Shengus (Shingus) Haramoush Mts. Skardu District
Baltistan, Northern Areas,
3.3 x 2.4 x 1.5 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
Blocky type crude crystals of Manganotantalite in a cluster that show the red-brown color very well. An older piece from Skardu that has several intergrown crystals these are in quite good condition and most of the faces have very clear striations. Typically this specie has rounded, crude form crystals, often indistinct especially as they get larger. However this is a good deal sharper than most and there is only one spot with a very small contact, otherwise complete on all sides, a floater specimen.
Kelly Mine, Magdalena
5.6 x 5.3 x 3.3 CM (cabinet)
Kelly Mine Smithsonite with the most desirable wet look luster and good blue color. Ex Hitchings collection this is in fine condition a few of the outer edges show where this was removed but all the display surface is perfect clean and undamaged. A few areas of the white mottling are present which adds a nice contrast. This is a pre 1970 specimen. These have become American classics and there is no other Smithsonite worldwide that has just this look, color and luster.
Xiafu, Zhoaping Co. Henzoh Prefecture
Guangxi Autonomous Region,
7.8 x 6.4 x 4.3 CM (cabinet)
A colorful and very well formed knob of botryoidal Smithsonite with good yellow color. Choice and three dimensional, this looks great from most any angle. Except at the base where this was removed, there is no damage or bruises on any surface. The satiny luster is especially rich. These have been marketed as "Cadmium" Smithsonite but there have been some different analysis that conflicts with this and some claim that none of the yellow Smithsonites from any deposit owe their color to Cadmium. I suspect the truth is someplace in the middle. I do not know if Cadmium is involved in this specimen or this find but this is the sought after "Cadmium'" color. Excellent eye appeal and overall esthetics, no matter the color source. An excellent value for one of these complete knobs which are quite uncommon and priced far higher when available.
An exceptional Swiss alpine specimen of perfect curved rhombs in an esthetic stack. From a less well known locality at the Gauli Glacier in the Bernese alps. This zone is not well known for minerals but as the large glacier has been retreating some things have come to light. Recently (August of 2018) a heatwave uncovered a WW2 vintage US aircraft that is the second such wreck uncovered on Gauli. This Siderite is elegantly formed with a few small quartz and Rutile crystals as minor accessories. In exceptional condition and very eyecatching, this is a super Siderite from anyplace but especially choice and rare in such perfection from the Alps.
Wulfenite on Mimetite -New find
San Carlos Mine, Municipio de Maunuel Benavidas
3.2 x 2.6 x 1 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A killer toenail of fine orange-red Wulfenite with perfect, textbook form. The contrasting matrix of Mimetite adds a great contrast. From the new find at San Carlos Mine, this is unusual as it is perfect, undamaged and well trimmed. This was a small but important find, the mine previously was known only for some fine Vanadinites decades ago, these new Wulfenites were a big surprise. This was the best in this size that we saw and it is much more impressive in person. Can be trimmed to a fine competition grade thumbnail, but certainly looks fine as is.
Daybreak Mine, Spokane County
5.5 x 4.2 x 2.2 CM (cabinet)
A fully crystallized plate of Autunite from the old sixties vintage finds at the Daybreak Mine. Now considered American classics, this piece has been stabilized to keep it from crumbling as many did. As the Autunite looses water in dry air they tended to alter to Meta Autunite and fall apart. Vivid fluorescence as was typical for these, this specimen came from the Les Hitchings collection, obtained in 1970. Good color and form in excellent condition.
Axinite with Prehnite
Grey Cloud Claim
5.5 x 3 x 3 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
A colorful and unusual Canadian specimen, sharp glassy Axinite crystals -some of them gem clear- contrast with bright Prehnite crystals. This looks just like some classic Alpine European specimens (Bourg de Oissans etc) but also a bit unique too. The Prehnite crystals show curved faces and are colorless, white and light green some also have a chlorite coating adding more color. Ex Les Hitchings, this was collected in 1960. Close exam finds some edge chipping so this is not fully perfect but it is a very esthetic and well crystalized specimen the best I have seen from this locale, and a choice example.
Andradite var Demantoid
Tubussis Farm 22, Daures
6.2 x 5.4 x 4.2 CM (cabinet)
A fine cluster of stacked Demantoid Garnets that contrasts well with the matrix. Excellent color and luster, the main Garnets are 2.6 CM tall and in fine condition. No damage seen even under high magnification. The matrix is a mix of Quartz, Calcite and Prehnite, this holds several smaller Andradites as well. These were big mineral news a few years ago when they were more available, these are now quite scarce.