New British Update 19 February 2021

19 February 2021

We are on home territory this week, staying within the confines of the Britain Isles and today have some rather spectacular examples of classic material from Cornwall, the West Cumbrian iron ore field, Weardale and Wanlockhead. Most of today’s choices are of the more common species such as Baryte, Calcite, Chalcedony, Fluorite and Hematite, but rest assured, these are all fabulous examples. So, without further ado, let’s kick-off and see what’s on offer.

Chalcedony from Cornwall can be quite amazing and we have two excellent large cabinet specimens from two old mines, Wheal Drea near to St. Just and Pednandrea mine in Redruth. The Wheal Drea specimen has cream and ochre-tinted Chalcedony forming sculptural druses, stalagmitic fronds and cauliflower-like masses over a completely hidden bed of opaque milky Quartz crystals. The Pednandrea specimen is on a matrix of massive green Fluorite, itself quite unusual for Cornwall. This is covered with Chalcedony forming a bubbly, undulating bed of bluish-grey, butter-milk and buff spherules, many becoming elongated to small stalagmitic habits. Over this are snake-like sinusoidal structures of clotted-cream coloured Chalcedony, up to almost 5 cm long. It’s fantastic!

From Weardale in County Durham, take a look at a terrific selection of magnificent Fluorites from various mines including Heights, West Pasture, Frazer’s Hush and Blackdene. One specimen from Heights features sea-green Fluorite with a superb interpenetrant gemmy twin, the outer margins of which are alternatively colour-zoned lilac and colourless. This zoning becomes even more apparent and detailed when viewed under long wave ultraviolet light (LWUV).

We have three wonderful cabinet-size Calcite specimens. The first is from the famous Banana Slide fault zone near Egremont in West Cumbria and features large nail-head crystals with red prisms, coloured by included Hematite. From Wanlockhead in southern Scotland, a fabulous composite Calcite, tinged pink with manganese. Under LWUV the Calcite fluoresces tangerine-orange with patchy tangerine-cream zones. And from the mines close to Liskeard in Cornwall, a wonderful group of truncated trigonal Calcite crystals create a stunning display piece with prisms ranging from just a few millimetres to 4.5 cm across.

Have a look also at the three beautiful Hematite specimens from West Cumbria, one a Specularite and two of the variety Kidney Ore. All three are stunning.

Next week we move across the English Channel to Western Europe, but before setting sail, enjoy a weekend touring the delights of British mineralogy and keep a good look out for that essential item you know you require!


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Author: JH
Categories: Updates

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