Tucson 2019

Mixed Minerals from Tucson!

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T1901 Rhodochrosite on Quartz
Oppu mine, Nishimeya-mura, Naka-Tsugaru-gun, Aomori, Japan
11.0x 9.0x 6.7 cm
$1350

A beautiful and difficult to obtain example of rhodochrosite from Japan.  The Oppu mine has been worked intermittently since the 1600's as a source for silver, copper, and eventually lapidary rhodochrosite during a brief period in the 1980's.  This piece differs from the standard botryoidal plates that once usually sees-- it is a cluster of quartz crystals covered with a layer of rhodochrosite.

There are some scuffs, but altogether it is a sizable and impressive example of this hard to find form of rhodochrosite.  Quite good for the price, as well. 









T1902 Fluorite on Quartz
Kara-Oba Tungsten Deposit, Betpakdala Desert, Karganda Oblast', Kazakhstan
7.1x 4.1x 4.1
$485

A beautiful example of octahedral fluorite on quartz, form the notable finds at Kara-Oba in the early 1990's.  This piece has the sharp, dark purple octahedrons that are typical from the location, though not often seen for sale.  It seems I always see pictures of them in other people's collections, but they're never actually available.  Between that, and the distinctive yet understatedly attractive appearance of the sharp, opaque crystals, I thought it would be nice to post here.

The quartz on which the fluorites are perched has a contact with a level of visibility that varies with the chosen display angle.  













T1903 Azurite
Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Sonora, Mexico
5.9x 4.2x 1.6 cm
$325

Milpillas azurites have been the rage among "mineral speculators" for some time, who noting the obvious quality and similarities to Tsumeb, hoard them with the expectation of an increase in value.  Whether or not that's true, their abundance makes them nearly impossible for me to move in the short term, so I don't really buy them unless I particularly like their appearance. And I did like this one.

It combines a cluster of dark blue tabular crystals, well centered on botryoidal white matrix of another mineral, with bits of light blue showing through the whiter layer.  There are little bits of damage visible when you look very closely, but it remains a beautiful and exquisitely balanced piece.  The matrix is what makes it special.







T1904 Brucite
Killa Saifullah District., Baluchustan, Pakistan
10.5x 4.1x 2.4 cm
$285

A lovely bright yellow specimen of brucite from Pakistan.  This is one of those weird instances where the price of a mineral has less to do with supply and demand (or even quality) than who is selling it.  Pieces like this in Tucson sell for anywhere from about $150 to $1000. I've kept this one on the lower end of that range. 

They continue to be found which makes them currently plentiful and affordable, but the significance of the find should not be forgotten.  Compared to the (ridiculously expensive) Pennsylvania classics, these are better both in terms of form and color, and this is without a doubt the best brucite find made to date. 

This one has particularly good color, a pleasing form, and it can be displayed whether horizontally or vertically.  Although, to display it vertically you would probably need a custom base..... and then it would look exactly like the pieces in Tucson being offered for $1000.    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯







T1905 Rhodochrosite
Oppu mine, Nishimeya-mura, Naka-Tsugaru-gun, Aomori, Japan
6.0x 5.3x 1.8 cm
$395

A nice example of botryoidal rhodochrosite from the Oppu Mine, in Japan.  This mine has operated intermittently since the 1600's, first as a source for silver, then later copper and finally lapidary rhodochrosite in the 1980's.

This is a great and very affordable example of this scarce material-- while I do not see them often, it seems that almost all of the pieces I do come across are somewhat large, with prices to match their size.  At 6 cm this is probably harder to find than a cabinet sized piece, and again, how often do you see one of these at this price?







T1906 Prehnite with Tanzanite
Merelani, Arusha, Tanzania
3.9x 3.5x 2.7 cm
$195

A beautiful rosette of translucent prehnite crystals, with an etched tanzanite clinging to the back.  These recently discovered examples are probably the finest prehintes ever found-- to begin with just finding visible crystals is something of a rarity (think of all the pseudo-botryoidal material from New Jersey, Meigu, and India that account for 97% of the examples on the market) to say nothing of the translucency an incredible color.  These display a degree of color shift, being at their most vivid in indirect sunlight or equivalent lighting (as shown in the pictures.)

Apart from the unusual association, this one also has a particularly pleasing form.









T1907 Cuproadamite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
6.8x 4.0x 2.9 cm
$175

A great example of cuproadamite, with good green color.  Adamite has been a staple of dealers importing  Mexican minerals for decades, but most of what gets recovered is yellow.  Every couple/ few years there are some green cuproadamites available as well, but more often than not they are still yellow with just enough green visible to get them the "cupro" label.

These however are some of the greenest Mexican admits I've seen in a while-- the crystals are small, but the coverage is very rich.









T1908 Vanadium Dravite
Nandonjuki, Arusha Dist., Tanzania
4.8x 3.1x 2.1 cm
$275

A great example of a terminated green vanadium dravite on a calcite matrix, from a new find in the Arusha district.  Matrix examples have not been particularly common, but I came across a couple and I felt this one was particularly nicely arranged.







T1909 Beryl var. Aquamarine
Latinka, Ardino Municipality, Kardzhali Prov., Bulgaria
3.45x 1.5x 1.45
$485

I usually skip over the Bulgarian rooms in Tucson, expecting nothing but formless, uninteresting sulfides and the odd amethyst. I happened to step into one however, and saw a pair of aquamarine crystals on a shelf.  After a couple questions, I was surprised to learn that they were in fact Bulgarian.

There were two crystals, this was the better one.  It is an etched floater, doubly terminated and very gemmy, with an exquisitely saturated color that does not come through in the pictures.

If you are a beryl collector, you probably won't see one of these again.  










T1910 Prehnite
Merelani, Arusha, Tanzania
3.2x 2.7x 2.1 cm
$195

A very rare example of *blue* prehnite from a recent find in Merelani.  These supposedly have rare earth impurities that give them the interesting blue color, and they show a degree of UV reactivity as well.  The color  is most vivid in indirect sunlight (as shown.)

Whether blue or yellow-green, these new prehnites from Merelani are perhaps the best ever discovered.  The size of the crystals alone leaves most other localities behind (I cannot readily think of another besides the super rare examples from the Jeffrey Mine in Canada where the crystallization even comes close,) to say nothing of the depth of color (or rarity, in the case of these blues.). To top it all off, the form is quite pleasing as well-- it's a perfect little rosette.







T1911 Cuproadamite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
4.7x 3.5x 0.8 cm
$135

A great example of cuproadamite, with good green color.  Adamite has been a staple of dealers importing  Mexican minerals for decades, but most of what gets recovered is yellow.  Every couple/ few years there are some green cuproadamites available as well, but more often than not they are still yellow with just enough green visible to get them the "cupro" label.

These however are some of the greenest Mexican admits I've seen in a while-- the crystals are small, but the coverage is very rich.







T1912 Kermesite
Kermesite occurrence, Dafeng, Shanglin Co., Nanning, Guangxi, China
5.1x 0.8x 0.5 cm
$285

A great example of this rare antimony oxysulfide, from a find made around 2002.  This find probably produced the best examples of the species ever recovered.  This is not the largest piece, but it does have good form, and 17 years after the original find,  they are nearly impossible to find. 

It is worth noting, most of the kermesite you see from other localities are simply reddish smears, or at best small, flat radiating growths, as is typically the case from most European localities.







T1913 Tanzanite
Merelani, Arusha, Tanzania
2.1x 1.9x 1.0 cm
$170

A nice thumbnail sized sample of tanzanite, with two parallel crystals and a bit of prehnite clinging to the side.







T1914 Scapolite
Morogoro Region, Tanzania
3.0x 1.8x 1.5 cm
$135

A nice example of terminated and rather gemmy scapolite from Tanzania.









T1915 Zoisite var. Tanzanite
Merelani, Arusha, Tanzania
2.4x 2.2x 1.6 cm
$195

A nice example of Tanzanite, with a single terminated crystal perched on the remnants of a larger one. 









T1916 Chrome Tourmaline
Merelani, Arusha, Tanzania
3.6x 2.25x 2.1 cm
$195

A beautiful example of doubly terminated chrome tourmaline crystals clinging to a quartz crystal.  There is a bit of damage on one edge of the tourmaline cluster, though you have to look somewhat closely to see it, and it is not visible from all angles.  Interesting material from recent finds in Tanzania.











T1917 Vanadium Dravite
Nandonjuki, Arusha Dist., Tanzania
3.6x 2.7x 1.2 cm
$135

A great example of a terminated green vanadium dravite on a calcite matrix, from a new find in the Arusha district.  Matrix examples have not been particularly common. 







T1918 Vanadium Dravite
Nandonjuki, Arusha Dist., Tanzania
3.7x 1.4x 1.35 cm
$185

A terminated single crystal of vanadium dravite from a recent find in Tanzania.  It appears a bit dark, but with even a slight amount of back or side lighting, some areas display an incredibly deep, saturated color. 







T1919 Diopside
Merelani, Arusha, Tanzania
3.3x 1.7x 1.6 cm
$135

A nice example of very light green, well formed, and terminated diopside crystals from Merelani.  The color is on the lighter side, but for the price you are getting a good (and rather sizable) example-- with a bit more saturation a crystal of this size would be well over $1000.









T1920 Molybdenite
Hirase Mine, Shinakawa, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
9.5x 6.2x 5.5 cm
$225

An old and very rare Japanese specimen of molybdenite on matrix.  I have only ever seen a couple Japanese molybdenites for sale, and this is the only matrix example I have come across.  The crystals are admittedly not the sharpest, but you can clearly make out the hexagonal form.  The mine operated between 1931 and 1979.







T1921 Hemimorphite
Kiura Mine, Amabe Co., Oita Pref., Japan
7.9x 4.8x 3.9 cm
$85

A rare example of hemimorphite from Japan, with numerous small crystals scattered on matrix. You see lots of hemimorphite from Mexico (on a similar limonite matrix) and quite a few from places like China or Congo, but Japanese examples are almost never encountered.  







T1922 Calcite
Dume, Tokyo, Japan
7.7x 5.8x 3.6 cm
$100

An old Japanese calcite specimen, purchased in Japan as part of a collection of Japanese minerals, and brought to Tucson by friends who set up at shows there. From somewhere like Indiana this would just be another calcite, but seeing calcites from Japan is extremely unusual. 







T1923 Wulfenite with Mimetite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
2.8x 2.5x 1.85 cm
$90

A beautiful thumbnail of wulfenite, with a radiating cluster of elongated crystals sitting atop a limonite matrix that also hosts orbs of green mimetite.  The color of the mimetite is less vivid in person-- the camera seems to have exaggerated it.  Either way, it is a beautiful and well balanced thumbnail example from the recent find. 









T1924 Rosasite in Calcite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
3.5x 2.0x 1.9 cm
$80

A nice example of rosasite orbs completely overgrown with calcite, from mina Ojuela.  The calcite coating protects the rosasite, while gives the orbs a luster that differs substantially from he standard, matte Ojuela rosasite. Older material.







T1925 Smithsonite ep. Calcite
El Refugio Mine, Choix, Sinaloa, Mexico
7.3x 5.3x 3.2 cm
$145

An unusual example of purplish pink smithsonite from Choix, with a purplish pink botryoidal coating very clearly preserving the shape were once calcite crystals. Although more common from Santa Eualia where the same phenomenon occurs with brownish-green smithsonite over scalenogedral calcites, epimorphs like this are rather usual from Choix-- the vast majority are just botryoidal coatings.  

An interesting example from this location.  I should also add, this mine was once quite prolific and almost a staple of wholesale dealers, though there has been almost no new production since the early 2000's.







T1926 Smithsonite
El Refugio Mine, Choix, Sinaloa, Mexico
5.1x 3.4x 4.7 cm
$160

An nice example of purplish pink smithsonite from Choix.  The smithsonite displays the typical botryoidal from and good satin luster, with the mineral coating faces on  a couple different sides of the piece. This mine was once quite prolific, though there has been almost no new production since the early 2000's.









T1927 Stilbite on Epidote
Bendoukou, Sandare District, Kayes Region, Mali
6.5x 4.x 4.2 cm
$165

A beautiful example of yellow stilbite, with an orb of radiating crystals sitting atop a cluster of dark green epidotes, from Mali.  Not exactly rare, butcrtainly far less common that the standard prehnite/epidote combinations.... and it's hard to find one that hasn't been severely beaten up.









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