Rhodochrosite with Native Silver
Wutong Mine, Liubao, Cangwu Co. Wuzoh Pref.
Guangxi Autonomous Region,
4.1 x 3.8 CM (miniature)
A big rich red translucent rhomb that is quite a good Rhodo on its own. However, this has the addition of wire silver and silver "skins" in several spots. The largest wire is about 7mm long and easily visible. This locality has produced only a few good examples of this rare association. This is an outstanding one. The crystal is transparent to translucent and glows with any backlighting. There is the typical internal stress fractures visible inside, a contact on the backside, and cleaving on the exterior as seen in the photos. Despite this it is a very attractive, displayable, bright and eyecatching crystal in the top percentile of quality from this location. A most desirable piece for a Chinese suite, Rhodo or Silver collection or just for the novelty and color!
stock #7 PAK-007
Chitral, Chitral Valley
North West Frontier Province,
4.4 x 3 CM (miniature)
A sharp, attractive Kunzite with an unusual form caused by two parellel crystals with staggered terminations. Deep color, fine luster, and a more "prismatic" look than most Spodumene. Some slight edge wear is visible but it is very minor, not distracting to this nice gem crystal.
stock #8 UT THUMB 788
2.9 x 2.7 CM (thumbnail)
A lusterous thumbnail with several sizable and sharp bixbyites, on a matrix of topaz (cystallized with "sand" inclusions). The crystals all have some contacting and included topaz and the matrix topaz is somewhat crude. Despite this the largest crystal of Bixbyite is sizable at 1.4 CM and very bright, and this is well over the average in general quality.
From the classic California pegmatites this is a very different and remarkable tourmaline! The bi color crystal is sharp, glassy has some "cats eye" fibers and a lot of gem clear areas. However what makes this exceptional is the central hole in the center of the termination. This hole is roughly triangular in cross section, like the exterior of the crystal. Furthermore, it is striated on the inside and runs thru more than half of the crystal before it ends at a "negative termination" . The crystal has some very nice color, minimal damage (not eye visible) but the hoppered area is what makes this really impressive. Good for any gem crystal collection or as a conversation piece.
3.6 x 3.3 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A very fine prismatic central prism is joined by 2 other smaller "wing" crystals forming one half of the classic sixling twin. The crystals are all glassy yellow-green and gemmy with many inclusions. The central crystal is big at 3.3 CM in size and has minimal damage on the display side. The back of the specimen is contacted and broken but it is not in view from the display side. This is a good piece showing lots of form and character!
stock #8 AFG- 742
Sar-e-Sang District, Koksha Valley
5 x 4 CM (miniature)
A sharp, deep blue terminated Afghanite sits on the top of a calcite matrix (FL). The Afghanite crystal is 2 CM long and 1.6 CM wide, it is broken in the back but the presenting side is undamaged. There are two other broken crystal frangments in the matrix. A nice example and a well presented termination of this once uncommon mineral.
Silver with Rhodochrosite
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province
5.6 x 4.2 x 4.3 CM (miniature)
From a find about 20 years ago, this is a very striking example of well formed Silver growing from a Quartz and Rhodochrosite vug. Super esthetic, undamaged and with excellent contrast this is a very fine Silver example. Several wires over 2 CM long and relatively thick are complexly crystallized. One single sharply terminated Silver crystal is protruding 9mm from the quartz with spearlike form. The Rhodos are a series of stacked tiny rhombohedra and add a further contrast and a very special association. An old Dave Bunk label has a 1500.00 price tag on it, it is a fine specimen.
The Xuebaoding Aquamarines are distinctive and have become rather common on the market, but good ones are much less common. This is a good example with deeper than average color and distinct sharp form. The single gem crystal is well placed esthetically on the matrix. As a bonus the dark area on the right includes a zone of redissolved Cassiterite, an unidentified green mineral similar to Mushingtonite, and an unknown Silver metalic mineral. As this location is not able to produce at this time, these will be harder to get and are still a remarkable bargain.