The distinctive "pineapple" style Calcite from Shangbao came out sporadically in the 2000-2008 era, this is a very choice example of the habit. Set on a matrix of sparkling Quartz the addition of a few scattered purple Fluorites adds extra contrast. In fine condition as seen, the terminations of the Calcites are transparent and the body of the prism is more milky, all with the "pineapple color". Top Shangbao Fluorites are now regarded as some of the worlds best (and most expensive). 15 years ago at the mine the Calcites were more expensive from the miners than Fluorites because they were more rare and hard to extract intact. Times change.
Apatite on Muscovite
Chumar Bakhoor, Hunza Valley
Gilgit, Northern Areas,
5.5 x 4.5 x 4.1 CM (cabinet)
A prism of pink Apatite (Fluorapatite or Apatite-CaF)is nestled in a Muscovite matrix. The crystal is 2.1 CM across and has distinctive modifications of the edges of the termination. From the earlier finds of Apatite at Chumar Bakhoor, this is in excellent condition. Esthetic contrast with the matrix, the Apatite looks fine from all angles.
A starburst of glassy Hemimorphite crystals with the extra attraction of being a nice pale blue color. From 2015 finds in Mina Ojuela, this is an especially fine and esthetic specimen. Some of the best Hemimorphite ever found comes from this locale, but very little ever had this most desirable blue color. The individual prisms are up to 1.1 CM long and have a bright glassy luster. Choice and very rarely available in this quality.
Elbaite - Multicolor Gem crystal
stock #17.1-277 (A7)
Himalaya Mine, Gem Hill,Mesa Grande District, San Diego County
1.6 x .9 x .5 CM (thumbnail)
A fine thumbnail Tourmaline with super clarity and strong deep color. An older (1970 vintage) Himalaya mine specimen that is clearly more vibrant than typically available. No damage and a nice termination but still very affordable.
Unusual habit with brilliant red-orange color and many gemmy crystals forming a very attractive Serandite from the great Mt St Hillaire. The largest crystal is 2.5 CM across and is a blocky style, but the smaller crystals show many different habits and terminations. Some of these are Bipyramids or have complex parallel prisms and multiple stepped terminations. The luster is excellent, the condition is overall quite fine there is a break on backside where removed and a few very small wilbers noted on minor crystals only seen with 10X magnification. Classic locale and specie, attractive and unusual.
Barite flowerlike clusters
Rosiclare level, Minerva Mine #1, Minerva Oil Co, Cave-in-Rock district
5.8 x 3.9 x 1.7 CM (cabinet)
Outstanding quality and esthetics with a pale blue color, this is attractive from every angle of view. The Barites were overshadowed by the great Fluorites from the mine and relatively few were collected, they are now scarce in any quality.
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi
5.9 x 3.1 x 2 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
Well exposed vug filled with perfect yellow acicular form Legrandites. Unlike many pieces these are free standing crystals not laying in the matrix. A choice piece with strong esthetics and color. Small globs of greenish Adamite are present as well, this is an older specimen dating back to the earliest finds at Ojuela.
Calcite w. Hematite
Daye Iron Mine, Edong Mining District, Huangshi Prefecture
6.1 x 3 x 4.7 CM (cabinet)
Hematite included Calcite crystal with fine color, luster and an overall esthetic presentation. This is an unusual form twin that is completely differnet from any others I have seen from Daye. With well developed phantoms, this is in excellent undamaged condition.