Tucson 2016!

An assortment of minerals from the Tucson Show.  There was relatively little that could be considered truly new-- this has been the trend for a couple years due to mining modernization, but low commodity prices over the last several months have led many mines to be idled resulting in even less.  After all, with the exception of gem minerals, virtually all the minerals we collect are just a byproduct of ore mining. 


Be that as it may, there is never a shortage of good rocks in Tucson.  Here are some of my selections.

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Y1601 Azurite with Malacite
Khanong open pit, Sepon Mine, Vilabouly District, Savannakhet Province, Laos
19.5x 14.0x 6.4 cm
$4500

A large cabinet sized specimen of azurite, from recent finds at the Sepon Mine.  These have been trickling out for the last 3 or so years, and at the 2015 Tucson Show the couple big dealers who had them were offering similar pieces in the 10-20k range.

I was able to get this one because it was a large boulder when I purchased it.  It has been trimmed into a large cabinet with a very clean display face, covered with super lustrous and very bright blue azurites.  A number of the crystals have partially psudomorphed to malachite, only to be overgrown by an additional layer of azurite, giving them an exceptionally bright color.

There are saw marks on the back/ bottom, but as you can see, it displays perfectly from the front.











Y1602 Hubnerite on Fluorite with Quartz
Mundo Nuevo Mine, Mundo Nuevo, Sanchez Carrion Prov., La Libertad Dept., Peru
18.0x 12.7x 10.0 cm
$3800

A beautiful and unusual combination specimen of lustrous ferberite on light pink and white fluorite, with quartz. These were found 4 to 5 years back-- the fluorites from this find were almost always highly etched, and combined with the placement of the ferberites, most I saw had a messy appearance and lack of focal point. 

This one though, is fairly well put together.  The fluorite is etched, but the general octahedral  form of the large crystal forming matrix is easily discerned.  The ferberites are sharp, damage free, and nicely spaced out, and are accented by the very transparent quartz needles. 













Y1603 Phosphophyllite
Cerro de Potosí, Potosí City, Potosí Department, Bolivia
2.6x 2.3x 1.5 cm
$1700

A beautiful thumbnail of phosphophyllite from Bolivia-- no description of the species seems to be complete without pointing out that the species is considered a "holy grail" of mineral collecting.

This is a modern piece, found around 10 years ago.  The best (and most expensive) examples were found before 1970, when the Unificada mine cluster was operational-- pieces like this are the result of daredevil miners donning oxygen tanks and going deep into the (officially closed) mines just to collect specimens.

While most of the modern pieces have noticeably light color, this phoshophyllite seems to have grown in a seam-- this has given it more depth and bit more saturated color than most.  The termination is complete, and the front shows the desirable twinned form.  It is a bit etched along the left edge.

While this isn't exactly cheap, it is a bargain compared to what one of the "old" samples would cost-- especially for a 1 inch crystal with twinning and decent color.  It isn't one of those pieces, but it does a pretty good job of faking it.









Y1604 Silver
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
4.5x 2.6x 0.6 cm
$1800

A very nice silver wire from Peru.  This piece dates to the famous finds of the 1980's, and comes from an old Peruvian collection (actually assembled in Peru.)  The wire is longer (and much thicker) than the contemporary pieces found around 2005-2010, and what I find most appealing is that it doesn't have the rough, frayed appearance that other Uchucchacua silvers tend to have..

Sorry to include my hand in the picture, for whatever reason simply positioning it on the glass made it seem much more two dimensional in the pictures-- as with most wire silvers, this one has a number of turns and bends.













Y1605 Aquamarine on Muscovite
Chumar Bakhoor, Hunza Valley, Nagar, Northern Areas, Pakistan
8.5x 5.3x 4.7 cm
$1380

I usually don't bother with these anymore, but I was in a Pakistani dealer's room, and this one caught my eye out of all the others in the case (and he was almost exclusively offering these aqua/muscovite combinations.)

The crystals are uncommonly transparent, and very beautifully arranged.  The muscovite is also quite sharp, and is richly studded with numerous small aquas that improve the appearance of what would otherwise be a fairly dull mica matrix.














Y1606 Rhodochrosite
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
2.5x 1.7x 1.2 cm
$600

A very large and incredibly saturated pink crystal of rhodochrosite, from a Peruvian collection that was actually assembled in Peru.

The termination is cleaved, so it's priced at about half what it would be otherwise.  All the same, this color and size is not common for the mine.







Y1607 Fluorite on Quartz
Yaogangxian Mine, Chenzhou, Hunan Prov., China
5.0x 2.4x 2.1 cm
$395

A very beautiful specimen of fluorite perched on the end of an unusually shaped quartz crystal.







Y1608 Acanthite
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
2.8x 1.9x 1.8 cm
$295

A bright thumbnail with a very well positioned (and fairly sizable) acanthite crystal, from old finds at Uchucchacua, likely dating tot he 80's or 90's.







Y1609 Rhodochrosite
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
3.4x 1.3x 1.1 cm
$480

A very large and complete crystal of rhodochrosite from a collection of Peruvian minerals actually assembled in Peru.  The crystal is very large for the locality, but it unfortunately lacks in luster and  color saturation.  







Y1610 Mushistonite on Kesterite with Aquamarine
Huya Village, Mt. Xuebaoding, Sichuan Prov., China
7.7x 6.2x 2.8 cm
$395

A very nice combination sample of kesterite coated with light green mushistonite, sharing a muscovite matrix with numerous aquamarines that display the tabular form typical of this locality.

The kesterite has a contact on the reverse, but you can only tell if you flip it over......  A very nice (and fairly hard to come by) combination specimen nonetheless.







Y1611 Apophyllite on Stilbite
Rahuri, Maharashtra State, India
15.8x 11.0x 4.7 cm
$480

A pair of "disco ball" clusters of apophyllite that have overgrown pink stilbite, on matrix.  This piece comes from a find made around 2011-2012.







Y1612 Fluorite
Rogerley mine, Weardale, Durham Co., England, United Kingdom
10.9x 8.5x 2.7 cm
$385

A nice cabinet sized specimen of fluorite from the famous Rogerly Mine, with the typical green/purple color and day fluorescence you would expect.  There are a couple small cleaves, but nothing major.

In past years there were so many of these, I would mostly just skip over them-- the word this year however, is that the mine is closing so I picked up 2 to post here......... and as always when a mine closes, I'm left wondering why I didn't buy more when they were abundant.  









Y1613 Silver Nugget
Calumet & Hecla Mine, Calumet, Calumet Township, Houghton Co., Michigan, USA
8.5x 5.0x 4.5 cm
$900

A rare example of a silver nugget from Michigan, collected sometime between 1870 and 1890, and obtained from the descendant of a miner.  At the time these things would have been fairly common, considering the millions of ounces of silver produced in the Upper Peninsula, though as most were processed, these are quite hard to find today. 

You can see where it was sawed/ hacked off from the main body of silver in the last image-- on any other specimen that would be considered a negative, but when it comes to Michigan copper country specimens, it seems to be considered a plus....









Y1614 Calcite
Sweetwater Mine, Viburnum Trend, Reynolds Co., Missouri, United States
5.8x 5.8x 4.5 cm
$285

A perfectly terminated and very gemmy calcite on matrix, from the Sweetwater Mine.  These things are usually light yellow and have a milky quality to them-- this one was particularly nice, and even has a small glaena cube near the base of the crystal.  I often see them sold by the flat as wholesale-- always with dings, cleaved terminations, and absolutely no transparency, but again, this one is a cut above.  

This piece comes from an Australian collection.











Y1615 Copper ps Cuprite
Poteryaevskoe Mine, Altaiskiy Kray, Western Siberian Region, Russia
3.1x 2.6x 2.4 cm
$375

A cluster of copper psudomorphs after cuprite octahedrons. Along with the massive amounts of cuprite that came from the area, there was a relatively small find of these very interesting pseudomorphs made in 2011. 

Unlike the cuprites which flooded the market, the prices on these things have been consistently high-- these pseudomorphs were only found towards the end of work in the cuprite-bearing zone and in relatively small quantities. 

This one is priced quite reasonably, I think.











Y1617 Copper ps. Cuprite
Poteryaevskoe Mine, Altaiskiy Kray, Western Siberian Region, Russia
4.4x 3.4x 1.9 cm
$460

A cluster of copper psudomorphs after cuprite octahedrons. Along with the massive amounts of cuprite that came from the area, there was a relatively small find of these very interesting pseudomorphs made in 2011. 

Unlike the cuprites which flooded the market, the prices on these things have been consistently high-- these pseudomorphs were only found towards the end of work in the cuprite bearing zone and in relatively small quantities. 











Y1618 Azurite on Malachite
Khanong open pit, Sepon Mine, Vilabouly District, Savannakhet Province, Laos
5.2x 3.9x 2.5 cm
$240

A nice specimen consisting of a vug of velvety malachite containing a few azurite crystals from Laos.  These specimens have been trickling out over the last 3 years, largely eclipsed by the azurites from Milpillas and often confused with the ones from China.







Y1619 Pyromorphite
Bou Iboulkhir mine, Moulay Bouazza, Khénifra, Meknès-Tafilalet, Morocco
7.3x 4.3x 3.6 vm
$185

A nice specimen of pyromorphite from recent Moroccan finds.  When I collected pyromorphite, I would sometimes hear of elusive "moroccan pyromorphites" and they would inevitably turn out to be ugly brown vanadinite..... This time though, there is no doubt: these are in fact pyromophite from Morocco.

This is a fairly rich example with numerous bright yellow-green crystals on limonite.







Y1620 Pyromorphite
Bou Iboulkhir mine, Moulay Bouazza, Khénifra, Meknès-Tafilalet, Morocco
8.3x 6.4x 4.6 cm
$170

A nice specimen of pyromorphite from recent Moroccan finds.  When I collected pyromorphite, I would sometimes hear of elusive "moroccan pyromorphites" and they would inevitably turn out to be ugly brown vanadinite..... This time though, there is no doubt: these are in fact pyromophite from Morocco.

This is a fairly rich example with numerous bright yellow-green crystals on limonite.







Y1621 Pyromorphite
Bou Iboulkhir mine, Moulay Bouazza, Khénifra, Meknès-Tafilalet, Morocco
9.6x 6.3x 3.9 cm
$165

A nice specimen of pyromorphite from recent Moroccan finds.  When I collected pyromorphite, I would sometimes hear of elusive "Moroccan pyromorphites" and they would inevitably turn out to be ugly brown vanadinite..... This time though, there is no doubt: these are in fact pyromophite from Morocco.

This is a good example with numerous small but bright yellow-green crystals on limonite.







Y1622 Fluorite
Rogerley mine, Weardale, Durham Co., England, United Kingdom
6.0x 5.0x 3.4 cm
$195

A nice specimen of fluorite from the famous Rogerly Mine-- I liked this one because the main crystal is both twinned and fairly isolated-- they are always somewhat bunched together.  The small accessory crystal has a cleave, the main one is perfect.

I never bought many of these in the past, but the word this year was that the mine is closing.... and as usual, I'm left wondering why I didn't get more when they were abundant.







Y1623 Phenacite
Ambatomalaza, Ibity Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
4.8x 2.8x 1.9 cm
$395

This piece was purchased in Madagascar, though was not posted with the main trip update because I wasn't quite sure what it was.  As it turns out, some of the material was available in Tucson as well--it had been tested and the result was phenacite.  

Looking at this piece, that may seem fairly obvious-- this is one of the better examples from the find.  The majority of the crystals were somewhat smaller, and less elongated-- to the point that they looked like dodecahedrons.  In fact, the folks in Madagascar were selling them as rhodizite-- and I thought the same until speaking to another dealer in Tucson.

This is from a recently discovered locality.







Y1624 Phenacite on Magnetite
Ambatomalaza, Ibity Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
3.3x 3.6x 2.5 cm
$260

This piece was purchased in Madagascar, though was not posted with the main trip update because I wasn't quite sure what it (or its matrix) were.  As it turns out, some of the material was available in Tucson as well--it had been tested and the result was phenacite on magnetite-- a rather unusual combination.  

Looking at this piece, the phenacite bit may seem fairly obvious--that's because this one has a bit better form than most.  The majority of the crystals were somewhat smaller, and less elongated-- to the point that they looked like dodecahedrons.  In fact, the folks in Madagascar were selling them as rhodizite-- and I thought the same until speaking to another dealer in Tucson.

This is from a recently discovered locality.







Y1625 Phenacite on Magnetite
Ambatomalaza, Ibity Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
2.3x 1.8x 1.4 cm
$120

This piece was purchased in Madagascar, though was not posted with the main trip update because I wasn't quite sure what it (or its matrix) were.  As it turns out, some of the material was available in Tucson as well--it had been tested and the result was phenacite on magnetite-- a rather unusual combination.  

The majority of the crystals from this find were not as prismatic or elongated as one would normally expect for phenacite-- to the point that they looked like dodecahedrons.  In fact, the folks in Madagascar were selling them as rhodizite-- and I thought the same until speaking to another dealer in Tucson.

This is from a recently discovered locality.







Y1626 Azurite
Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Sonora, Mexico
2.4x 2.1x 0.85 cm
$195

A very nice thumbnail of azurite from Milpillas, consisting of two intersecting crystals.  This can be displayed from more than one angle.







Y1629 Acanthite
Imiter Mine, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
6.1x 2.4x 3.1 cm
$300

A nice sample of acanthite from Morrcco.  

If you heat it up enough, you can even make yourself a specimen of wire silver on acanthite (please don't, there's enough of that junk floating around already...)









Y1630 Acanthite
Imiter Mine, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
4.6x 3.0x 2.3 cm
$285

A nice sample of dendritic acanthite from Morrcco.  

If you heat it up enough, you can even make yourself a specimen of wire silver on acanthite (please don't, there's enough of that junk floating around already...)







Y1631 Acanthite
Imiter Mine, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
8.3x 3.0x 2.8 cm
$375

A nice sample of acanthite from Morrcco.  









Y1632 Veszelyite
Gejiu Sn-polymetallic ore field, Gejiu Co., Yunnan Prov., China
4.5x 3.7x 1.6 cm
$185

A better-than-average sample (for China) of this beautifully colored copper zinc phosphate.  The only other obtainable locality would be the Black Pine Mine in Montana-- those are leagues better, but compared to what I've seen from China, this is pretty good.  Most were just micro crystals semi-included in hemimorphite.  There is damage, but again, to see isolated, actually formed crystals like this of any quality is quite unusual from here.







Y1633 Gersdorffite
Bou Azzer, Ouarzazate, Morocco
7.2x 5.7x 3.5 cm
$0

Gersdorffite is a fairly rare nickel arsenic sulfide.  While it is found at a number of localities, the bulk of well crystallized samples (when you see them) come from the Bou Azzer region of Morocco.

This year a few of the Moroccan dealers had examples of the species, I'm guessing there was a pocket of the stuff that got split up among a few of them--there would not have been more than a few flats in total.  Most were in rather poor condition or way too large, but I did select one decent looking piece.  It's not perfect, but fairly sizable compared to what you would normally find.









Y1634 Wardite
Rapid Creek, Dawson Mining District, Yukon Territory, Canada
5.1x 3.7x 1.6 cm
$135

A nice sample of wardite on matrix, from a very remote location in northwestern canada that is famous for its phosphates.







Y1635 Lefontite
João Teodoro Mine, Linópolis, Divino das Laranjeiras, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil
3.3x 0.8x 0.4 cm
$160

A thumbnail sized spray of this relatively new (approved in 2014) iron, aluminium, beryllium bearing phosphate from the type and only locality.







Y1636 Quartz incl. Cookite and Tremolite
Obira mine, Bungo-Ohno City, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu Region, Japan
7.6x 3.3x 2.8 cm
$335

A group of quartz crystals included by hairy (tremolite?) and cookeite spheres.  

It seems that the first generation (which now constitutes the internal phantom) was included heavily with tremolite.  Cookeite spheres deposited on its surface, and then a second generation of quartz grew over all that, creating what you see here.

A beautiful and unusual example of rare Japanese material. 










Y1637 Quartz incl. Cookite and Tremolite
Obira mine, Bungo-Ohno City, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu Region, Japan
6.6x 2.1x 1.5 cm
$185

A quartz crystal included by hairy (tremolite?) and cookeite spheres.  There is a second broken crystal attached to the side

It seems that the first generation (which now constitutes the internal phantom) was included heavily with tremolite.  Cookeite spheres deposited on its surface, and then a second generation of quartz grew over all that, creating what you see here.

A beautiful and unusual example of rare Japanese material. 








Y1638 Quartz incl. Cookite and Tremolite
Obira mine, Bungo-Ohno City, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu Region, Japan
6.9x 1.9x 1.6 cm
$185

A quartz crystal included by hairy (tremolite?) and cookeite spheres.... it almost looks like a fish laied eggs in this thing. 

It seems that the first generation (which now constitutes the internal phantom) was included heavily with tremolite.  Cookeite spheres deposited on its surface, and then a second generation of quartz grew over all that, creating what you see here.

A beautiful and unusual example of rare Japanese material. 








Y1639 Quartz incl. Cookite and Tremolite
Obira mine, Bungo-Ohno City, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu Region, Japan
5.5x 2.4x 1.8 cm
$165

A quartz crystal included by hairy (tremolite?) and cookeite spheres.  It is nice that the quartz crystal has good luster and transparency, so the inclusions can be fully appreciated.

It seems that the first generation (which now constitutes the internal phantom) was included heavily with tremolite.  Cookeite spheres deposited on its surface, and then a second generation of quartz grew over all that, creating what you see here.

A beautiful and unusual example of rare Japanese material. 








Y1640 Quartz incl. Cookite and Tremolite
Obira mine, Bungo-Ohno City, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu Region, Japan
6.0x 1.4x 1.2 cm
$155

A quartz crystal included by hairy (tremolite?) and cookeite spheres.  It is nice that the quartz crystal has good luster and transparency, so the inclusions can be fully appreciated.

It seems that the first generation (which now constitutes the internal phantom) was included heavily with tremolite.  Cookeite spheres deposited on its surface, and then a second generation of quartz grew over all that, creating what you see here.

A beautiful and unusual example of rare Japanese material. 








Y1641 Quartz incl. Cookite and Tremolite
Obira mine, Bungo-Ohno City, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu Region, Japan
4.1x 1.1x 0.95 cm
$135

A quartz crystal included by hairy (tremolite?) and cookeite spheres.  It is nice that the quartz crystal has good luster and transparency, so the inclusions can be fully appreciated.

It seems that the first generation (which now constitutes the internal phantom) was included heavily with tremolite.  Cookeite spheres deposited on its surface, and then a second generation of quartz grew over all that, creating what you see here.

A beautiful and unusual example of rare Japanese material. 








Y1642 Quartz incl. Tremolite, Iron Oxide and Actinolite
Nghe An Province, Vietnam
10.7x 2.9x 3.0 cm
$465

A colorful quartz crystal from a new find in Vietnam.  The crystal is termninated and has good color saturation-- it almost looks like the examples from Madagascar, except in addition to the red and green, it has golden colored tremolite  fibers (I'm guessing that's what they are) mixed in.

The transparency and luster of the faces is better t the front than the back, so there is one define direction from which to display it.  The base is slanted.









Y1643 Quartz incl. Tremolite, Iron Oxide and Actinolite
Nghe An Province, Vietnam
8.0x 1.4x 1.3 cm
$160

A quartz crystal from a new find in Vietnam.  The crystal is terminated  and is included mainly with tremolite

The transparency and luster of the faces is better at the front than the back, so there is one define direction from which to display it.  Minor scuffing, 







Y1644 Rhodochrosite with Boulangerite
Hercules Mine, Mt. Read, Williamsford, Rosebery Dist., Tasmania, Australia
9.7x 3.6x 2.4 cm
$240

This is admittedly not very pretty-- if it were from Peru, Colorado, or Romania (where it would appear to be from at first glance) I wouldn't even bother posting the thing.  But it's not-- it's Australian.  Rhodochrosite is known from Broken Hill, but even those seldom turn up.  To find one from Tasmania is quite unusual, so I figured it some dedicated collector of rhodochrosite or Australian minerals would appreciate this, despite its less than great appearance.   







Y1645 Fluorite
Xianghualing Mine, Xianghualing Sn-polymetallic ore field, Linwu Co. , Chenzhou Pref., Hunan Prov., China
11.2x 6.0x 5.8 cm
$340

An icy green cluster of sharp fluorite crystals from China.  The main crystals on the display face are all intact, but the edges are a bit awkwardly sawn.  With that said, it displays exactly as shown-- or actually, a bit better, because in person the crystals are considerably more distinct and their sharpness is easier to appreciate. 







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