Hematite - Goethite iridescent
Covington Prospect, Alleghany County
9.9 x 2.6 x 1.4 CM (cabinet)
Vivid colors and fine form on this older specimen from the Les Hitchings collection, obtained by trade in 1966. A botryoidal stalactitic form this piece comes from Covington, Virginia from an old Manganese prospect near the Peters mountain site which also produced this sort of Hematite. This is a super esthetic piece viewed from any angle and a killer for the location. The name Turgite is commonly used for the colorful "limonites" that are mixtures of Goethite and Hematite usually with the Goethite partly or fully altered to Hematite and showing iridescence. Impossible to find anything like this today on the market, a colorful and choice Virginia specimen.
Ruby Silver crystals (Polybasite) are nicely grouped on the Quartz matrix. Several small Polybasite crystals with classic hexagonal form are present as well, these covered by druzy Chalcopyrite. Esthetic, lustrous and in excellent condition with no visible damage. With strong lighting the translucent ruby color is revealed but under normal display these look like metallic black crystals. Very clean, the polybasite shows well formed independent crystals even though there are clustered in groups.
St Lawrence County of northern New York state is a legendary classic zone for mineral collectors. From time to time new finds are still made often in the isolated Skarns. This significant Tremolite was collected by Skylar Alverson in 1974 and remained in his collection until his passing. Individual crystals reach 4.4 CM and have deep green translucent to transparent faces some showing chatoyance. There are even a few zones of gem grade which could be faceted. In fine condition, no damage except for a small attachment at the base where it was attached, and a few clean contacts where other crystals had grown. A choice example similar to yet rather different from a small find made in 2019, Tremolite is not often an esthetic mineral and this is quite choice.
Capillitas Mine, Andagala
7.7 x 3.3 x 1.4 CM (cabinet)
A pair of intergrown "stalactite" habit Rhodochrosites with well defined lathlike crystals in stacked arrangement. From the famed mine at Capillitas, which is still the only place on Earth that this form is found. The bottom or base of the pair is broken and shows the concentric banding that is so sought after in the lapidary trade, but the form and larger than average crystals makes this a choice mineral specimen. The color is a pink to orange hue on one edge, the other sides have a secondary coating of a white to grey Manganese oxides. The unusual structure of intersecting fingers makes for an esthetic display piece. In excellent condition, the crystals are undamaged save for the point of attachment.
A USA classic Quartz from Chubb Lake, New York, this is a perfect thumbnail with textbook form. The crystal is complete all around, undamaged, a floater with sharp faces and a sparkling dusting of Hematite in tiny crystals. The Quartz is also included with the same sparkling Hematite which can be seen clearly inside the faces. This locality has been closed for many years and is remarkably similar in its mineralogy to the old British localities of the Cumberland Iron mines., This piece could easily pass as British (and as a very fine piece) but it is actually much more uncommon from this small but significant US locale.
Dalnegorsk, Kavalerovo Mining District
Primorsky Kray, Far Eastern Region,
3.8 x3.6 x 2.5 CM (miniature)
A strange and rare habit, I have only ever seen two of these "cruciform" etched Galenas, and this one is very distinct. The complex crystallization presents very well and the bright luster helps to show the cross off from several angles. The matrix in this case is a pair of Calcite crystals that act as a built in base so the specimen stands on its own. The specimen on close examination shows an impressive series of steps and terraces much like a topographic map where the summit is in the form of a cross.
Barra De Salinas Mining District, Coronel Murta, Jequitinhonha Valley
4.9 x 3.5 x 3.4 CM (miniature)
A complex dark Tourmaline crystal that when backlit explodes with an intense deep indigo blue with a zone of green on the edges. From old finds at the remarkable locality of Barra do Salinas which is well known for very colorful and often deeply etched gem crystals. This specimen is the termination of complex prism, the faces are lustrous and the overall weight is 78 Grams, nearly all of good gem grade. There is old edge chipping most of which has been recrystallized, but despite the imperfections the color and luster make this a striking piece. Without any backlighting this is fairly dark and may look like a schorl at first, but when well lit the color is outstanding.
Rhodochrosite on Analcime
Mont Saint-Hilaire, Monteregie
4.6 x 3.6 x 2.5 CM (miniature)
A killer miniature with a main Rhodochrosite rhomb 3.2 CM in diameter which is perfectly perched on a cluster of Analcime crystals. The Rhodos are opaque in some areas and translucent in others, perhaps due to some dark inclusions (Birnessite?). The luster is in person impressively bright and glassy, there are some subtle striations and growth structures as well that add interest in person. The faces show a color range and mottling from dark reds, pinks and close to black in spots. Rhodochrosite at Mont St. Hilaire took many forms and color hues, but such well formed, sharp textbook crystals are not common at all. This is an exceptional showy piece in remarkable clean condition.