Small but bright, sharp and gemmy free standing crystals of bright yellow Legrandite. These crystals line a vug with a druse of smaller more pale Legrandites as a background. A small area of Smithsonite in Scalenohedral crystals is also noted on the back of the matrix. This is an older specimen from 1970 vintage finds. Magnification reveals a few broken crystals at the edge but those in the central area are complete and perfect. A very good budget specimen.
Cliff Mine, Pheonix, Keweenaw County
16.1 x 2 x .5 CM (cabinet)
An antique native copper "finger" or "fan blade" made by skilled hand chiseling long ago. These artifacts were made by miners from the often huge masses of pure Copper encountered in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. From the John Marshall collection, this is recorded as from the Cliff Mine, such attributions of these artifacts are quite uncommon. Aside from the very hard labor of hammering through solid copper, these fingers required a lot of skill to create such a long straight and clean blade. While not a typical mineral specimen this is a very much a classic Native Copper that has had a major trimming job!
Tanzanite (blue Zoisite) gem crystal
Merelani, Umba Valley, Lelatama Mountains, Arusha Region
3 x 1.1 x .6 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
An especially vibrant, sharp and clean gem crystal in impeccable condition. The intense blue hue on this is far better than the average and the crystal shows well the famed color shift to a strong royal purple as it is rotated. As the gem values for good Tanzanite is so high the cost of a good specimen with top color can be prohibitive. This is an exception, a small miniature with big visual impact for well under 4 figures. Many Tanzanites have been heat treated to enhance color, it is almost impossible to tell. This one has a hint of red color when viewed down the C axis from the termination. That is said to be a good indication that the color is fully natural.
A superb gemmy Microlite crystal with very lustrous faces and good color. These were tested to be Fluornatromicrolite but they are also often labeled as "Microlite group" which is a bit less exact. No matter the name, the quality and large size is exceptional and the addition of glassy clear Topaz on the specimen adds some interest too. It is rare to see a crystal so perfect and at 1.5 CM it ranks as a giant for this usually non esthetic specie. From the Urandu mine finds of 2017, this is as fine as has ever been found in Pakistan and for that matter worldwide.
Spessartine on Galena
Broken Hill, Yancowinna County
New South Wales,
5 x 4.3 x 3.4 CM (cabinet)
A killer bright red well formed Spessartine Garnet perched on classic Galena matrix from Broken Hill. The Garnet is nearly 2.5 CM across the long dimension, which is huge for this locale and the color, luster and condition are superb. No damage or repairs, the back of the Garnet has a clean contact but is complete and with no chipping even under 30X magnification. Sits well for display without props, this is far better in person. This almost certainly came from the North mine but the old labels are not specific, so we are listing it as simply "Broken Hil"
A complex small specimen with two main large Bismuthinite crystals that are covered with tiny crystals of Stannite and Marcasite. The specimen also has areas of Chalcopyrite as well as some tiny needle crystals of Bismuthinite that seems to be a later generation. A choice example of the thicker type of Bismuthinite crystals and a nice association of these two Sulfides. From a recent find that was premiered in Munich in October 2019.
A huge somewhat crude but very sharp Helvite series crystal is nestled in a cluster of prase type Quartz. These Helvite crystals are often zoned in this locality and may contain all members of the series (Danalite, Helvite and Genthelvite) in a single prism. This one has clearly also had some secondary alterations, and some parts of the Helvite faces have been encrusted with tiny Quartz crystals. The termination has an extra touch - a purple octahedron of Fluorite perched near the tip adds contrast. No damage, the Helvite is nearly 4 CM tall which is very large from any locale and especially big for Huanggang. An early specimen (prior to 2008) from this now prolific mine. An impressive example of this locale and specie.
A well crystalized cluster of Gypsum I(Selenite) with rich green inclusions and encrustations of the rare mineral Herbertsmithite. This find has produced what are certainly the most esthetic examples of this specie as Herbertsmithite is not usually a "display" grade mineral. Recently Herbersmithite was found to have unique properties of changeable magnetism and with quantum spin properties. This was picked up in some of the popular media and somewhat exaggerated as news, even being called a "new form of matter". There was a brief period where tiny crumbs were being sold for high prices. Despite the inaccurate hype this is a remarkable mineral and on this specimen it is actually attractive.