From the classic California pegmatites this is a very different and remarkable tourmaline! The bi color crystal is sharp, glassy has some "cats eye" fibers and a lot of gem clear areas. However what makes this exceptional is the central hole in the center of the termination. This hole is roughly triangular in cross section, like the exterior of the crystal. Furthermore, it is striated on the inside and runs thru more than half of the crystal before it ends at a "negative termination" . The crystal has some very nice color, minimal damage (not eye visible) but the hoppered area is what makes this really impressive. Good for any gem crystal collection or as a conversation piece.
3.6 x 3.3 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A very fine prismatic central prism is joined by 2 other smaller "wing" crystals forming one half of the classic sixling twin. The crystals are all glassy yellow-green and gemmy with many inclusions. The central crystal is big at 3.3 CM in size and has minimal damage on the display side. The back of the specimen is contacted and broken but it is not in view from the display side. This is a good piece showing lots of form and character!
stock #8 AFG- 742
Sar-e-Sang District, Koksha Valley
5 x 4 CM (miniature)
A sharp, deep blue terminated Afghanite sits on the top of a calcite matrix (FL). The Afghanite crystal is 2 CM long and 1.6 CM wide, it is broken in the back but the presenting side is undamaged. There are two other broken crystal frangments in the matrix. A nice example and a well presented termination of this once uncommon mineral.
Silver with Rhodochrosite
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province
5.6 x 4.2 x 4.3 CM (miniature)
From a find about 20 years ago, this is a very striking example of well formed Silver growing from a Quartz and Rhodochrosite vug. Super esthetic, undamaged and with excellent contrast this is a very fine Silver example. Several wires over 2 CM long and relatively thick are complexly crystallized. One single sharply terminated Silver crystal is protruding 9mm from the quartz with spearlike form. The Rhodos are a series of stacked tiny rhombohedra and add a further contrast and a very special association. An old Dave Bunk label has a 1500.00 price tag on it, it is a fine specimen.
The Xuebaoding Aquamarines are distinctive and have become rather common on the market, but good ones are much less common. This is a good example with deeper than average color and distinct sharp form. The single gem crystal is well placed esthetically on the matrix. As a bonus the dark area on the right includes a zone of redissolved Cassiterite, an unidentified green mineral similar to Mushingtonite, and an unknown Silver metalic mineral. As this location is not able to produce at this time, these will be harder to get and are still a remarkable bargain.
I believe that the area near Pingwu, China is one of the greatest mineral locaties ever. Some amazing quality minerals are well known but usually not many variations. However, this is not a typical Xuebaoding Aqua! In 2007 I purchased a small lot in China that were unusualy elongated beryls that were bi-color (white to blue). I expected there would be many more, but there were not, the habit is very rare and not found since. We originally sold this piece in 2007, I am glad to have it back. It has the largest crystals I have seen from this find (4.8 CM) and it displays super well. No damage at all on the display side, there is matrix contact on the back. The crystals are well arranged on the minimal matrix which is the usual albite and muscovite. Most of the terminations show an unusual hoppering that is also unique to this one find.
A classic that is distinctive to Mont St Hillaire, this is a deep red Rhodo with the presenting triangular face lightly dusted with accessory minerals. The back and some sides have Aegirine prisms as well. Very sharp and damage free on the front viewing side. There are some contacts and one tiny chip on the back. Quite clean and sizable for one of these, this would be important for a suite of Mont St Hillaire or any comprehensive Rhodo collection.
A top quality example from a small recent (2008) find of rhombohedral calcites included by lustrous stibnite. A few of these were sold in Munich last year but nearly all had damage. We were fortunate to obtain at the source a few fine, esthetic and quite pristine pieces. There have been no more since. These are far more delicate and rare that the material found at Nandan in 1998, I expect these will also become modern classics and quite sought after. The glassy, tranlucent to transparent rhomb is 5.5 CM wide and has no eye visible damage. Magnification shows only a few rough spots on edges. The stibnites are clearly visible inside the calcite. Esthetic and displayable from several angles.