Olivenite, Conichalcite and Azurite
Christiana Mine, Laviron District mines, Lavreatiki
Attiki Prefecture Laurion District,
3.5 x 3.1 x 2.4 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
Olivenite in very well formed free standing crystals and radiating clusters are well protected in a colorful vug. The cavity is lined with bright blue Azurite prisms and surrounded by light green Conichalcite in discrete balls. In excellent condition, there is no damage found even with high magnification, and the color contrast is vivid. From the ancient locality of Laviron, one of the oldest known mining regions of Europe, this is a recently found (2012) specimen from the collection of Chris Spiromitros. Very impressive under magnification but also attractive as a small miniature display piece.
A very rare and highly sought after Alpine treasure, this is a choice free standing Bazzite crystal on a matrix of Quartz with a few Hematite crystals. Bazzite is the Scandium analogue of Beryl and is classed in that family, most crystals are well under 3mm and are not so easily seen by naked eye. This is a 6 mm crystal with tapered form, some gemmy areas, good blue color and a curve clearly seen without magnification. From a single small but important find in a single tiny pocket in Savoie, France a few years ago. A superb, displayable thumbnail (actually just a hair larger more a toenail size) of a specie almost never available in any size. This is the only the second Bazzite we have ever had for sale and the first that can be seen without a microscope.
Chrysoberyl - Twinned crystals
3.1 x 2.4 x 1.8 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A floater cluster complete all around of Chrysoberyl crystals that range from translucent to transparent. A pale yellow-green color with some frosted faces and others that are bright and lustrous. Some chipping on the underside (not seen when displayed) is the only damage to note, some of that seems to be partly rehealed, so this is a natural break. Otherwise this is in fine condition overall and weighs 19.2 grams.
Rutilated Quartz and Hematite
3.8 x 2.4 x 1.8 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A cute toenail sized rutilated Quartz that sits on bladed Hematite crystals that are also Rutilated. The Rutile hairs are bright golden color and very sharp, clearly seen both inside and out of the Quartz. Rutile on Hematite and Rutile inside Quartz are both often available, but it is quite uncommon to see both together like this.
Elbaite -multi color zoned
3 x 1.5 x 1.4 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A glassy, clean and many colored crystal of Elbaite from an old find (1970 vintage) at Santa Rosa. I count four or five colors at least with some gentle gradations. The termination is the flat basal type and has a hint of blue in some lighting but not so strong as a classic blue cap. In excellent condition though there are some tiny rough spots that are sub millimeter in size and not easy to see . A very nice gem crystal with a choice color pallet zoning from this get locale.
Spinel on Quartz and Calcite
Pein Pyit, Mogok, Sagaing District
2.8 x 2.3 x 1.3 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
Well exposed, complete octahedron of ruby Spinel perched on a sliver of matrix. A few tiny flecks pf Pyrite are present as well, but mostly this is about the deep red Spinel crystal. This has some of the typical pitting, rounded edges and adhering matrix but is otherwise a very pretty dark red gem crystal, There are a few small gemmy Spinel seen with magnification on the flat sides of the matrix, they are almost invisible by naked eye. Myanmar has a well deserved reputation for exceptional gem crystals, especially for Rubies. However for hundreds of years Spinel were often substituted for Ruby. The gem fields in Mogok produce far more Spinel than Ruby, and it has been increasing in acceptance as a legitimate and valued gem. This is a nice affordable crystal that is above average in quality.
Henderson Mine, Chibougamou
3 x 2.3 x 1.8 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
An esthetic cluster of shining Cubanite crystals all showing classic twinningset on just a sliver of matrix. The Henderson Mine at Chibougamou has been closed for many years, it was the only source of these fine, sizable Cubanite crystals. The largest crystal in this cluster is is 2 CM across, and sits well on top of the specimen. Close exam shows some minor bruising, contacts and natural cracks, so this is not for perfectionists, but as Cubanite is a very delicate mineral this is in relatively fine condition. and far better than average. Some areas that look like damage in the photos are on inspection fully intact and crystalized with a rough texture. The metallic luster is excellent and has a nice patina. These are a modern classic and somthing of a "holy grail" for most collectors, the starburst twinning habit is especially desirable. An excellent value for the quality.
Tanzanite (blue Zoisite) gem crystal
Merelani, Umba Valley, Lelatama Mountains, Arusha Region
3 x 1.1 x .6 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
An especially vibrant, sharp and clean gem crystal in impeccable condition. The intense blue hue on this is far better than the average and the crystal shows well the famed color shift to a strong royal purple as it is rotated. As the gem values for good Tanzanite is so high the cost of a good specimen with top color can be prohibitive. This is an exception, a small miniature with big visual impact for well under 4 figures. Many Tanzanites have been heat treated to enhance color, it is almost impossible to tell. This one has a hint of red color when viewed down the C axis from the termination. That is said to be a good indication that the color is fully natural.