Anhydrite - gemmy crystal
Wathlingen, Niedersachsen, Celle District
1.3 x 1 x .9 CM (thumbnail)
A glassy complete Anhydrite crystal that is essentially colorless though in some lighting it has a slight hint of violet. Fully transparent with no damage or contacts. This is from the old Niedersachsen Potash mine in Wathlingen, Germany which was known for good Anhydrite crystals in the early 1900's. Quite different from other Anhydrites from other localities.
Free-standing crystals of reddish-brown Pyromorphite cover the top of this matrix like a forest. An older Bad Ems specimen (Germany) this is in remarkable condition. Despite the obvious delicate nature of these slender crystals most are in perfect condition, what damage exists is small and not distracting as seen. While the largest crystals are the focal point, the matrix also holds dozens of tiny needle-like crystals with bright luster so the whole sparkles in good light. A choice piece for any sort of collection but especially for a Pyromorphite suite or classic German array.
Native Silver (Sheet form)
Eisleben, Mansfeld Basin
7.6 x 2.6 x 1.9 CM (cabinet)
One of the more odd forms of Silver are these thin sheets, almost like a Silver foil found in narrow seams of Slate. Very old material, these were mostly extracted in the early 1900's, the locality is a German classic. The Slate matrix is Copper bearing which is an unusual host for Silver anyplace. The Silver leaf is partly peeling from the matrix and shows the delicate form, being under .05MM thick.
From the Idar Oberstien area that is famed for its Basalt flow minerals most notably fine Agates. This is a delicate and sharply formed replacment of a flowerlike spray of Glauberite bladed crystals enclosing a vug. All the Glauberite are now replaced by Quartz with the inner part showing a zone of Amethyst fingers. Some fingers show the hollow void where the Glauberite crystals had been. An older specimen ex Ruth Palmer and William Hladysz collections. This is a bit similar to some New Jersey (USA) casts often seen with Prehnite replacing Anhydrite.
13.7 x 2.5 x 1.9 CM (cabinet)
A large, quite old German Hematite of the type we call "pencil ore" but are also called "swords" . This has the original label from the Philadelphia Acadamy collection with notation of the donor, John Hartman (1840-1910). We know that Hartman made bequests to the Acadamy between 1879 to 1905. Three older affixed collection numbers are on the specimen as well, so it is certainly much older than that. It is likely there was some confusion regarding the locality as it is listed as Glaskopf, Saxony, probably being copied from a small nearly illegible label on the specimen. At one time the word Glaskopf referred to a form or habit of Goethite and Hematite and not a locality that we know of. Regardless of that detail, this is a nice and sizable example of an early German Hematite with classic form, color and provenance.
Barite - Classic locale
Pohla Mine, Schwarzenberg District
6.1 x 4 x 3.6 CM (cabinet)
A very attractive Pohla Barite showing the recognizable form of a chisel-tip termination and gemmy golden tops. The very glassy prisms also show the dark inclusions in the lower sections that give a nice contrast. The tips are fully transparent and the main crystal is doubly terminated. Displays well, this looks in good condition but is not perfect (very few are when examined closely) this has some edge chipping seen with magnification that also helps keep the price low. While not for perfectionists it is still a pretty example from a famed German locality and affordable.
A really fine, large, heavy and rich Ruby Silver from the classic locality of Freiberg. Two large faces are densely encrusted with many dark to bright red crystals in several habits, and whole dosplays well from several angles. A few crystals have typical bruises the vast majority are perfect and the condition is far better than most of these old and delicate pieces. Some dark native Silver is also noted on the matrix. Displays well from several angles, the old label which had been affixed to the piece is damaged and incomplete but the word Frieberg is clear. We are informed that this matrix, habit and style is a perfect match for the Himmelsfurst mine and is clearly a very old piece. The Pyrargyrite is still a good red color despite the age and some darkening, much better than usually seen on these. The Pyrargyite is also set off by some associated milky Quartz and Calcite so it really stands out on display,. The crystals and rounded masses also are protruding well from the matrix which adds a good texture. A very choice, large classic European Ruby Silver that is especially fine in person.
Herold, Ehrenfriedersdorf, Erzgebirge
9.4 x 7.1 x 3.1 CM (cabinet)
Rich well crystalized German Berthierite from Saxony. An older specimen with several previous labels, this has very distinct crystals and bright luster. This is noticeably different from better known Romanian Berthierite due to a much brighter luster and vivid golden- silver colors. The specimen has an unusually detailed locality information, roughly translated as the 115M level on track 15, new camp area of the Herold mine. Berthierite is not usually considered as an attractive mineral but this is far more flashy than typical.