Mixed Minerals!


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DST01 Copper
Kearsarge Mine, Houghton Co., Michigan, United States
14.0x 10.0x 4.8 cm
$1600

A great copper specimen from the Kearsarge Mine, at the far Northern tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  The Kearsarge Mine operated between 1897 and 1931, and again for a few years in the middle of the century; this piece likely dates to the earlier interval.

When it comes to Michigan copper, I personally look for 3 things: clear sharp crystals, good patina, and an attractive overall from.  This self-standing piece checks all three boxes, with numerous crystals and crystal faces visible throughout, and the left branch being a cluster of large, elongated crystals with very clear form.  The overall shape of the piece is quite sculptural as well, and the size and its visual balance make for a particularly nice display.









DST02 Dioptase with Wulfenite
Ntola Mine, Mindouli, Pool Dept., Republic of Congo
10.4x 5.3x 4.0 cm
$0

A beautiful cabinet sized example of sparking dioptase clusters, with interspersed wulfenite crystals.  The crisp green of the dioptase contrasts exceptionally well with he orange dioptase to make a stunning display, and the almost ball-shaped clusters of dioptase make for an even more visually interesting piece.  There are a few minor blemishes, but the piece is exactly as shown.  









DST03 Malachite, Chrysocolla, Plancheite, Heterogenste
Mashamba West Mine, Kolwezi Mining District, Democratic Republic of Congo
12.0x 7.5x 6.5 cm
$480

Botryoidal malachite is from Congo is certainly nothing new, and neither are malachite/ chrysocolla combinations.  This piece however, really caught my eye-- it is basically layers of malachite, chrysocolla, plancheite and heterogenite that have overgrown each other and maintained a botryoidal form, then in some areas bits of each layer have been selectively weathered away, or a new generation one of the minerals has started to crystalize.  The end result is the beautifully unique, mottled 5 color arrangement you see here. 







DST04 Ludlamite
Huanuni Mine, Delance Prov., Oruro Dept., Bolivia
6.0x 4.7x 3.8 cm
$2000

A very well crystalized example of ludlamte, from Huanuni.  While good examples are known from Idaho, Trepca, and Santa Eualia, the Huanuni mine is generally considered to have produced the best examples of the species.  This piece has exceptionally large, deep green crystals scattered on a siderite matrix.  There are a couple spots of damage, but this still remains an exceptional example of the species-- you rarely see crystals over 1.5 cm, and even those tend to be thin, narrow little pointy things.









DST05 Gersdorffite
Ait Ahmane, Bou Azzer, Ouarzazate Prov., Morocco
25.4x 12.2x 7.5 cm
$1400

A large and exceptionally rich example of this rare sulfoarsenide.  I usually stay away from pieces this large, but it isn't common to see such large masses of this rare species, and the display face was especially clean and well crystalized-- again, not something you often see in such large pieces.  It could easily be trimmed into two nice cabinet specimens-- I might just do that if no one takes it, but for now I want to leave it intact, as it is a really good representative of the species. 









DST06 Manganocalcite
Huanggang Mine, Hexigten Banner (Keshiketeng Co.), Ulanhad League (Chifeng Prefecture), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
12.5x 8.5x 4.2 cm
$400

A nice spray-like cluster of manganocalcite, from the Huanggang Mine. These pink clusters were among the earliest things to come from the mine around 2010, and along with the large ilvaite crystals and arsenopyrite fans, were one of the novelties that drew the attention of collectors to this then-new location. 







DST07 Plancheite with Malachite
Mashamba West Mine, Kolwezi Mining District, Democratic Republic of Congo
11.5x 9.5x 4.2 cm
$400

Another very unusual specimen from the Katanga copper crescent, this one a mix of plancheite with malachite orbs.  The more you look at it, the more weird stuff seems to be going on, and the harder it is to figure out.  Usually it is possible to piece together what happened first, but in this case it's a bit more difficult, so I'll just list the odd features:
The seemingly formless, underlying plancheite mass in some areas seems to have a vague crystal structure, and in places you can see both grooves and cores of a slightly different color that indicate a pseudomorph after something.  
The malachite appears to have crystalized over this plancheite mass; where the malachite  crystals are small it looks to be a later generation of mineralization, but then you get to the malachite orbs, which are somehow internally pseudomorphed to plancheite. Did the malachite crystalize over the plancheite, and then later become plancheite too?
On a totally unrelated note, seeing the semi-hollow structure of these malachite/plancheite orbs strongly reminds me of the new, rounded dioptase casts from Ntola in (the other) Congo... everyone is saying that they are possibly pseudomorphs after shattuckite, but it could possibly be after something like this....









DST08 Topaz, Cassttierit with Fluorite, Mucovite
Tepetate, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
4.5x 3.2x 2.0 cm
$285

A really beautiful example of topaz on rhyolite from Mexico. These are easy to mistake with the examples from Utah, though these tend to be somewhat cheaper.  I usually just see single crystals offered by wholesalers or uglier reddish brown matrix examples; this one combined good transparency and color with exceptional arrangement:  it's almost an entire mini pocket, the matrix gently curves like a shallow bowl or cupped hand, even all the crystals are ideally positioned, with the largest one standing vertically just slightly forward of all the rest.







DST09 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
10.0x 4.5x 4.1 cm
$165

A beautifully arranged cluster consisting of two intersecting, doubly terminated crystals.  The simple description doesn't quite convey how pretty it is, though I will say that it is something of a miracle that the piece survived the burlap sacks and abuse that crystals from this area tend to along the way from the ground to the market.....







DST10 Bournonite and Tetrahedrite
Machacamarca District (Colavi District), Saavedra Province, Potosi Department, Boliviah
7.5x 5.2x 2.8 cm
$275

A nice example of bournonite with tetrahedrite, with the main bournonite half-cogwheel stranding straight up from its matrix. There are a few very sharp tetrahedrite crystals that balance it out quite nicely as well.  From the recent find.  Sawn side.









DST11 Cavansite
Wagholi, near Poona, Maharashtra State, India
5.0x 3.4x 3.3 cm
$195

A beautiful example of vivid blue cavansite, with rather large bladey crystals.  Back in the early 90's, a small 1 cm ball of this mineral would have been about $500.  At the time, the mineral was known to occur in the quarry complex near Wagholi, but excavations had not yet reached the zone where the mineral was most abundant, so pieces were few and far between.  Fast forward to the early 2000's, and workers were now at a much deeper point in the quarry, and pieces became abundant.

So while this hasn't been considered a "rare" for about 15 years, I still thought it was a nice, unique example of the species.... usually the individual crystals are much smaller, and grouped into ball like aggregates.









DST12 Calcite
Landelies, Montigny-le-Tilleul, Hainaut, Wallonia, Belgium
5.3x5.0x 3.6 cm
$185

A great example of twinned calcite from Belgium.  The triangular shape reminds me of the crystals from the Daye Mine in China, only instead of the red coloration that tends to permeate the surrounding matrixes, this one has more of a yellowish (and slightly iridescent) color derived from the same iron oxide. 

Apparently there is a strong field collecting culture in Belgium. For those of you in Belgium, my surprise may seem stupid, but it's just that these field collected pieces never seem to turn up here in the US.  I suppose it is the same as with the various Midwestern American calcite localities: in Midwestern states they tend to be somewhat abundant among local field collectors, but they rarely make it to major shows and into the international market.   

Sawn on back/ sides, but well hidden from the front.







DST13 Dioptase with Wulfenite
Ntola Mine, Mindouli, Pool Dept., Republic of Congo
7.4x 5.7x 7.2 cm
$385

A nice eexample of sparkly green dioptase with minor interspersed wulfenite, from recent finds at the Ntola Mine.







DST14 Calcite
Shullsburg, Lafayette Co., Wisconsin, United States
7.5x 6.6x 4.6 cm
$235

A classic calcite scepter from one of the older, mostly forgotten mining districts in the American Midwest.  The mines in the Shullsburg area were primarily worked for lead and zinc, from the late 1800's until 1978 when the last mine closed. 







DST15 Chalcedony var "Grape Agate"
Mamiju Area, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
12.3x 4.9x 4.7 cm
$185

A nice example of "grape agate" from Indonesia.... at every show I hear people discussing whether or not it is chalcedony or amethyst.  Apparently it's amethyst, but old habits die hard so I will label it incorrectly. 

On a dumber note, I liked this one because it kind of reminded me of a hedgehog, with a slightly big head and longer neck. 







DST16 Arsenic
Plaka Mines, Lavrion, Attica, Greece
9.4x 7.3x 2.1 cm
$335

A nice cabinet sized plate of arsenic, from the ancient Lavrion Mines.  







DST17 Anatase
Kharran, Baluchistan, Pakistan
4.8x 3.7x 2.0 cm
$200

A beautiful miniature sized example of anatase from southwestern Pakistan.  Today decent anatase specimens are not too hard to find, mainly thanks to the discoveries in Pakistan. Years ago however, your best chance would be to wait for a good Norwegian piece to come around (and it was always expensive), settle for a less desirable example from Siberia, or get an ugly weathered one from someplace like Brazil or Arkansas. 

Despite all the material that has come from this area, I still liked this one-- it's richer than most, and the crystals are nicely spaced: close enough for the specimen to be "to-the-point," but not so close that it looks jumbled.







DST18 Scolecite
Nasik Area, Maharashtra State, India
8.1x 6.3x 4.5 cm
$165

A nice example of scolecite from India-- a few crystals will likely come off during shipping, but there shouldn't be any major issues. 







DST19 Fluorite
Lavrion, Attica, greece
7.6x 5.1x 3.2 cm
$185

A nice example of purple fluorite, from the ancient mines at Lavrion.  Quite nice for the locality.







DST20 Smithsonite
Lavrion, Attica, greece
4.3x 3.7x 1.8 cm
$135

A nice example of light blue smithsonite from the ancient workings at Lavrion Greece.

Alternative description: a Kelly Mine wannabe from Greece. 







DST21 Chrysocolla with Quartz
Acari Mine, Caraveli Province, Arequipa Department, Peru
9.4x 5.5x 3.8 cm
$265

A vividly colored example of drusy quartz over chrysocolla, from Peru.  This sort of thing is usually cut into shapes for jewelry. 







DST22 Pink Quartz with Calcite
Choique Mine, Pehuenches Dept., Neuquen Prov., Argentina
5.5x 5.3x 3.1 cm
$165

A nice example of pink quartz with calcite, in a geode.  I liked the overall form of the piece, and it seems particularly fortunate that the piece split open in such a way that left the main calcite crystal on the front edge of the specimen-- if the force to split open the geode had been applied slightly differently, it would probably have been broken.  Some people sell these as "rose quartz," but I think these are just included with iron oxide-- true "rose quartz" gets its color either from color centers based on aluminum and phosphorus impurities, or in some cases inclusions of a dumortierite related mineral.







DST23 Azurite
Shilu Mine, Yangchun Co., Guangdong Prov., China
7.0x 4.3x 3.3 cm
$245

A nice example of radiating clusters of azurite crystals, from China.  As far as Chinese azurite goes, these are probably considered to be the best-- the ones from elsewhre are always just druses of smaller crystals either on a dark matrix or malachite.







DST24 Apatite
Gilgit Area, Northern Areas, Pakistan
3.0x 3.2x 2.0
$175

A cluster of unusually colored apatite crystals from Pakistan.  You see these light blues occasionally from Panasqueira, Portugal (they are usually green), though from he Pakistan/ Afghanistan area they tend to be pink or purple.  Looking at the underside, the cluster appears to be a cast that crystallized over another crystal that has since been dissolved away.









DST25 Ilvaite
Huanggang Mine, Hexigten Banner (Keshiketeng Co.), Ulanhad League (Chifeng Prefecture), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
4.7x 4.2x 3.7 cm
$200

A beautiful example of ilvaite, with unusually lustrous crystals that fan out near the terminations.  This is a (relatively) older piece, from the early days of the discoveries at Huanggang around 2010.  Although a lot of ilvaite was produced, pieces with this luster really only came out near at the beginning.









DST26 Danburite on Talc
Danburite
6.6x 6.1x 2.8 cm
$165

A nice cluster of terminated danburite crystals from Mexico, these have a nice sprinkling of calcite crystals not he back side.







DST27 Apatite with Arsenopyrite (Repaired)
Noche Buena Mine, Zacatecas, Mexicoh
4.8x 3.1x 2.7 cm
$165

An older specimen and a very unusual association from Mexico.  I would guess this dates to the 1970's.  It consists of numerous nearly colorless hexagonal apatite crystals, on matrix with interspersed arsenopyrite.  If you see a lot of minerals on a regular bases, certain things just stick out as odd or unusual-- apatite with arsenopyrite is one of those things, except perhaps from Portugal where it occurs frequently, or Peru/ Bolivia where you see a piece every few years.  For Mexico though, it's pretty unusual. 







DST28 Silver with Calcite
Imiter Mine, Bou Azzer, Ouarzazate Prov., Morocco
2.9x 2.4x 1.8 cm
$285

An excellent thumbnail of wire silver, with a centrally positioned scalenohedral calcite crystal cloning to one of the wires.  As a general rule, I do not buy wire silver form Morocco. There are too many fakes, and too many of the ultra-lustrous thin, wispy wires look like someone grew them in their kitchen-- and they are all the more suspicious for having an acanthite matrix.

This one however, I was not worried about-- for starters, the patina and thickness of the wires set it apart from the fakes, but the ultimate proof (and also what makes this piece particularly special and beautiful) is the lightly etched calcite crystal, with has a bit of silver inside it, anchoring it to the piece.   The overall arrangement and thickness of the wires, their patina, and the position of the central calcite crystal which acts as a focal point, all combine to make a particularly good thumbnail example of Moroccan silver. 







DST29 Quartz ps. Fluorite
Huanggang Mine, Hexigten Banner (Keshiketeng Co.), Ulanhad League (Chifeng Prefecture), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
1.9x 1.8x 1.7 cm
$100

An unusual thumbnail from Huanggang, consisting of a pair of intersecting fluorite crystals that have pseudomorphed to quartz.  Not the prettiest thing, but very interesting. 







DST30 Fluorite
Minerva No. 1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois, USA
1.95x 1.5x 1.5 cm
$85

A nice thumbnail sized specimen of fluorite from Illinois, very transparent with a nice light blue color.  You usually see larger examples of this stuff, good single crystals int he thumbnail size range are a bit harder to find. 







DST31 Fluorite
Xiayang Mine, Yongchun Co., Fujian Prov., China
2.1x 1.7x 1.7 cm
$85

A beautiful little thumbnail of fluorite form the Xiayang Mine, in Fujian Province.  There has been a lot of material coming from this mine, but like virtually all Chinese fluorite, finding a good thumbnail sized piece is always difficult.  I liked this one because the crystal is complete all the way around, and other nicely perched on a little bit of matrix.  Most of these were either larger crystals, or plates of inter grown or tightly packed ones...I got quite a bit of this material, but there were hardly any thumbnails.  There is a degree of color shit, the color is best (though still light green) in indirect sunlight. 







DST32 Fluorite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
4.6x 3.2x 2.2 cm
$135

A great miniature sized example of fluorite from the Ojuela Mine. Until recently, fluorite was something of a rarity from the location, though the last 3 years have seen a bit more material produced.  I particularly liked this one for the perfectly smooth luster and exceptional transparency.  These are usually a bit etched, with frosty surfaces and matte surfaces-- this one however is pristine, and clear enough that you can actually see through it to the underlying matrix. That is almost unheard of from Ojuela.  It almost looks polished, except I know it isn't because I can see slight growth patterns on the faces.







DST33 Cuproadamite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
5.0x 3.6x 2.9 cm
$165

A nice example of particularly vividly colored cuproadamie from Ojuela.  The color seemed to have less of the usual blue hue and a bit more of a yellow, which made it seem more vibrant than what I'm used to seeing from here. 







DST34 Smithsonite
Mineral Point Area, Upper Mississippi Valley Mining Area, Iowa Co., Wisconsin, United States
6.7x 5.9x 2.7 cm
$200

A very old example of smithsonite from Wisconsin, likely dating to the late 1800's.  It isn't especially beautiful, but if you are into Midwestern minerals then you might appreciate it for the historical value.  The best examples were casts and pseudos after calcite--  this one is more of an ugly botryoidal, though you can still the the cast marks on the reverse, from where the smithsonite grew over calcite crystals that later dissolved away.  Decently sized example of this rare old material.... just really ugly, as these pretty much always tend to be.  







DST35 Smithsonite
Mineral Point Area, Upper Mississippi Valley Mining Area, Iowa Co., Wisconsin, United States
4.7x 4.5x 2.5 cm
$135

A very old example of smithsonite from Wisconsin, likely dating to the late 1800's.  It isn't especially beautiful, but if you are into Midwestern minerals then you might appreciate it for the historical value.  The best examples were casts and pseudos after calcite--  this one is more of an ugly botryoidal, though you can still the the cast marks on the reverse, from where the smithsonite grew over calcite crystals that later dissolved away.  Decently sized example of this rare old material.... just really ugly, as these pretty much always tend to be.  







DST36 Copper
Douglass Co., Wisconsin, United States
5.2x 2.0x 1.2 cm
$85

A nice little copper specimen form an unusual locality-- this one has a leaf of flattened copper nicely perched on top of a bit of rock matrix.  It's one of three pieces I obtained-- you see a lot of copper from Michigan, but the Wisconsin locality made these particularly interesting.







DST37 Copper
Douglass Co., Wisconsin, United States
3.7x 2.7x 1.5 cm
$65

A nice little copper specimen form an unusual locality-- this one has a leaf of flattened copper nicely perched on top of a bit of rock matrix.  It's one of three pieces I obtained-- you see a lot of copper from Michigan, but the Wisconsin locality made these particularly interesting.







DST38 Malachite
Nacheng Ag-Au Deposit, Yangchun Co., Yangjiang, Guangdong Prov,. Chinah
15.7x 2.4x 2.3 cm
$285

A nice example of a malachite stalactite, from recent finds in Guangdong province. 







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