic specimen. The complex faces in some photos can seem like bruises were light reflects off many facets, but this is clearly pristine when seen in person. From finds in 2002-3 at Rucheng Mine, at that time the locality of was given as Shuikoushan which is a Zinc mine nearby, but that was purposely misleading. While some large Sphalerites did come from both localities, this habit is was unique to Rucheng. These places are no longer mined and big crystals like this are long gone. A modern Chinese classic and a really impressive Sphalerite, cleaves on the backside but undamaged front, visually perfect on display.
A fine old Cornish classic, a cast composed entirely of Apatite crystals have formed casts after Anhydites. The specimen is crystallized on all sides with just a few spots of contact. Lustrous and sparkling and very three dimensional, the shapes of the Anhydrite crystals are sharply preserved. The Apatite crystals are very sharp, glassy, translucent brown color in hexagons with flat pinacoids. Choice, Ex KP hammond collection, these were at one time called Francolite which is now discredited but is a varietal name still in use.
Acanthite and Polybasite on Quartz
San Juan de Rayas Mine, Municipio de Guanajuato
5.7 x 4.4 x 2.3 CM (cabinet)
A melted look sculpture of Acanthite crystals on Quartz also holds a few small Polybasite crystals in sharp hexagons. Choice older piece from the San Juan de Reyas mine in Guanajuato. In excellent condition as seen and with a nice dark metallic patina. Under 20 X magnification I can see glints of blood red color that indicates at least a tiny bit of Ruby Silver (Pyrargryite) is also present but very small.
Realgar crystals on Calcite
Shimen (Jiepiayu) Mine, Shimen County, Changde Prefecture
4.6 x 3.9 x 2.7 CM (miniature)
Brilliant, transparent red Realgar crystals perched on a translucent single Calcite scalenohedron. Older Shimen mine specimen that has been kept in dark storage so the color is fresh and lustrous. Like many Chinese minerals from this era, these were the best examples of their specie and are no longer being mined. A few crystals have slight edge wear but overall this is in pristine condition. Choice.
Wurtzite with Quartz
Yaogangxian Mine, Yizhang County, Chenzhou Pref.
8 x 6.7 x 5.8 CM (cabinet)
A superb, major specimen of well crystallized Wurtzite perhaps the best example from the great Yaoganxian Mine. By far this is the best and biggest specimen I have seen from this prolific locality, and was on exhibit in the Tucson TGMS special exhibit of Chinese minerals a decade ago. Ex Shields Flynn collection obtained from Bert Ottens who originally discovered Wurtzite at Yaoganxian. Nearly pure Wurtzite, there are hundreds of sharp crystals to 6 MM on all sides with just a few Quartz crystals as contrast. In fine condition and although a "dark ugly" it is oddly attractive. Several have considered this the very best Wurtzite from China, it is obviously important for the locale and the specie.
Grossular with Diopside
VAG Mine, Lowell & Eden
6.3 x 4.6 x 3.7 CM (cabinet)
An old and very unusual Vermont Grossular. From the now classic Mt Belvidere (Eden Mills) locale, these Garnets are a rare light orange hue on pale translucent Diopsides. Most Diopside at this location is a deep green and the Garnets are typically more dark red. Collected over 80 years ago this likely came from a quarry area that simply no longer exists. Ex Warren Johannson collection collected in 1937. At this time the locality was not well known and the major finds were many years in the future. Some chips on a few edges but most of the specimen is intact with many perfect crystals. This habit and style is almost never available except in old collections.
Dark Tourmalines (deep green- brown to black) that are translucent and very lustrous with a green Fluorite crystal. Small Quartz crystals and Albite are also present. In excellent condition as seen the terminations are sharp and complete. It is likly that this Tourmaline is a mixture of both Elbaite and Schorl in zoned growth. The Fluorite is a modified octahedron and the combination is very attractive. A choice small miniature from the amazing pegmatites of Stak Nala.
A sparkling coating of Descloizite on tabular habit Wulfenites that make up a large part of the matrix here. Very distinctive form and well exposed crystals make this a unique and remarkable specimen. In fine condition overall, this is from the 1960 era, and clearly not like most Los Lamentos pieces. The coating is on all sides except at the small point of attachment at the "bottom", in a few zones some of the orange color of the Wulfenites can be seen.