Apatite on Quartz
Panasquieira Mines, Panasquiera Covilha
Castelo Branco District,
4.5 x 2 x 1.5 CM (miniature)
A very choice piece, this is a glass clear quartz crystal hosting several purple gem Apatites. The quartz is perfectly terminated, overall sharp and impressive in person, in very fine condition. Strong magnification reveals some tiny Siderite crystals. The Apatites have some slight zonation and have top luster. Not a typical Panasqueira specimen, and far more esthetic than average.
The Tongbei finds about 10 years ago produced a few excellent Fluorites in several colors and habits. When associated with Spessartine as is this example, it makes for nice esthetics. A good example here in fine condition, the Fluorite is an elongated octahedron and has clear zoning, slightly etched faces and is transparent.
The Colombian pink Apatites from La Marina are very desirable but very hard to get in any quality. There have been no new finds for the past few years, and the La Marina mine is currently idle. This is an older piece from the 2003-4 era, and has good color. Some of the later Apatites were found to fade and became colorless, but this is the older color-stable type. Minor edge wear is noted mostly on the backside, but overall in very good shape for one of these.
A very odd and pretty example of Amethyst crystals that instead of a typical pyramid termination have a hexagonal hole on the tips. Hard to photograph but impressive in person the walls of the hollow crystals are thin and transparent, showing complex growth structures and bright luster. In fine condition with no visible damage, a rare and special example from the Tamil Nadu area.
Hilton Mine, Scardale
5.6 x 4.1 x 2.7 CM (cabinet)
A classic English Hinton Fluorite that shows the nice yellow color, glass clear crystals and has a nice contrast with the matrix of smaller Fluorites. In very good condition as seen and a piece that can be shown from several angles. These have gotten much harder to find in decent quality.
An oddity from this little known Gold mining area of Colombia, a quartz prism with complex internal layers of greenish epidote phantoms. This singly terminated crystal is quite chipped and bruised as were all in the find, but it is far better than most. While we almost never offer such a damaged specimen this is a very unusual Quartz that is unique to this locale and quite unusual. These were found in 2010 and most ended up as beautiful cut stones, cabs etc that showed the green layers to advantage. There are few if any sizable uncut crystals available in any condition.
Brilliant green transparent cubes to 4 CM across show penetrations and fine growth hillocks. This also has a very nice daylight Fluorescence in vivid purple blue. A quite old specimen (pre 1950's) that is notably different from any of the recent finds. The color and clarity stand out in person, but are hard to see in photos. The condition is fine on the two primary display sides, the back is broken where it was removed and not visible in any logical display.
Libethenite -rosette on matrix
Nkana Mine, Kitwe, Kitwe District
4.5 x 34.4 x 2.2 CM (miniature)
A rosette of sharp and lustrous Libethenite crystals in a shallow vug that shows very well. We have looked carefully to see if there were any repairs or glue on this, it appears to be intact and undamaged. One of the more esthetic examples I have seen the rosette is 1.3 CM in size. An older specimen of a habit that has not been available for some time, the crystal forms are quite distinct and have a good deep green color.