Dioptase (matrixless cluster)
Tantara Mine, Shinkolobwe, Central Area
Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)
3.4 x 2.8 CM (small miniature)
A deep green cluster of larger than average Dioptase crystals without any matrix. The largest is just over 2 CM. Nicely composed, the color is excellent but the luster is not as bright as a top Tsumeb piece. The price is also a lot less than from Tsumeb! By naked eye this is in perfect condition and displays well, with 10x magnification some tiny edge chips are found. Eye catching, colorful and well crystallized piece.
Tanzfleck, Friehung Grafenwohr, Upper Palatinate
4 x 2.4 x 2.7 CM (miniature)
A German classic, bright, gemmy pyro crystals cover the surface of the sandstone matrix. Ex John Marshall collection. Nice "wet look" example of this classic location, and much better than the usual micro druze. Not often available as this mine has been closed for over 60 years and this piece is likely far older than that.
An exceptionally fine, classic Caldbeck Fells Mimetite with excellent pedigree. Ex. John Marshall, Lindsay Greenbank, and Richard Barstow. The deep green crystals could be mistaken for Pyromorphite (both species were found here and some looked identical) this is confirmed Mimetite. Pristine condition, great color and luster that is not like typical "Campylite". This shows both rounded and distinct, prismatic crystals free standing and in bunched clusters.
For this fabled location, this specimen is exceptional for size and form. Obtained by Ed Over in the 1930's for Arthur Montgomery and later sold by Schortmann's Minerals, this specimen stands apart from others. The Hilltop Mine in the Chiricahua Mts. is a long closed locale. Most Specimens have 1+ CM yellow crystals on matrix and are highly desirable (and expensive) when available. A few unusually large crystals were found but most were badly damaged or crudely formed. At over 4 CM across, this is the largest Hilltop crystal cluster I have handled. More orange than usual with a secondary druse of tiny bright yellow crystals that sets off the larger blades well. Unfortunately, chipping is visible along one edge but perhaps forgivable on a remarkable old classic.
Excellent large zoned yellow crystals to 3 CM size are clustered in a hemispheric arrangement on a thin matrix. Good clarity with gemmy areas and selective frosting on some faces. In excellent condition despite the age and delicacy of this specimen. A very pretty classic specimen, and far better in person.
Daoping Lead-Zinc Mine, Yangshao
Guangxi Autonomous Region,
7 x 4.7 CM (cabinet)
A fine intense green Pyro from the incredible 2001 find at the Daoping Mine. A This has the delicate accicular habit in 2 distinct generations that are sprouting from a large vug. Despite the delicacy of this specimen there is minimal damage (mostly at the outer edges) and it displays very well. A rich wet look luster adds to the visual impact. Daoping Pyros are some of the finest ever found, and still relatively affordable.