New British Update 14 May 2021

14 May 2021

FRIDAY is upon us once again and, unbelievably, 2021 seems to be racing by with June looming just two weeks away.

With this in mind and before we check out today’s British update, the date for the Crystal Classics Summer Open Day has now been set for Saturday, June 12, with doors open from 10am to 5pm. We’ll have some new collections for you to pour over and thousands of showroom specimens to choose from. Current Covid-19 measures are being strictly maintained, so to book your place please contact Debbie at and look below for full details. We have so missed meeting all our regular customers and new visitors alike over the past year, so June 12 is a day to really look forward to.

So back to today and British minerals. As always, we have 21 specimens for you to examine and these cover some major mineralised districts including Cornwall and Devon, West Cumbria, the Caldbeck Fells and the Northern Pennine Orefield.

Let’s start in the south west and then travel northwards. From Cornwall we must kick-off with a Wheal Gorland Liroconite and Clinoclase. Liroconite carries a kudos within Cornish collections which no other species, no matter how rare, can match. A roughly 5 x 2 cm area of cyan blue Liroconite crystals partly coat a light brown-tan gossan matrix through which a further five bands of Liroconite traverse. Another 2.5 x 0.8 cm area of Liroconite crystals are on the base. Perched amongst the Liroconite on the display face is a 4 mm “acorn” of crystallised Clinoclase of intensely dark greenish Prussian blue. Also from Cornwall is a lovely cluster of gunmetal grey Chalcocite crystals from Geevor mine near St. Just and a superb Wheal Jane Fluorite from the discovery made on Level 15. This large cabinet specimen has an 18 x 12 cm display face entirely covered with 1.5 to 2 cm cubic Fluorite crystals of delicate pastel sea green, many with their edges blushed speckled lilac. The crystals are built from stepped micro-cubes giving an added layer of complexity to the aesthetic.

Crossing the county boundary into Devon, a superb Scorodite from Crystal Classics’ 2006 mining operations at Hemerdon Ball mine, containing large Scorodite crystals to 8 mm long. These have good lustre and in daylight the Scorodite becomes a very attractive sea green.

Our next port of call is west Cumbria with a classic 'nail head' bed of beautiful Calcite crystals from Bigrigg. Also, a great miniature of lustrous transparent gemmy Calcites to almost 2 cm with a large complex crystal tinted pinkish-red by a speckled surface coating of finely disseminated Hematite. Then a bright small cabinet specimen of well crystallised Calcite from the Egremont district. Although no further detail is recorded it looks typical of material from the nearby Pallaflat mine.

Not that far away in the Caldbeck Fells we have specimens of Campylite and Pyromorphite. Although visitors are still encouraged to explore every inch of the Caldbeck Fells and its world famous mining landscape, collecting of mineral specimens has long since been strictly forbidden. The Campylite from Dry Gill mine was collected in 1971 by the late Lindsay Greenbank and is accompanied by one of his lovely printed card labels. This is covered with light pea-green to apricot-orange curved barrel-shaped crystal aggregates, simply delightful.

North of England carbonates always make interesting specimens and here we have four. From the little known Farnberry mine on Alston Moor in east Cumbria, a beautiful top-polished Smithsonite. The Smithsonite is up to 2 cm thick and of a most aesthetic buttercup to pale lemon yellow. There is a museum quality Witherite from Fallowfield mine in Northumberland with two choice double terminated greyish-white crystals of 2.2 and 3.3 cm in length. These are associated with both Baryte and Alstonite. There is also a very fine Witherite with Baryte and a Barytocalcite, both from Nentsberry Haggs mine on Alston Moor.

Then finally to Weardale where we present some of the new finds from the Diana Maria mine at Frosterley and the Lady Annabella mine close to Eastgate. Diana Maria pockets include three November Gem specimens, a Papa and a rare Buster Pocket Fluorite, with crystals of zoned subdued sea and herb green surrounding lilac centres. These crystals are preferentially encrusted with tiny bright white Quartz crystals giving sucrosic textured rims. And from Lady Annabella, a magnificent gemmy 2.5 x 2.3 x 1.9 cm pale honey-amber elongated cube displaying outer colour zoning of pale lilac, mauve and colourless from The Bull Vein.

One of the triumphs of collecting minerals is that no matter how many times you have looked at specimens from any locality, there are always new surprises just waiting to jump up and bite! Have a great weekend, enjoy today’s British selection and remember to reserve your place for the Crystal Classics Summer Open Day.

Here is what you have to look forward to in next week's update:

Tuesday 18th & Friday 21st May - Europe


If you'd like to see a video of any of the specimens listed above then please contact us at and we'll be happy to assist you. We endeavour to respond to all enquires within 24 hours during weekdays, however at the weekend it might take us a little longer to respond.

We are delighted to announce that the Crystal Classics Summer Open Day will be taking place on Saturday, June 12.

Our beautiful showroom in East Coker, Somerset will be open from 10am to 5pm and will be packed with thousands of fine and rare minerals. There will be many specimens from new, recently purchased collections as well as many fresh Fluorite finds from our mines in Weardale, County Durham.

A delicious breakfast and lunch will also be provided by The Village Cafe which is located next door to our offices.

To book your place please email Debbie at or by phone 01935 862 673 to register your interest.

COVID-19 guidelines will be in place during the day and the following is expected of all visitors:

- Face masks must be worn at all times
- Social distancing must be carried out
- You must wash your hands upon entry to the showroom (in addition there will be several hand sanitiser dispensers provided throughout the building)

It promises to be a great day and we look forward to welcoming you all.



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Author: JH
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