I believe that the area near Pingwu, China is one of the greatest mineral locaties ever. Some amazing quality minerals are well known but usually not many variations. However, this is not a typical Xuebaoding Aqua! In 2007 I purchased a small lot in China that were unusualy elongated beryls that were bi-color (white to blue). I expected there would be many more, but there were not, the habit is very rare and not found since. We originally sold this piece in 2007, I am glad to have it back. It has the largest crystals I have seen from this find (4.8 CM) and it displays super well. No damage at all on the display side, there is matrix contact on the back. The crystals are well arranged on the minimal matrix which is the usual albite and muscovite. Most of the terminations show an unusual hoppering that is also unique to this one find.
A classic that is distinctive to Mont St Hillaire, this is a deep red Rhodo with the presenting triangular face lightly dusted with accessory minerals. The back and some sides have Aegirine prisms as well. Very sharp and damage free on the front viewing side. There are some contacts and one tiny chip on the back. Quite clean and sizable for one of these, this would be important for a suite of Mont St Hillaire or any comprehensive Rhodo collection.
A top quality example from a small recent (2008) find of rhombohedral calcites included by lustrous stibnite. A few of these were sold in Munich last year but nearly all had damage. We were fortunate to obtain at the source a few fine, esthetic and quite pristine pieces. There have been no more since. These are far more delicate and rare that the material found at Nandan in 1998, I expect these will also become modern classics and quite sought after. The glassy, tranlucent to transparent rhomb is 5.5 CM wide and has no eye visible damage. Magnification shows only a few rough spots on edges. The stibnites are clearly visible inside the calcite. Esthetic and displayable from several angles.
A fine gemmy calcite well included by shining Stibnites. A very good example from this important small find. The sharpness and clarity are excellent, and the calcite is the largest complete crystal I have seen from this find.
A light purple Fluorapatite 1.6 CM sits next to sharp gemmy orange scheelites on a muscovite matrix. Most apatite from Xuebaoding is more pink and this shade is very rare. Fantastic color contrasts, glasslike lustre and good esthetics make this a very fine piece. Very clean of damage by eye, there are some very minor contacts and chipping found at 10x magnification. A top notch example!
Calcite included by Stibnite
stock #8.1-411 GWT
Xikuangshan, Lengshijiang, Loudi Prefecture
7.1 x 4.8 CM (cabinet)
A single gemmy flattened rhomb sits on matrix and shows well the stibnites included and protruding from the crystal. Very sharp, nice color with no noticable damage but some very minor roughness to edges and contacts on back. Esthetic and eye catching!
A Viburnum trend rarity, a stacked series of elongated spinel twin Galena form chain like structures. These reach over 6 CM in length and average 7 mm wide. Decorated with sparkling Pyrite and Dolomite they quite attractive. I do not know of any similar form found anyplace else, and I have not seen any available for some time. A must for a serious Galena collection!
A large (3.7 CM) rhomb of bright red Rhodo sits neatly on a contrasting matrix made up of Acanthite crystals, Native Silver in wires, Sphalerite, Pyrite and Fluorite. If that list is not long enough to clog a label, there are other dark sulfides one of which may be Stephanite but have not been confirmed. A super example of the Rhodo from this find and the association with Silver minerals is very special. Really attractive overall and one of the best I have seen for the relation to Silver.