Orpiment on Calcite
Shimen (Jiepiayu) Mine, Shimen County, Changde Prefecture
11.5 x 9.9 x 5.3 CM (cabinet)
A very large specimen of fine Calcites richly coated with bright needle Orpiment crystals. Most of the Calcites are twinned and in fine condition, the matrix is a large shard of the same Calcite. A few areas of Realgar are noted too. With backlighting the some of the Calcites show bright red realgar inclusions. Ex Shields Flynn collection, these were a major find about 12 years ago, none since, and the mine is now inactive. A modern Chinese classic not often available in this size or quality. Esthetic.
Rounded complex Fluorite crystals are perched all over a jumbled mass of black Schorl. Some gemmy lustrous Goshenite (white) Beryl crystals are also present. The whole is especially esthetic and comes from a special find about 7 years ago. The major pockets found in the Erongos seem to be unique as each has an individual character and mineral mix that is different from other pockets. This is an especially attractive Fluorite specimen, far better in person, in fine condition and displaying well from any side or angle.
Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos
2.3 x 1.2 x .8 CM (thumbnail)
A sharply terminated bi-color crystal of glassy Vesuvianite from the great Jeffrey Mine. Gemmy in some areas this grades from a light pink-violet hue to a green top. No damage and a good, affordable Vesuvianite with classic form.
A fine large old Tourmaline crystal from Barra de Salinas, formerly in the famed Smale collection. Deep green color, excellent gem clarity this weighs 84 grams. Best displayed with some backlighting as it is dark without. The complex termination is a series of staggered chisel tips looking like a skyline. The front display side is in very good condition, the backside (last photo) has contacts/chipping that are not seen from the front or sides. The architectural structure of the main prism, very glassy luster and deep striations makes this stand out as a choice Brazilian gem.
A fine twinned Sphene crystal is perched like an arrow on the matrix. Small adhering crystals of Schorl, Adularia and Clinoclore add some extra sparkle. The Titanite is very sharp, lustrous and gemmy in areas. Very fine condition, magnification finds some small contacts but otherwise in great shape and damage free.
Beryl v. Aquamarine, Schorl and Albite
Shigar, Skardu District, Baltistan
3.7 x 2.3 x 2.2 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A neat toenail of gem clear Beryl set on snow white Albite and glassy black Schorl Tourmaline. From recent finds at Shigar, this is a classic combination. The Schorl has a hoppered termination at one end and the Aquamarine is glass clear and perfect on all sides. An excellent specimen that could be trimmed to thumbnail size if desired but is fine as is.
San Luis Potosi,
2.1 X 1.6 x .8 CM (thumbnail)
A pair of perfect small Fluor Buergerite crystals are laying on contrasting matrix. From the type locale, this rare member of the Tourmaline group is only available from older pieces like this, none has been found for decades. No damage, a well composed thumbnail.
A cluster of dark red doubly terminated crystals on just the smallest sliver of matrix. The color and luster are quite fine, a few minor edge rubs are noted but are very small. Not for perfectionists but in far better than average condition, the crystals are especially remarkable for such a soft and delicate mineral. The largest crystal is 2.9 CM long. An older Shimen specimen, this locale is no longer producing, but is considered to be the greatest source of Realgar crystals ever. Affordable and esthetic.