Sphalerite -gemmy red on Quartz
Shuikoushan Lead Zinc Mine, Changning, Hengyang Pref.
5.6 x 3.4 x 2.5 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
Perfect Sphalerite crystal is esthetically displayed on contrasting druzy Quartz. No damage, this is bright, sharp and far better in person, this crystal glows a rich ruby-red with backlighting, yet still looks fine under normal conditions. An older Shuikoushan specimen with outstanding luster and presence. Excellent value for a clean small cabinet specimen with character.
Three chisel tip Peridot crystals in a line like mountain peaks. A choice older specimen with fine color and transparency. With any backlight this will really glow. Nearly all good cutting grade, there are virtually no inclusions to be seen. Some minor bruises can be seen but they are very minor, and the naturally frosted faces soften them even more. This is unusually well formed and sizable for a Sopat Peridot which are often very degraded or damaged. Far better in person, a very good value.
Sharp, bright gemmy red Realgar with intense color. This specimen has minimal matrix and has not been displayed in bright light so it is still very impressive. This was mined in 2005 so it has held its color very well. Minimal bruises on a few edges are not easily seen by naked eye and the main crystals are in fine shape. The Shimen mine was at one time a prolific source of super (maybe the worlds best) Realgars, but it is no longer operating. The backside of the specimen has just a hint of matrix on it and is contacted where it was attached but the rest is very well crystallized and nearly all crystals show double terminations. Unusually fine for one of these.
A transparent gem crystal of bright red Rhodo from the classic N Chwanning #1 mine. This is part of a small find made late last year, the result of years of digging in an attempt to find more of the legendary scalenohedral Rhodos last found over thirty years ago. Those are now some of the most highly prized mineral specimens in the world. This new find was small as were most of the specimens, but the quality was excellent. The Rhodo crystals are perfect, lustrous and with top intense red. This specimen has a series of face modifications not seen in older materials. Condition is perfect, very few of the old find were so completely undamaged. Big display impact for the small size.
Silky "catseye" luster in these bicolor crystals makes a complex but impressive cluster. Most every crystal in this specimen is doubly terminated with one end pointed the other a flat basal termination. In impressive condition this is an older (25 years plus) Brazilian gem. The darkest colored areas are mostly opaque but the majority of the prisms are translucent and on thin edges transparent. With backlighting the crystals all show several areas of zoning, but in normal display these seem to have two main zones and silky texture is pronounced. Most of the faces have many tiny accicular crystals attached at jumbled angles, adding a nice sparkle in person. The longest crystal in this cluster is 8.5 CM. An excellent example of this style and habit not often available.
Topaz- Imperial gem
7.3 x 1.9 x 1.5 CM (cabinet)
A sizable and fine elongated imperial Topaz from Ouro Preto with classic bright orange color. In person this is fully transparent and has glassy luster, a perfect pyramidal top termination and a more crude lower termination (doubly terminated) a chip is on the lower corner where this was removed it is not seen on most logical display angles, A contact along one edge is completely healed and recrystallized, overall this is in remarkably fine condition for such a large crystal. Wispy dark inclusions are noted and in the center of the crystal is the nice rose color that is especially desirable. Choice and better in person too.
Tanzanite (gem blue Zoisite)
Merelani, Umba Valley, Lelatama Mountains, Arusha Region
2.2 x 1.4 x 1.1 CM (thumbnail)
A Tanzanite crystal with excellent color change. This is well terminated, glassy deep blue to purple crystal in good condition. The tip of the termination is especially transparent and shows a nice blue "cloud" inside. The backside of the crystal shows a more complex area that has stepped faces and is likely a recrystallized contact. A nice specimen of the specie that is reasonably priced
One of the most colorful and attractive of the Uranium minerals, the Copper rich version of Sklowdowskite. This one has the brilliant green needle crystals protected in a vug. The associated species are best seen with magnification but do add some contrast and color. From the famed mine of Musonoi in the Katanga Copper region that produced what are certainly the best examples of the specie more than 20 years ago, this is a good example that will not break the bank.