Mixed Minerals!


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LDV01 Ludlamite with Vivianite
Huanuni mine,Huanuni, Dalence Province, Oruro Department, Bolivia
10.7x 6.2x 5.2 cm
$16000

A spectacular example of ludlamite, from what is undoubtedly the best of species find made at the end of 2019.  There was a single pocket found, I obtained the first (and in my opinion) finest batch of specimens shortly after the discovery-- the miners initially did not realize the significance of their find; they put together this batch then distributed the remainder among themselves as keepsakes. Over the subsequent weeks, a couple European dealers hunted down the remaining pieces, but the first batch up for sale had the best pieces. 

This is the second best piece from the batch I got. I sold most prior to Tucson, but kept this one and a few of the smaller pieces.  It *does* need to go to a lab for cleaning and impregnation, but due the lack of shows (when I typically drop off specimens) it has not been able to make the trip.

This truly is a spectacular example of the species-- even the smallest piece in this update would have previously been considered very, very exceptional-- compare it to this and it is easy to understand how this is so special. Admittedly not cheap, but about 1/3 what other dealers are asking for lesser specimens from the same pocket. If no one takes it, it disappears from the website into my collection. 










LDV02 Ludlamite
Huanuni mine,Huanuni, Dalence Province, Oruro Department, Bolivia
7.2x 3.2x 3.0 cm
$2800

A great example of ludlamite, from what it undoubtedly the best of species find made at the end of 2019.  There was a single pocket found, I obtained the first (and in my opinion) finest batch of specimens shortly after the discovery-- the miners initially did not realize the significance of their find; they put together this batch then distributed the remainder among themselves as keepsakes. Over the subsequent weeks, a couple European dealers hunted down the remaining pieces, but the first batch up for sale had the best pieces. 

This one features a thick spray on matrix-- prior to this find examples like this were practically unheard of, from anywhere. There is chipping on the back facing portion of the crystal, but it displays as shown. 












LDV03 Creedite on Fluorite
Mina Navidad, Abasolo, Durango, Mexico
6.3x 3.6x 3.1 cm
$695

A stunningly beautiful example of creedite on saturated green/purple fluorite. Creedite from Mexico is not rare, in fact it is a staple of many wholesalers. Combinations like this however, are few and far between.  In fact, in all the time I have been doing this, this is only the 3rd such example I have had, and 4th I have seen (meaning, a piece with this sort of proportion.) Usually, the creedite is just a single matrixless ball. If you are lucky, there will be small bits of fluorite clinging to that cluster that provide some color contrast-- but this balance and proportion between the two species is truly rare. 











LDV04 Wulfenite
Red Cloud Mine, La Paz Co., Arizona, United States
8.0x 6.5x 2.3 cm
$400

A beautiful example of bright orange-red wulfenite crystals on matrix, displaying precisely the color you would expect from this famous mine.  The slightly darker matrix adds a nice bit of contrast. 







LDV05 Veszelyite
Mpala Banda, near Mfouai, Bouenza Dept., Republic of Congo
5.3x 3.5x 3.0 cm
$395

An exceptionally rich example of veszelyite, a rare copper, zinc bearing phosphate that is particularly sought after for its color.  While buying hemimorphite in Congo, I noticed a some pieces with dark blue crystals-- at the time I was unsure what they were, but was told during the Tucson show that they were Veszelyite.

Perhaps the most famous examples are the old 60's-70's era pieces from the Black Pine Mine, in Montana-- those were notable for the impressive size of their crystals, though for sheer richness I would say that these new Congolese specimens have them beaten.  Worth mentioning are also nearly identical specimens on blue hemimorphite discovered several years ago in China's Yunnan Prov., though the crystals are often too small to be seen. 









LDV06 Veszelyite on Hemimorphite
Mpala Banda, near Mfouai, Bouenza Dept., Republic of Congo
5.3x 3.5x 3.0 cm
$385

An rich example of veszelyite on hemimorphite.  While buying hemimorphite in Congo, I noticed a some pieces with dark blue crystals-- at the time I was unsure what they were, but was told during the Tucson show that they were Veszelyite.

Perhaps the most famous examples are the old 60's-70's era pieces from the Black Pine Mine, in Montana-- those were notable for the impressive size of their crystals, though for sheer richness I would say that these new Congolese specimens have them beaten.  Worth mentioning are also nearly identical specimens on blue hemimorphite discovered several years ago in China's Yunnan Prov., though the crystals are often too small to be seen. 







LDV07 Smithsonite ps. Calcite
Santa Eulalia District, Chihuahua, Mexico
10.7x 10.0x 6.4 cm
$395

A very clean example of smithsonite after calcite, from Santa Eualia. These usually have a lot of broken crystals, but this one is remarkable clean--especially considering the size-- with only the expected bits around the edges.  This is an older piece, not from the greenish-colored find made a few years ago.  From the bottom, you can see crude galena and fluorite crystals frozen in the matrix, making it somewhat heavy for the size. 







LDV08 Kottigite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
4.3x 28x 2.7 cm
$265

A great example of this rare hydrated zinc arsenate, with a cluster of crystals protected in a vug. Apart from being very rare in the mine, you would be surprised how ugly and delicate it usually is, when it they actually do manage to encounter it. It generally takes the form of fragile, sheet like crystals often embedded in their matrix and nearly impossible to expose. Sometimes it is half pseudomorphed to limonite, or just thin layers of massive material with almost no discernible crystals.  Sawn around the sides/back.   







LDV09 Rhodochrosite
Rhodochrosite
5.0x 2.4x 2.0 cm
$265

An unusual example of rhodochrosite from the Uchucchacua Mine. At first glance you might think this was from Mexico because of the color of the matrix, except that it was obtained in Peru. Unlike most examples from this mine, the typical black, manganese rich matrix is not immediately visible-- but if you look closely you can see little bits of it peeking out from beneath the botryoidal gray layer of some unknown mineral. 







LDV10 Scolecite with Stilbite
Nasik Area, Maharashtra State, India
10.0x 6.6x 3.9 cm
$245

Indian zeolites are absurdly common, but once in a while I see something I like. This one features clusters of acicular scolecite on a cluster of stilbite crystals, with just a tiny bit of matrix clinging to the bottom.  Overall it is just well balanced, nicely arranged and visually pleasing. 







LDV11 Pyromorphite
Daoping-Yangshuo Orebody, Guilin Prefecture, Guangxi Zhuang A.R., China
4.1x 2.3x 1.4 cm
$165

A beautiful example of bright, apple green pyromorphite on matrix, from finds made around 2018.









LDV12 Plancheite in Quartz
Mindouli Area, Pool Dept., Republic of Congo
8.9x 6.4x 3.4 cm
$295

A nice example of plancheite on/ in quartz, from recent finds int he Republic of Congo. This piece consists of a vug lined with quartz crystals; if you look closely you can see small orbs of included plancheite.  There are saw marks on the back, these pockets are basically found embedded in a quarry wall made from a very hard, quartz rich rock.  The local miners excavate  them in very large chunks, and then I have to cut them down.... first round in Congo to reduce shipping weight, then second round in the US to make it look decent. 







LDV13 Zincolibethenite on Hemimorphite
Mpala Banda, near Mfouai, Bouenza Dept., Republic of Congo
8.7x 7.4x 4.1 cm
$200

Mixed in with the blue hemimorphites from Mpala Banda, were some pieces with crystals of additional minerals-- some turned out to be veszelyite, these were zincolibethenite. On this specimen, the mineral occurs as thousands of small blue-green crystals on the pale botryoidal hemimorphite.







LDV14 Ludlamite
Huanuni mine,Huanuni, Dalence Province, Oruro Department, Bolivia
4.6x 2.6x 2.2 cm
$1600

A great example of ludlamite from a find made in late 2019 that was arguable the best of species find. This is one of the more modest pieces from the find, but do not let that fool you--even this is exceptional from the species, and pieces like this have always been few and far between. In Tucson, from a "reasonably priced" dealer, something like this would likely be priced anywhere from $2300-$2800









LDV15 Fluorite on Quartz
Hunan Prov., China
4.6x 3.3x 3.2 cm
$285

A beautiful miniature sized example of purple fluorite with clear phantoms, on a cluster of quartz crystals.  The quartz is contacted on the back.  This is a relatively new find, so locality information is still being obscured....











LDV16 Zincolibethenite on Hemimorphite
Mpala Banda, near Mfouai, Bouenza Dept., Republic of Congo
10.3x 7.5x 3.0 cm
$265

 Mixed in with the blue hemimorphites from Mpala Banda, were some pieces with crystals of additional minerals-- some turned out to be veszelyite, these were zincolibethenite. On this specimen, the mineral occurs as hundreds of little green "buttons" about 1-1.5 mm in diameter dotting the surface of the botryoidal hemimorphite. 







LDV17 Cavansite and Stilbite
Wagholi Quarry Complex, Near Poona, Maharashtra Prov., India 10
4.4x 3.6x 2.2 cm
$165

A very well balanced example of cavansite on matrix, with two deep blue clusters and a bit of adjacent stilbite, on a heulandite-covered matrix. There is a a rub on the top/back of the cluster, but it isn't immediately apparent unless you are looking from above.. and I still think it's a pretty miniature. 

Although discovered in Oregon, the best examples have come from this complex of 4 quarries outside of Wagholi. In the early 90's a single 1 cm, matrixless ball would have cost about $500-- as the excavations progressed, workings gradually reached the zone where cavansite and (later pentagonite) were more abundant, and prices crashed.  At this point, the quarry is deep enough that it is getting regularly flooded, and as is typically the case with many suburban Indian localities, quarries that were once on the outskirts of town are getting engulfed by the neighboring city.  BS hype aside (there is always some rumor about a quarry closure) new material *is* getting noticeably harder to find, though there is still plenty available from the last several years of diggings. It may be hard to think of an Indian zeolite as anything but abundant, but if there is one thing I have learned buying Chinese minerals, it is that no matter how abundant something seems, it inevitably suddenly disappears..... 







LDV18 Scheelite and Fluorie
Chashan Mine, Xianghualing Sn-polymetallic ore field, Linwu Co., Chenzhou Pref., Hunan Prov., Chinah
6.8x 5.3x 2.0 cm
$350

An unusual and very rich specimen of scheelite form a 2017-2018 find at the Chashan Mine, one of the mines that make up the Xianghualing Orefield.  This area is best known for its transparent green fluorites, and perhaps true to form, this piece also has lots of small, colorless, clear cubes on the reverse. 

The most famous scheelite locality in China (and probably the world) is Mt. Xuebaoding.  Good Chinese specimens are also known from Yaogangxian, Huanggang, and Dayu, though none of these localities produce examples with so many crystals on one specimen-- the closest might be Yaogangxian, but even from there you never get a totally covered matrix   







LDV19 Babingtonite on Prehnite and Quartz
Geiju, Yunnan Prov., China
10.4x 7.3x 3.7 cm
$165

A nice example of babingtonite on quartz, with quite a bit of light green prehnite scattered about. It isn't the richest example or largest babingtonite crystal, but I did like the luster of the babintonite-- they are usually much duller. The contrast with all the green prehnite is nice as well.  A good example from an old find. 







LDV20 Creedite
Qinglong Mine, Dachang Sb ore field, Qinglong Co., Qianxi'nan Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China
3.0x 2.3x 1.6 cm
$85

A nice toenail sized example of Chinese creedite on matrix. 







LDV21 Baumstarkite
San Genaro Mine, Huancavelica Dept., Peru
2.4x 2.3x 1.5 cm
$300

A very rare thumbnail sized example of the rare silver antimonic sulfide, baumstarkite from the  type locality.  This species was approved by the IMA in 1999. 







LDV22 Fluorite
Xiayang Mine, Yongchun Co., Fujian Prov., China
3.3x 2.4x 1.6 cm
$90

A small but very beautiful example of fluorite on a bed of quartz, from the Xiayang mine.  This piece features a nearly colorless dodecahedron, with a purple core. Very bright and lustrous, it stands out even if around other, more brightly colored pieces.  







LDV23 Dioptase and Mimetite
Ntola Mine, Mindouli, Pool Dept., Republic of Congo
6.4x 3.8x 2.8 cm
$200

A beautiful example of green dioptase with nicely contrasting yellow mimetite, from finds made in mid 2019 at the Ntola Mine in the Republic of Congo. In addition to the crystals scattered around the matrix, this piece also features the form most associated with Ntola-- an open hemispherical pseudomorph/ cast after an unknown mineral.  







LDV24 Azurite with Malachite
Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Sonora, Mexico
2.5x 1.5x 1.6 cm
$200

A great little thumbnail sized specimen, with an azurite crystal perched on the edge of a bit of matrix, with just enough green malachite to provide a nice bit of color contrast. 







LDV25 Dioptase
Ntola Mine, Mindouli, Pool Dept., Republic of Congo
2.8x 2.1x 2.0 cm
$150

A really cute thumbnail sized example of dioptase -- I really liked this one. Not only are the crystals particularly lustrous and bright (after you have seen enough of this material, you notice slight differences in color) but it is a complete mini-pocket. The crystals completely fill a small void in the host rock, and there is a thin border of rock matrix that outlines the specimen, emphasizing the point that this is a small, but complete "pocket". 







LDV26 Calcite ps. Fluorite
Huanggang Mine, Hexigten Banner (Keshiketeng Co.), Ulanhad League (Chifeng Prefecture), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
1.5x 1.1x 1.1 cm
$100

An odd little thumbnail from Huanggang, consisting of a fluorite cube that was pseudomorphed to calcite.  The 1.5 cm dimension is the diagonal across a face, the edges measure 1.1 cm (I hate it when dealers don't make this clear and I get "phythagorically screwed"....)







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