Chuquicamata Mine, Calama, El Loa Province
6.3 x 4.4 x 4 CM (cabinet)
A superb very well crystalized example of this rare Copper Sulphate from Chuquicamata. Good Antlerite in prismatic crystals from this long ago find is not often available. These crystals are in the 3-4mm range which is about as large as any known from this legendary locality. Under magnification a variety of forms are noted and most of the individual crystals are well isolated, gemmy and brightly colored. This locale was at one time the source of many incredible rare copper minerals including rare copper Halides and what were for a century the worlds best Antlerites. A small newer find at Milpillas has since produced larger crystals with a different habit (and a far higher price). Chuqui was developed into one of the worlds largest open pits with efficient mechanized processes that now of course destroy any specimens at great speed. I have visited the site several times in the past decade but never found even a crumb worth obtaining, nothing is coming out. This piece is obviously from long ago.
Wulfenite - Chromian
Chapacase Mine, Tacopillia Dist, Tacopilla Province
4.2 x 3.2 x 2.8 CM (miniature)
Excellent, intense orange-red color crystals of rare Chrome Wulfenite. The white matrix contrasts well with the Wulfenite all in excellent condition with no damage. This is from a small find made years ago by Terry Szenics in Chile. Chrome Wulfenite is only recognized from three locations world wide, it was described in 1871 as a variety of Wulfenite with the Chrome substituting for or replacing some of the normal Molybdenum. These crystals have remarkable textbook perfect form and are outstanding under the microscope. No longer available.
Langite PS after Molybdenite
Jardinera #1 Mine, Inca de Oro, Chanaral Province
5.3 x 3.7 x 2.7 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
An incredible, rare and exotic pseudomorph, Langite replacing bladed crystals of Molybdenite. This was collected by Terry Szenics at the Jardinera #1 mine (where he discovered his namesake mineral Szenicsite). This was X-ray confirmed in 2009, and retains the Szenics label. There are areas of a dull grey material which seems to be altered Molybdenite that has not yet been replaced by the Langite. This is a remarkable, odd and rare specimen, the best example I have seen, very few were found and all were collected several years ago. The green blades reach 1.6 CM across and are distinct. A fine addition for any collection of Pseudomorphs.
Chapacase Mine, Tacopillia Dist, Tacopilla Province
2.5 x 1.7 x 1.4 CM (thumbnail)
A choice, rare example of the deep red Chromian variety of Wulfenite. Known from just three localities, the best specimens have all come from finds over 20 years ago in Chile. This piece is from those finds and shows classic form micro crystals on all sides of the matrix. Especially brilliant under the microscope this is in good condition and has well formed crystals with several habits densely encrusting. No eye visible damage but some micro chipping is found with 20X magnification on a few of the many otherwise perfect crystals.
Super bright color and sparkling luster, this has a tiny bit of Malachite remaining but most all is pure Chrysocolla. The Chrysocolla shows the elongated forms of primary Malachite crystals which it has replaced. The brilliant blue fingers on this piece are radiating outward from a Gossan matrix and are fully encased with clear, sparkling Quartz. Fine and delicate, in excellent condition and with strong display impact.
Bright, large blocky habit Krohnkite crystals in a cluster with minimal matrix. From the type locale, Chuquicamata which is the only place where this rare Copper Halide was ever found in such fine crystals. While and non micro crystals are rare most of those are fibrous growths or slender clusters. Prismatic habits like this are far more uncommon, and were all found long ago. Most of the existing specimens were collected long before 1934 (the early 1900 era was most productive) but it is probable a few came out later. The zone where these were found was long ago disappeared, consumed by the largest open pit mine on the planet. Only seen now from old collections.
Brilliant sparkling blue Chrysocolla overgrown by gem clear druzy Quartz. The Chrysocolla has replaced earlier acicular crystals of Malachite. The individual needles reach 1.5 CM A single broken needle off to the side seems to show a core of Dioptase but we are told these are in fact Malachite, the core area is rather gemmy and very bright. No matter what the original material this is very esthetic and totally different from any other Chrysocolla. An attractive, intriguing and unique Copper specimen!
Copper and Gold on Quartz
3.6 x 2.3 x 2.1 CM (miniature)
An exceptionally rare combination of well-crystallized Gold on well crystallized Copper. This is a nice Copper specimen with elongated spinel twin crystals in esthetic curving "horns" and some distinct texahexahedral crystals. What makes it special is the addition of several areas of well-crystallized native Gold. The Gold is best seen with a loupe but some is eye visible with well-developed branching sprays and bright yellow metallic color tucked in several areas on the specimen. This little known mine is one of the few locales that ever produced Gold on Copper, and by far the most attractive. There were not many pieces in the find, these are are now almost impossible to find. This one is the best I have seen.