Elbaite -Rubellite gem crystal
Cruzeiro Mine, Sao Jose de Safira
3.5 x 1 x .7 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
100 percent gem grade Rubellite, mostly a fine cranberry red color with a lightly yellow zoning at the termination. An older Cruzeiro (Brazil) crystal the color is unusually intense for this locality, this looks similar to some Santa Rosa and Jonas mine crystals yet has a sightly different hue. In excellent condition as seen, with even a little backlighting this glows like red glass. The inside is very clean, this is all facet grade that has avoided the cutting wheel. Choice and better in person. Ex John Buckley collection we think this is a 1970 era piece.
Elbaite -gem Tourmaline
Usakos, Karibib District
2.7 x .9 x .9 CM (thumbnail)
A single, doubly terminated and gemmy clear Elbaite crystal from the Karibib. Namibian gem Tourmaline of any quality has become quite uncommon, it was last being found almost 20 years ago. Complete and in nice condition this one shows the striated faces and flat terminations that is typical of these Karibib crystals. Nearly all facet grade, the interior is transparent and clear deep green.
Smithsonite -very fine Moroccan
Touissit, Touissit-Bou Beker Dist., Jerada Province
10.6 x 7.3 x 4.1 CM (cabinet)
Large cabinet specimen of well crystallized and very lustrous Smithsonite from the Touissit Mine (Morrocco). The crystals are transparent and when magnified many show color zoning and phantom of a reddish core. Botryoidal and "finger" growths are fully covered by sharp, bright crystals. The color is a light green-blue hue and contrasts nicely with the reddish matrix. In fine condition, Smithsonite from this locale have never been very common (the mine has been closed for decades) and now top pieces are quite rare. This is a sizable display specimen with excellent impact, a fine addition to any serious Smithsonite suite or Moroccan collection.
Sphalerite -classic USA
Joplin Field, Tri State District, Jasper County
11.3 x 9 x 4.8 CM (cabinet)
Large, esthetic and in perfect condition, this is an exemplary old Tri-state Sphalerite, mined before 1940. The Joplin field was at one time a seemingly endless source of mineral specimens, though really fine, undamaged pieces were very rare. The last of these mines have all been closed for more than 50 years, and the best specimens came out long before then. This is a superb Sphalerite with large distinct crystals that stand out from the matrix. Crystal faces show complex striations, etchings and some twinning, these have a choice silky luster that shows these structures well. This is incredible in person and very much a superb piece from this now legendary area.
Bustamite on Calcite
Broken Hill, Yancowinna County
New South Wales,
3.4 x 2.3 x 2.2 CM (small miniature/ large thumbnail (toenail))
A nice old Broken Hill specimen with a complete Bustamite crystal nicely perched on matrix. Previously labeled as Rhodonite this was a common mistake seen on early labels. This crystal is partly color zoned, has some translucence and has the classic slightly rounded edges. The Bustamite is doubly terminated and the matrix of Calcite is strongly fluorescent.
An elegant specimen with flowerlike crystal sprays on a powder blue matrix. The crystals are in several stages of pseudomorphing from Pyromorphite to Plumbogummite. These are in excellent condition, complete and undamaged which is very rare in these specimens. Many of the free standing crystals are light blue on one side and yellow-green on the opposite side. These amazing Plumbogumites from China were big mineral news when these were first found, they have been recognized as the worlds best.
A very old or "vintage" specimen, previous label notes it to have been collected 1830-40 era. The labels call the associated crystals Mimetite although it looks to me like the larger greener ones are Pyromorphite with some yellow Mimetites as a second generation. This specimen is pictured on Mindat and it is labeled Pyromorphite there. Ex Ben Shumer collection, this is a small but pretty and colorful miniature. Under good magnification it is quite incredible, delicate and the blue Plumbo balls sparkle. Quite three dimensional, a nice classic specimen from this famed locale. Before the great Chinese Plumbogummites were found recently. English pieces (from Roughton Gill and Dry Gill) were the worlds best, prized in top collections all over the world. Despite the beauty of new Chinese pieces these old English specimens are still very special and quite different too. This mine was last worked in 1869, and was one of the worlds most important mineral localities.
A well proportioned Scepter of Quartz that has a milky phantom in the head sits on a mix of smaller crystals. Overall very esthetic and looks great from all sides, this is in outstanding condition. Vintage 1992-3 from the Verkhnil (Verhniy) Mine at Dalngorsk, this miniature has nice display impact. Ex William Hladysz collection.