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June 10, 2018
I recently .came across a small haord of pyromorphite from Bunker Hill in Idaho. A lot of diversity in crystal habits.
This next batch is a random group of specimens from various areas including more specimens from the Bill Casper's Collection.
April 3, 2018
Three New updates I am finally getting around to posting remaining specimens from the Munich Show and some other new Tucson Show finds. First up is a hoard of fairly new specimens of the rare borosilicate Grandidierite. These come from the Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary Dist., Anosy, Tulear Province, Madagascar. The chemistry of grandidierite is: (Mg,Fe2+)(Al,Fe3+)3(SiO4)(BO3)O2. One of the principal uses of grandidierite is as a gemstone. It is harder than quartz and when of facet grade is considered to be one the world's ten rarest gemstones due to the rich bluish green color. Several of the specimens in this group have associations with phlogopite and or schorl. There are also a few specimens with terminated crystals which is EXCEEDINGLY RARE for this mineral. Greater than 99% of all grandidierite ever found is of partial crystal faces and primarily prism faces. This is due to the deposition of the species in thin veinlets.
The next group is specimens from the famous Swedish locality of Långban. I obtained these at the Munich Show. They were formerly in the Peter Burr collection. It was a small bit of a homecoming for a few specimens in the collection as they were sold by me to Peter when I handled the Harry von Eckermann collection around 2006. Some nice rare species including Långbanite, Hedyphane, Caryinite, Margarosanite, Molybdophyllite and others. Most of the specimens come with old labels too.
These are from the 2017 Munich Show. Czech dealer Jaroslaw Hyrsl had a new find of clinozoisite from San Cristobal Hill, Canete, Lima Peru. The crystals are predominantly a pale olive green however there are zones where they are pinkish in hue indicating a trend towards clinothulite.
December 21, 2017
Tokyo Show & Munich Show minerals I recently returned from the 2017 Tokyo Show. It was my first time there and it won't be my last. I saw many familair faces there and the first was Alfredo Petrov. This guy is amazing to me. He knows many different languages, he lives in Kyoto, Japan half the year and California the other half, he is widely respected by EVERYONE, he has a vast knowledge of minerals, and in 2015 was honored by Dr. Tony Kamph by having his name applied to a new selenite species. Alfredopetrovite, a hydrated aluminum selenite was first found at the El Dragon mine in Potosi, Bolivia. It is found associated with the selenide Krut'aite and other selenites such as chalcomenite and ahlfeldite. I took advantage of the fact that Alfredo was selling these and bought all he had. I also had him sign the back of each of his hand written labels.
The next group is of reddish orange wulfenite from the Chah Kharboze mine, Anarak Dist., Esfahan Co., Iran. The deep red color is due to a high chromium content. These were purchased at the 2017 Munich show from Christophe Gobin .
Back to Tokyo. Otenkawaka Crystal Minerals had the big surprise for me. Specimens of pyroxmangite from the long ago closed Taguchi mine, Aichi Prefecture, Chubu Region, Honshu Island, Japan. Prior to the great finds in Brazil the Taguchi mine was the world's principal source for fine specimens and gems cut from rough found there. I did not hesitate to select the finest specimen he had and a couple of others.
A Spanish dealer who was set up at Tokyo had a new find of baryte from the Villabona Mine, Villabona, Asturia, Spain. Baryte has been known from there from past finds but not as blue crystals. A couple of the specimens have an association with dolomite and yellow fluorite .
Here are two specimens I have had for a while. The Hsianghualite specimen is from the type locality in China and the Tantalite-Mn is one of the largest ever found in Madagascar.
November 19, 2017
Last Munich Show update! You can read about what I saw at the 2017 Munich Show here: Munich Show Report. . For this last update I have a mix of 27 specimens from all over. Lots of diversity here! Thanks for your interest.
November 18, 2017
Second Munich Show update! You can read about what I saw at the 2017 Munich Show here: Munich Show Report. First in this update are specimens from Tanzania. A unique titanite and a group of gorgeous tsavorite garnets.
Next is a group of fairly rare species from Brazil. In particular is a recent and small find of wodginite crystals from the Itatiaia mine in Minas Gerais. I also scrounged up some pretty cool specimens of xenotime-Y from Novo Horizonte. I also found one specimen of the very rare polymetallic species almeidaite. Last were a few specimens of bertrandite from the find at the Govenador Valderas pegmatite also in Minas Gerais that was presented at the 2017 Tucson Show.
There was an Indian dealer set up who had some very nice specimens of quartz var. amethyst with scepters. I picked out the best five he had including two rarely seen matrix specimens from the Karur find.
Crystal Classics had new specimens of native copper from the Rocklands mine, Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia. I actually picked these up while in England prior to the Munich Show.
November 17, 2017
First Munich Show update! You can read about what I saw at the 2017 Munich Show here: Munich Show Report. Not a lot in the way of new finds this yer but still there were a great many fine rocks to be seen and with enough cash had. First up is the new find of Rhodochrosite from the Kalahari Mn Fields. Paul Balayer had these. Everyone knows of the stunning deep red crystals of rhodochrosite as scalenohedral crystals. He had a small find in an isolated pod of pink rhombic crystals of rhodochrosite. Rhombic crystals have been only one other time at the Kalahari mines. That find consisted of ten specimens. I was happy to get nine of them. They were costly but they represent the rarest form of rhodchrosite from the mines. The exact mine location will be provided with any purchased specimen. But until Paul has been able to fully exploit any other possible pocket the locality can not be presented in any published form.
Next is another group of specimens from the N'Chwaning mine. Paul had some new specimens of Manganoan Calcite. These fluoresce bright orange under UV light. He also had some small specimens of shgiaite on rhodochrosite.
Crystal Classics had specimens from a new find of fluorite in the Weardale area. Over the hill from the Rogerley mine on an entirely different structural outcrop they found a new vein and have named it the Diana Maria mine. It is named after Ian's wife Diana. What is exciting about this new find is that the fluorite occurs on crystalline quartz and it is color zoned. The fluorite is every bit as fluorescent inky blue in sunlight as the Rogerley mine material is too. It was also found associated with snow white aragonite which offers some striking contrast. So far there have been three pockets found - the Snow Storm pocket (these feature the aragonite), the Graeber-Jones pocket (these have the flourite on quartz) and the Emerald pocket (a richer green color but still color zoned).
October 12, 2017
New Specimens These four groups represent a portion of material I picked up in Europe this past spring. A lot of it needed trimming and some improvement on the locality data. This is the nature of a large collection. I have stratified these into four groups as follows: Tsumeb, Native Elements, Specimens over $1,000 and Specimens under $1,000. There are a lot of interesting specimens in this group.
October 3, 2017
New Gold find! One of the striking new things at the 2017 Denver Show was a new find of crystallized gold from the Fire Creek mine in Lander County, Nevada. Scott Werschky, of Miner's Lunchbox, had the entire supply of these. If you are at all familiar with the gold found at Hope's Nose in England you will instantly recognize the significance of this new find.
October 1, 2017
New Benitoite Gem Mine specimens Prior to the 2017 Denver Show I managed to get close to 200 new specimens prepped. Most of them ended up in the wholesale flats but about 50 were good quality specimens. Here's what I was left with after the Denver Show.
August 12, 2017
Minerals from the Bill Caspers Collection This past June I visited Bill Caspers in Oxnard, California and agreed to take his collection on. The bulk of it is comprised of fluorite from all over the world, however, there are a number of interesting specimens other than fluorite. This is just the first wave of a few hundred specimens in Bill's Collection. I will have most of it available at the Denver Fine Mineral Show this coming September.
July 24, 2017
New find of Gold with erythrite in Morocco! While in England at the end of May I was offered a lot of the new find of gold with erythrite from Bou Azzer in Morocco. I have had converstations with several people and found the exact locality to be the Taghouni mine in Bou Azzer, Morocco. The pit was being enlarged when this small pod of about 50-60 specimens was encountered. I had heard that Spirifer would have some of these at the Sainte Marie aux Mines show in June but beyond that there was not much of this material to be had. I purchased the lot I was shown and have finally gotten around to posting them to the web. from what I have seen a few of the pieces I obtained are exceptional for this rare find. Analysis of the gold was shown to be electrum with a silver content of about 25-30% or so. Regardless, this is a VERY RARE association and no one I know had ever heard of it or seen it before.
The gold occurs as wires, laminar lath shaped crystalline masses, smal leaves, filagree forms and as grains. The cobalt consists mainly of microcrystalline erythrite. Below are two images and a youtube video of the mine locality. Special thanks to Tom Praszkier for the images and video.
June 20, 2017
TOURMALINES! During my recent trip to England I found a quaint collection of TN sized crystals of tourmaline dating from the 1910's with examples from California (shortly after the mines were discovered the in Riverside and San Diego Counties), Maine, Connecticut and New York. Most have hand written labels in Italian and many come with old Ward's Natural Science labels. There's even a small blue cap from the Tourmaline Queen mine in this lot!
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