Vintage specimen with old EB Underhill label. Underhill donated his collection posthumously to Amherst College in 1888, so this piece and his handwritten label is older than that. Not many of these labels survive today and the Sphene specimen is also a very rare example from a classic locale. I have never seen another quite like this, the luster is very bright on the slender dark gem clear crystals in the protected vug. Microscope reveals tiny Clinochlore and what may be colorless Fluorites, not known from this locale. A nice slice of mineral history.
A weird but super attractive Fluorite from the Erongo where odd Fluorites seem to be more common than other places. The photos do not convey the piece well, but it is composed of many "melted look" globlike transparent crystals in clusters and stacks on Schorl crystals. The colors range from colorless to vivid green and all looks like it has melted together. A few transparent green needlelike Tourmalines are scattered on the display side for added oddness. Far better in person.
Calcite -complex twinned
Gralex Quarry, Mont-sur-Marchienne, Charleroi
3.4 x 3.4 x 2.3 CM (small miniature)
A choice small specimen from this noted locale. The Calcite is undamaged, mostly transparent and shows complex twinning. This locale produced many habits and some top pieces over the years, but it is now finished. This is a small, cute, affordable piece from this important locality with a nice arrangement.
Copper- twinned crystals
Itauz Mine, Zhilandy group
5.5 x .9 x .4 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
Complex twinned crystals in a branching display with fine patina. No damage, a choice example of the great spinel twin habits that have been found in Kazakstan. Looks fine on all sides, a very good value.
Realgar with Calcite- gemmy crystals
stock #8.1- 185
Shimen (Jiepiayu) Mine, Shimen County, Changde Prefecture
7.2 x 5.2 x 4.8 CM (cabinet)
A fat, intense red main crystal dominates this Realgar specimen. The Realgar is the less common blocky habit and has top vivid color. Glassy luster, transparent to translucent and a strong display piece. Mined over a decade ago this has been in dark storage ever since so it is pristine and fresh looking. No more is coming out, this is a very choice example. There is damage on the backside where it was removed that is not seen, the front in is fine condition and showy.
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.