PERU!

A selection of nearly 50 specimens, from a recent trip to Peru.  A second update will be posted after the Denver show.

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15PR01 Pyrite on Quartz
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
15.5x 10.2x 7.5 cm
$3800

A very beautiful large cabinet specimen of cubic pyrite, aesthetically perched on a matrix of quartz crystals.  There are a couple chips, but this specimen is unusually beautiful, even considering how incredibly prolific this mine has been.  Unlike 99.999% of these, the crystals are distinct, and the quartz matrix provides a welcome contrast-- they are usually tight clusters of crystals.

There isn't too much I can say that the pictures dont-- It's a beautiful and very well balanced piece-- and it certainly stands out among the literally millions of other Huanzala pieces out there. 











15PR03 Realgar on Orpiment
Quiruvilca Dist., Santiago de Chuco Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
10.5x 7.4x 7.0 cm
$485

A very brightly colored specimen of gemmy, prismatic realgar crystals in an orpiment vug.  The orpiment is unusually blemish free, and the realgars have been nicely protected from the usual excessive damage by their position inside the orpiment vug.

A very striking piece.  I have applied a UV blocking coating, it is nearly invisible, though a good idea for this type of material.







15PR03A Chalcopyrite on Pyrite
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
12.1x 6.4x 5.2 cm
$1400

A nice cluster of octahedral pyrite crystals from Huanzala.  Pyrite has been known form this locality for decades, and I would consider this to be one of the most (if not the most) prolific mine in the world, in terms of the sheer tonnage of specimens produced.  For the last several years however, very little material of good quality has escaped-- over 5 trips to Peru, only this trip and the first yielded what I would consider to be good pieces from Huanzala, all the pyrites I brought back in between were from Racracancha.  

This piece is a cluster of octahedral crystals-- the locals call these "triangulos" ("cocos" as the dodecahedrons, "chispas" are the groups of small crystals you see in gift shops, and "cubos" are self explanatory.)  This piece is parially contacted on the back (it has to be attatched to the mine wall somewhere), and looking closely I see only a couple 2-3 mm chips on the front--but I had to look *very* closely.  With that said, this thing is in exceptional condition.

This was one piece from a medium sized lot that I purchased.  As the person who sold them to me put it-- the group this belonged to was selected from "many tons" of specimens, and judging from what I usually see, I am inclined to believe him.  It is never difficult to buy pyrite in Peru, but finding good pieces is another story entirely-- there are usually only a couple per trip, though this time I got lucky.  











15PR04 Rhodonite
Chiuruc, Huallanca Dist., Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
4.5x 3.9x 1.7 cm
$385

A nice miniature specimen of fairly saturated pink rhodonite, at what I would consider to be a very good price.  To the best of my knowledge, the main rhodinite finds at this location took place once around 1989, and a second time around 2006.  This piece comes from the 2006 find.

There are really only 4 localities form which you can (have a  reasonable chance of) find(ing) good rhodonite: Chiuruc (where this one is from), Conselheiro Lafaiete in Brazil (the most recent find), Broken Hill, Australia, and the old pieces from New Jersey. 







15PR05 Barite
Cerro Warihuyn, 2 hours walk from Miraflores, Huamalias. Huanuco, Peru
6.8x 6.5x 4.3 cm
$450

A very beautiful barite specimen from this now- famous locality.  This one had the thick crystals and saturated color that distinguish the better ones.  There is some chipping on the right side.

On my first trip to Peru I had the opportunity to visit the area-- the trip to the nearest town (Miraflores) involved a very "interesting" mountain drive in poor lighting, and at the time, the next largest town (Llata) only had a $5 a night hotel where my room number was indicated by the number on the billiard ball key ring.  Seriously though, that's why I love this.  If I have anything to complain about, it would be that the bumps in that road out of Miraflores posed excessive danger to the well being of my newly purchased (and very fragile) barites.....









15PR06 Copper
Casapalca Mine, Casapalca, Huarochiri Province, Lima Department, Peru
12.0x 7.2x 5.5 cm
$485

A cabinet sized specimen of copper from Peru.  The quality of the crystallization varies from poor to medium, but this is an exceedingly rare example of Peruvian copper.  For a country that lies next to one of the most prolific copper producers in the world (Chile) and which produces a fair amount itself, the native element is absurdly difficult to find.  As an indicator of scarcity, Mindat only shows a single picture.

This one has a nice patina-- I saw a couple unprepared ones-- they are basically just masses of copper in some chalky material that has turned green from copper leaching through it.  This one must have been cleaner to begin with, because the copper has a patina-- those completely encased in the chalky material that they are etched out of show the high luster that is a telltale sign of acid exposure.








15PR07 Grossular garnet
Mina Cantera, Casma Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru
8.0x 5.8x 7.3 cm
$485

This is not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it's the best garnet I have seen from Peru, and comes from a find made 3-4 years ago.  It is accompanied by a partial vesuvianite crystal. 

For the sake of comparison, I purchased a group of these about 3 years ago when the find was fresh-- the largest crystal was about 1 inch.  If you are a garnet collector, you might want to consider this one....









15PR08 Schorl
Turmalina Mine, Canchaque, Huancabamba Province, Piura Department, Peru
4.8x 2.5x 3.8 cm
$275

Here is another Peruvian oddity-- a doubly terminated schorl crystal.  Although I had heard of this mine before (and with a name like "Turmalina" it isn't hard to guess what was found there) I had never actually seen a Peruvian tourmaline crystal outside of a book.  In fact, the only thing I had previously seen from the location was what has to be one of the world's best scheelite crystals, in a Museum (yes, it gives Xuebaoding a run for its money-- though maybe not so much in terms of color)

But back to this (more humble) piece-- there is damage (as shown) though there are also angles that nearly totally hide its appearance.  

For the collector of tourmalines (not the gem-only people) or Peruvian minerals, this is probably something that would be a novelty.  When I saw it in Peru, my first question was if someone had gifted them a piece from Pakistan... 










15PR08A Pyrite
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
8.5x 6.4x 7.3 cm
$750

A nicely isolated octahedral pyrite crystals on a pyrite matrix, from Huanzala.  Pyrite has been known form this locality for decades, and I would consider this to be one of the most (if not the most) prolific mine in the world, in terms of the sheer tonnage of specimens produced.  For the last several years however, very little material of good quality has escaped-- over 5 trips to Peru, only this trip and the first yielded what I would consider to be good pieces from Huanzala, all the pyrites I brought back in between were from Racracancha.  

There is one place where the crystal appears to have grown up against another one.  This is most visible in the image directly below the description, on the right side.  There are a couple different angles from which you could display this one.

This was one piece from a medium sized lot that I purchased.  As the person who sold them to me put it-- the group this belonged to was selected from "many tons" of specimens, and judging from what I usually see, I am inclined to believe him.  It is never difficult to buy pyrite in Peru, but finding good pieces is another story entirely-- the combination of "heavy" and "brittle" does not make it easy.









15PR09 Rhodochrosite
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
1.7x 1.3x 1.4 cm
$900

A relatively large and very gemmy rhodochrosite point from the Uchuccachua Mine.  This is primarily a silver mine, though every few to several years since the 1980's it has yielded these beautiful rhodochrosites.  Without a doubt this is one of the top 3 mines for the species, along with N'Chwaning and Sweet Home.

This thumbnail has unusually deep color, and again, a more hefty appearance than most others in the same size range.







15PR10 Ferberite with Quartz
Pasto Bueno, Pallasca Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru
3.0x 2.4x 2.3 cm
$185

A competition quality thumbnail, with a doubly terminated ferberite crystal perched on a perfectly terminated, transparent quartz crystal.  This quality was almost unheard of at the nearby Mundo Nuevo Mine, that produced the bulk of the quartz/ ferberite combinations that hit the market a few years ago-- for starters, the quartz there was almost never this clear.

This one was hard to photograph-- somehow it takes on a more 2D appearance in the pictures.  But again, this is a really really good thumbnail of this species-- certainly the best I have seen so far (that I can remember...).









15PR11 Pyrite on Quartz
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
10.4x 8.7x 4.7 cm
$495

A very beautiful pyrite specimen, with several very sharp crystals nestled in a cluster of quartz crystals.  The pyrite has the mirror-like luster that characterizes the best pieces from this mine-- you can actually see the reflections of the quartz crystals on the pyrites' surfaces.

The main crystals are all intact, though a couple of the peripheral ones have contacts (I mean, it had to be extracted somehow...)  This is an excellent (and very beautiful) piece-- the ones with quartz always seem to be the most sought after, though unfortunately they are considerably less common. 











15PR12 Pyrite on Quartz
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
10.3x 6.8x 6.0 cm
$485

A single pyrite cube, nicely isolated on a quartz matrix.  That isolation is extremely usual-- 99.999% of the specimens from this mine are solid pyrite, typically tightly packed groups of crystals.  There is avery small ~1.5 mm chip next to one of the corners. 

The ones with quartz always seem to be the most sought after, though unfortunately they are considerably less common. 









15PR13 Ferberite with Quartz
Pasto Bueno, Pallasca Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru
5.3x 5.0x 5.5 cm
$490

An exceptionally sharp crystal of ferberite, with quartz.  These things tend to have very fine edges that are chipped about 98% of the time-- this one is perfect and displays a deep red color around the edges with minimal lighting.

The crystal is very well exposed, and a cut above the more plentiful Mundo Nuevo pieces that hit the market a few years back.  The ferberite crystal is thicker, has better color, and the quartz adds to the specimen's appearance, rather than hiding the focus of the specimen-- if you've seen the Mundo Nuevo material, you'll know what I mean.











15PR16 Orpiment
Quiruvilca Dist., Santiago de Chuco Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
4.5x 3.0x 3.3 cm
$330

A miniature sized specimen of very bright orpiment-- I'm not sure when exactly this piece was found, but the person I bought it from said it had been"guardado" (saved) for some time.  The last time there was a major find of orpiment of this quality was in the 1980's at the same mine-- though this piece probably comes from a small pocket hit sometime within the last few years, that was not large enough to merit special attention as a "new find."

Off the top of my head, the only other localities I can think of that produce(d) good orpiment are the Twin Creeks Mine in Nevada (no longer producing specimens) and the place in China-- though those Chinese examples don't even come close in terms of quality.


I have applied a nearly invisible UV blocker.







15PR17 Rhodochrosite
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
7.5x 3.8x 5.2 cm
$365

A cabinet specimen hosting numerous deep pinkish-red rhodochrosite crystals on a nicely contrasting matrix coated by dark manganese oxides.

This is primarily a silver mine, though every few to several years since the 1980's it has yielded these beautiful rhodochrosites-- from what I know about the last couple finds, this one is at least 6-7 years old.  Without a doubt this is one of the top 3 mines for the species, along with N'Chwaning and Sweet Home.







15PR18 Clinoatacamite
Lily Mine (Lilly Mine), Pisco Umay, Ica Department, Peru
4.3x 3.4x 2.8 cm
$175

A rich and "to the point" miniature specimen of this rare mineral, from  the find made about 1.5-2 years ago.  This is a pretty good miniature of the mineral.







15PR18A Pyrite
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
7.7x 6.0x 6.5 cm
$400

A nicely isolated pyrite crystal on a pyrite matrix, with a mirror-like luster.  You can even see my hand in the main picture-- and that is when the camera was focusing on the crystal's surface rather than the reflection.

There are a couple chips, made more noticeable by the high luster.  Still, a good example from the mine.  For the last several years, very little material of good or even decent quality has escaped-- over 5 trips to Peru, only this trip and the first yielded what I would consider to be good pieces from Huanzala, all the pyrites I brought back in between were from Racracancha.  
  











15PR19 Orpiment with Barite
Quiruvilca Dist., Santiago de Chuco Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
13.6x 7.1x 3.2 cm
$400

A cabinet sized specimen of barite on orpiment, fromt he find made several years ago.  As always, there are some blemishes to the orpiment, but this one is much better than most!







15PR20 Orpiment with Barite
Quiruvilca Dist., Santiago de Chuco Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
8.8x 6.0x 1.9 cm
$0

A cabinet sized specimen of barite on orpiment, fromt he find made several years ago.  As always, there are some blemishes to the orpiment, but this one is much better than most!







15PR21 Chalcopyrite on Quartz
Ticlio Mine, Morococha District, Yauli Province, Junín Department, Peru
12.8x 12.5x 3.2 cm
$265

A quartz specimen, covered with hundreds of brassy chalcopyrites.







15PR23 Wulfenite on Copper
Manto Cuba Mine, Inca de Oro, Chañaral Province, Atacama Region, Chile.
5.1x 3.4x 3.3 cm
$265

A very unusual specimen of native copper with wulfenite, from Chile.  I've seen a few Chilean wulfenites in the past, but the only other place I can recall seeing this particular association from is Tsumeb.









15PR24 Quartz, Stolzite on Scheelite
Mundo Nuevo Mine, Mundo Nuevo, Sanchez Carrion Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
3.5x 2.8x 2.6 cm
$850

This specimen is one of my favorite of the miniature sized pieces.  This one has an stolzite-dusted scheelite octahedron perched on the end of a couple quartz crystals.

I had seen a small group of these at Tucson 2015, and was hoping to get more on this trip.  Although the find was small,  I was able to come back with a group of pretty good pieces.  While these are never especially "sharp", those I saw in Tucson looked especially melted-- the pieces I came back with have well formed scheelites, cleaner (I think) form and a generous coating of the powdery yellow-green stolzite that makes them so eye catching.

In 5 trips to Peru, I was only able to get an example of this material once before-- I was quite happy to have been there at a time close enough to a find to be able to get more.









15PR25 Quartz, Stolzite on Scheelite
Mundo Nuevo Mine, Mundo Nuevo, Sanchez Carrion Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
5.7x 3.1x 4.2 cm
$465

An excellent miniature sized specimen of this hard to find material. This one has an stolzite-dusted scheelite octahedron nestled in a quartz cluster, though it is very well exposed and well formed.

I had seen a small group of these at Tucson 2015, and was hoping to get more on this trip.  Although the find was small,  I was able to come back with a group of pretty good pieces.  While these are never especially "sharp", those I saw in Tucson looked especially melted-- the pieces I came back with have well formed scheelites, cleaner (I think) form and a generous coating of the powdery yellow-green stolzite that makes them so eye catching.

In 5 trips to Peru, I was only able to get an example of this material once before-- I was quite happy to have been there at a time close enough to a find to be able to get more.







15PR26 Quartz, Stolzite on Scheelite
Mundo Nuevo Mine, Mundo Nuevo, Sanchez Carrion Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
5.7x 4.2x 4.7 cm
$400

An excellent example of this rare material, with a stolzite-dusted scheelite octahedron nesteled in a group of quartz crystals.  The crystal is well formed and well exposed-- so much so that the piece can be displayed from the front or back.

I had seen a small group of these at Tucson 2015, and was hoping to get more on this trip.  Although the find was small,  I was able to come back with a group of pretty good pieces.  While these are never especially "sharp", those I saw in Tucson looked especially melted-- the pieces I came back with have well formed scheelites, cleaner (I think) form and a generous coating of the powdery yellow-green stolzite that makes them so eye catching.

In 5 trips to Peru, I was only able to get an example of this material once before-- I was quite happy to have been there at a time close enough to a find to be able to get more.











15PR27 Quartz, Stolzite on Scheelite
Mundo Nuevo Mine, Mundo Nuevo, Sanchez Carrion Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
2.8x 2.7x 1.7 cm
$200

An excellent thumbnail specimen of this rare material, consisting of a stacked scheelite crystal (for some reason the scheelites at this locality have a tendency to do that) with a stolzite dusting.  While most occur on quartz, this one has a little hubnerite crystal running along the center.

I had seen a small group of these at Tucson 2015, and was hoping to get more on this trip.  Although the find was small,  I was able to come back with a group of pretty good pieces.  While these are never especially "sharp", those I saw in Tucson looked especially melted-- the pieces I came back with have well formed scheelites, cleaner (I think) form and a generous coating of the powdery yellow-green stolzite that makes them so eye catching.

In 5 trips to Peru, I was only able to get an example of this material once before-- I was quite happy to have been there at a time close enough to a find to be able to get more.







15PR28 Clinoatacamite
Lily Mine (Lilly Mine), Pisco Umay, Ica Department, Peru
3.5x 3.2x 2.1 cm
$145

A rich  miniature specimen of this rare mineral, from  the find made about 1.5-2 years ago.  This is a pretty good miniature of the mineral.







15PR29 Orpiment with Arsenic
Quiruvilca Dist., Santiago de Chuco Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
7.0x 4.5x 3.0 cm
$195

A very bright orange orpiment speicmen-- unlike most others from this location, it has a truly smooth botryoidal appearance, rather than a rough one where the individual tiny crystals are distinguishable.

Perhaps more interesting is the underside-- you can see the white rock matrix coated with a thin layer of dark arsenic, and separated from the orpiment by another layer of an unidentified (presumably arsenic rich) mineral.

Minor scuffing, much much better than the average.









15PR30 Quartz, Tetrahedrite with Pyrite
Mundo Nuevo Mine, Mundo Nuevo, Sanchez Carrion Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
5.8x 4.0x 3.1 cm
$165

A nice sample of tetrahedrite on quartz, from the finds made a couple yeas back at the Mundo Nuevo Mine.  The locality is currently idle.

Contacted on the back, but displays as shown.







15PR31 Hubnerite on Quartz
Pasto Bueno, Pallasca Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru
3.8x 2.6x 1.8 cm
$125

A nice and rather sculptural sample of hubnerite on quartz, from Pasto Bueno.  The crystals are far more distinct than what was produced at the nearby Mundo Nuevo Mine (which account for the bulk of Peruvian hubnerites around these days.)







15PR32 Rhodonite
Chiuruc, Huallanca Dist., Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
4.6x 3.2x 1.9 cm
$230

A nice miniature specimen of fairly saturated pink rhodonite. To the best of my knowledge, the main rhodinite finds at this location took place once around 1989, and a second time around 2006.  This piece comes from the 2006 find.

There are really only 4 localities form which you can (have a  reasonable chance of) find(ing) good rhodonite: Chiuruc (where this one is from), Conselheiro Lafaiete in Brazil (the most recent find), Broken Hill, Australia, and the old pieces from New Jersey. 







15PR34 Rhodonite
Chiuruc, Huallanca Dist., Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
3.7x 2.4x 1.3 cm
$155

A nice miniature specimen of pink rhodonite. To the best of my knowledge, the main rhodinite finds at this location took place once around 1989, and a second time around 2006.  This piece comes from the 2006 find.

There are really only 4 localities form which you can (have a  reasonable chance of) find(ing) good rhodonite: Chiuruc (where this one is from), Conselheiro Lafaiete in Brazil (the most recent find), Broken Hill, Australia, and the old pieces from New Jersey. 







15PR35 Rhodonite
Chiuruc, Huallanca Dist., Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
2.8x 1.6x 1.0 cm
$185

A nice thumbnail specimen of pink rhodonite. To the best of my knowledge, the main rhodinite finds at this location took place once around 1989, and a second time around 2006.  This piece comes from the 2006 find.

I think this is particularly cheap-- these elongated crystals tend to go (or perhaps not actually "go") for very high prices-- I just saw a similar piece currently listed for over $2000.  I think this is more realistic.

There are really only 4 localities form which you can (have a  reasonable chance of) find(ing) good rhodonite: Chiuruc (where this one is from), Conselheiro Lafaiete in Brazil (the most recent find), Broken Hill, Australia, and the old pieces from New Jersey. 







15PR36 Copper
Casapalca Mine, Casapalca, Huarochiri Province, Lima Department, Peru
21x 16.7x 14.0 cm
$660

A very large and exceedingly rare example of Peruvian copper.  For a country that lies next to one of the most prolific copper producers in the world (Chile) and which produces a fair amount itself, the native element is absurdly difficult to find.  As an indicator of scarcity, Mindat only shows a single picture.  This is a big, heavy chunk of the stuff from the Casapalca Mine.

This one has a decent patina-- I saw a couple unprepared ones-- they are basically just masses of copper in some chalky material that has turned green from copper leaching through it.  This one was not over-cleaned.








15PR37 Realgar on Orpiment
Quiruvilca Dist., Santiago de Chuco Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
6.4x 5.0x 3.3 cm
$200

A nice "ketchup and mustard" specimen of realgar on orpiment from Quiruvilca.  Unlike the more blocky realgars from Mina Palomo, these tend to be more elongated.

I have applied a nearly invisible UV blocker.







15PR38A Pyrite
Racracancha Mine, Tinyahuarco Dist., Pasco Prov., Pasco Dept., Peru
17.0x 13.5x 5.2 cm
$590

A large cabinet specimen of pyrite from Racracancha.  There are only a couple very small chips, non especially noticable.  Pyrite is not difficult to obtain in Peru, but to find a specimen in this condition is quite another story...







15PR39 Pyrite
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
6.2x 5.5x 4.0 cm
$185

A nice cluster of pyrite octahedrons with excellent formation-- unfortunately there are some noticeable chips (including on the very top), so this one is cheaper than it would be.









15PR40 Pyrite
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru
6.5x 6.5x 5.0 cm
$300

An isolated pyrite "pyrithoedron."  It can only be displayed from the front, as the sides are just contacts with other crystals.  Still, it's unusual to see one of these alone... this habit in particular tends to form tightly packed clusters. 







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