Mixed Minerals!

A selection of minerals from around the world, including a selection of higher quality “grape agate” specimens from recent discoveries in Indonesia.  These first started to appear around two years ago and the production has been somewhat varied in quality, with the majority having significant damage, weak color and orbs that seem too tightly packed.  This group has somewhat more saturated color, are relatively clean, and most have a very pleasing secondary crystallization of microscopic quartz that gives them a wonderful sparkle.  A few examples also have celadonite inclusions that turn the orbs green— the most interesting combine both purple and green orbs on a single specimen, making for a rather aesthetic contrast. 

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EKV01 Muhistonite on Kesterite
Huya Village, Mt. Xuebaoding, Sichuan Prov., China
8.1x 5.6x 5.8 cm
$4900

A spectacular example of green mushistonite coating kesterite, certainly one of the best I have ever seen (I'd probably put it in the top 2-3 that I have personally seen). To begin with, the cluster is huge for the species-- they are typically thumbnails, and individual specimens rarely exceed 1 cm.  Moreover, matrix specimens are extremely scarce--to put things in perspective, just the cluster of kesterite on this piece bigger than most (entire) matrix specimens I have seen.

On top of that, the piece just has superb aesthetics-- the green is considerably more saturated, the crystals are more distinct, and their arrangement/ position on the muscovite matrix truly makes this a superb example of the species.

If you are a collector of Chinese minerals, you know how scarce good examples of this material are-- Mt. Xuebaoding had its heyday around 20 years ago, when the best scheelites, aquamarines, cassiterite and apatites were found.  Kesterite/ Mushistonite (or "pandaite" as they were initially called) was never common here, and it was pretty much only during the initial discoveries that sizable matrix pieces were discovered.

And as always on this website, I do try to keep the prices reasonable-- this would easily be $8-10k in the booth (or on the website) of a high end dealer.















EKV02 Mexico, Guanajuato
Guanajuato, Mexico
6.0x 3.5x 2.0 cm
$400

A cluster of large acanthite crystals from Mexico.  These have the somewhat rounded, melted appearance that this mineral tends to take on at a number of localities, though you can still see the overall shape of the crystals, including one very large one that is aesthetically positioned above the main body of the specimen.  Quite sizable for the price!










EKV03 Quartz var. Amethyst
Piedra Parada, Las Vigas, Veracruz, Mexico
8.3x 5.0x 2.1 cm
$385

A very beautiful V-shaped cluster of amethyst crystals from Las Vigas, with good color and a very aesthetic overall arrangement.  The crystals are complete on the back, though grew flat against the host rock.










EKV04 Creedite
Mina Navidad, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
15.5x 8.0x 7.8 cm
$285

A large creedite specimen from Mexico.  Long a staple of wholesale dealers, the last few years have seen very little production of this material.  This piece is not perfect— there are areas of shearing on the cluster, but the the overall arrangement and size give it quite a visual impact.










EKV05 Aeschynite-(Y)
Ambatofotsy pegmatite, Mahavelona Commune, Soavinandriana Dist., Itasy Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
2.5x 2.3x 0.85 cm
$260

A very rare aeschyinte-(y) crystal from Madagascar.  This is the yttrium rich member of the rare earth bearing aeschynite group- it is basically an oxide of various rare earth elements. I did not buy this in Madagascar, rather from a reputable dealer of rarities here in the US.  Large crystals are not unknown, but they are certainly hard to come by… 


This deposit was worked before WWI and again for a while after 1948, and is known for producing some of the most spectacular betafites ever recovered-- if you thought the Silver Crater Mine in Canada was impressive, this placed produced a single betafite over 100 kg.  But I digress, that is another mineral entirely--though this is a pretty good (and old) example of something a bit rarer.








EKV06 Hematite
West Cumberland Iron Mining District, Cumbria, England
7.0x 4.3x 2.7 cm
$165

A very renal looking piece of “kidney ore” from the United Kingdom.  Despite the nickname, they don’t often look quite so kidney-like.... It's a good example of classic material…but mostly I'm posting it because I found it kind of funny.










EKV07 Malachite ps. Azurite
Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Sonora, Mexico
6.7x 2.8x 3.8 cm
$180

A group of very sharp malachite pseudomorphs after azurite in a vug, from the Milpillas mine.  The crystals on these pseudomorph specimens usually tend to have a more messy, rounded appearance, to say nothing of the frequent scuffs.  These individual crystals are a bit smaller, but they have that Toussit (or even Tsumeb) sort of blocky sharpness— plus, being situated in a vug, they are all damage free.









ING01 Chalcedony var.
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
14.0x9.0x 2.9 cm
$400

A very sculptural example of "grape agate" from Indonesia.  This one is a pedestal of light purple chalcedony with a lightly botryoidal surface, overgrown by a later generation of orbs that have taken on a green color due to celadonite inclusions.  Most of the specimen, but the late generation orbs in particular, seem to have been overgrown by a final layer of very fine drusy quartz, giving the specimen a the wonderful sparkle present in the highest quality examples.  If you wanted to get a custom base for this, it could probably pull of the "I paid way too much for this" look reasonably well, without actually having paid way too much.









ING02 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
5.8x 4.9x 3.2 cm
$345

Perhaps my favorite specimen from the group, this one combines larger-than-average orbs with excellent spacing/ distinctness, very good color, and great luster.  The luster is due to a later generation of very fine drusy quartz that has overgrown the main orbs.  No damage, and it even looks good from behind (though the larger orbs are on the front.)









ING03 Chalcedony var.
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
8.0x 4.7x 2.8 cm
$280

A nice example of "grape agate" combining both the standard purple orbs, with very green celedonite included ones.  Often times when celadonite is present, the color of the whole specimen ends up being a less-perfect intermediate between green and purple, but on this one there is a wonderful distinctness between the green and purple portions, and both colors are very clearly conveyed.









ING04 Chalcedony var.
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
6.6x 3.7x 1.8 cm
$165

A damage free cluster of grape agate orbs with good color, spacing, and excellent luster.  This is the best luster available for this material, caused by the presence of a very fine overgrowth of drusy quartz.







ING05 Chalcedony var. Grape Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
4.5x 3.7x 2.6 cm
$175

An excellent miniature sample of grape agate, combining multiple generations of growth, each with a different appearance.  The underlying bulk of the specimen (best seen from the back) is composed of regular purple orbs, though the front combines varying shades of purple with a reasonably saturated green caused by celadonite inclusions.  A portion of the front (almost entirely confined to the purple section) seems to have been overgrown by very fine drusy quartz, adding an extra sparkle to the luster.  The green portion does not seem to have received this overgrowth, so it retains a somewhat more matte appearance, and the contrast between generations is heightened by luster as well as color.  An excellent miniature









ING06 Chalcedony var.
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
9.0x 6.0x 3.0 cm
$185

A cabinet sized example of grape agate that grades from purple to green.  This piece has an excellent luster, the result of a very fine overgrowth of dressy quartz crystals.







ING07 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
8.5x 5.4x 4.3 cm
$145

A decently sized cluster of small, saturated purple chalcedony orbs from Indonesia.  No damage and decent luster.  The individual orbs on this piece are smaller than average, though retain a dog degree of distinctness and have very good color.









ING08 Chalcedony var.
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
5.3x 4.2x 3.4 cm
$85

A nice cluster of purple chalcedony orbs from Indonesia.  No damage and decent luster.  The individual orbs on this piece retain a good degree of distinctness and have pretty good color.









ING09 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
6.3x 3.8x 2.6 cm
$135

A very purple cluster of "grape agate" from Indonesia with very good luster.  This one has a plate of high luster orbs perched on a cluster of more slightly lighter aggregates. No damage.











ING10 Chalcedony var.
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
6.2x 3.8x 2.6 cm
$85

A nice damage free example of grape agate from Indonesia.  This one has an excellent luster caused by a very fine overgrowth of dressy quartz, and the entire specimen is bi-colored-- one half has included celadonite that lends the piece a deep green color.









ING11 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
6.2x 3.4x 2.0 cm
$85

A nice example of grape agate from Indoniesia.









ING12 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
6.9x 3.9x 2.6 cm
$110

A very nice example of saturated purple grape agate from Indonesia.  This one is very clean, and combines excellent color with good luster.











ING13 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
6.1x 3.8x 1.9 cm
$90

An example of Indonesian grape agate with very saturated lavender color, and decent luster.  This one is a bit better in person-- the combination of luster and the 3D nature of the individual orbs makes it a but difficult for the camera to properly focus, making it look a bit more jumbled than it is in person.  This one is also sprinkled with numerous tiny rice-grain like quartz crystals.









ING14 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
6.2x 3.4x 2.6 cm
$70

A nice example of grape agate from Indonesia.  Average color and luster, relatively clean.









ING15 Chalcedony var. Grape Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
7.2x 7.1x 1.8 cm
$88

A plate of purple chalcedony with slightly greenish areas that derive their color from the presence of celadonite inclusions.  The luster on this piece is quite good, thanks to an overgrowth of minute drusy quartz crystals.  Not the usual as far as specimens composed of many orbs, but oddly pretty (in person) between the color gradation and the sparkly luster.







ING16 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
5.4x 4.4x 3.4 cm
$85

A nice example of grape agate from Indonesia-- these have decent color, though I liked it because the main cluster of purple orbs appears to sit on a "matrix" of smaller, less saturated ones.  Minor damage.









ING17 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
5.2x 2.9x 3.0 cm
$75

A nice cluster of lustrous orbs of "grape agate" from Indonesia.  This one has pretty good color and orb size, though the orbs are not quite as distinct.









ING18 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
4.5x 2.7x 2.8 cm
$70

A nice miniature sized cluster of grape agate orbs with excellent color and great luster.









ING19 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
4.8x 3.1x 1.5 cm
$60

A nice miniature sized example of pupae-green "grape agate" from Indonesia.







ING20 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
4.5x 2.8x 2.6 cm
$55

A cluster of "grape agate" orbs with excellent color and good luster, from Indonesia.









ING21 Chalcedony var.
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
8.5x 6.1x 2.7 cm
$165

A good example of "grape agate" from Indonesia, though this one is probably closer to unripe grapes in terms of color-- the green comes from celadonite inclusions, and there is pretty much no purple anywhere on this piece.  There is no damage of any particular note, the orbs have excellent distinctness, and the whole piece has an excellent luster imparted by an overgrowth of very minute drusy quartz.









ING22 Chalcedony var. "Grape" Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
6..0x 5.3x 3.6 cm
$145

A nice example of purple, green and in between (rhyme unintentional) colored orbs of grape agate, from Indonesia.









ING23 Chalcedony var. Grape Agate
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
4.7x 2.9x 3.2 cm
$165

It's not a particularly great example of this material, but it looks like a cartoon dinosaur.  That's basically it.









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Click here to see the previous update (Madagascar minerals mostly under $100)