New British Update 12 June 2021

11 June 2021

EVERYONE is in “mineral frenzy mode” here in East Coker this morning because the Crystal Classics showroom doors open at 10 am sharp to welcome our visitors to the 2021 Summer Open Day.

For everyone currently reading this means you could not make it to Somerset today and we know how this feels when you yearn to be present at such an event. Hopefully to compensate a little we have put together an exciting selection of 42 specimens for you to look through and choose from, hoping you will be inspired to make at least one new addition to your collection. The clock is ticking, so let's jump without further delay to mention a few highlights.

Minerals from Wales are seldom seen on the market, so we are delighted to offer some fascinating specimens today. Welsh Gold is perhaps this country’s most famous species and we have specimens from Clogau St. David’s, Gwynfynydd and the Prince of Wales mines. All display rich Native Gold mineralisation and that from Clogau also contains Tellurobismuthite. Native Gold from the Welsh mines is famous as it has been used to make the wedding rings of the British Royal Family since 1923, the last such being that of Prince Harry's marriage to Meghan Markle in 2018.

We also offer some good examples of Welsh Alpine-style mineralisation including a Calcite with Quartz and Albite collected by Sir Arthur Russell in 1905 and a Prenteg Anatase with a Richard W. Barstow Collection white label.

Cornish minerals are always a favourite and we have a few real beauties. Do look at the Liroconite with Clinoclase, Pharmacosiderite, and Clinoclase with Cornwallite, Olivenite and Pharmacosiderite all from the legendary Wheal Gorland just a few kilometres east of Redruth. And while at Wheal Gorland, we have a gorgeous Wood Olivenite forming a vein in white milky Quartz. The overall width of the Olivenite averages 3 cm with the colour attractively varying from opaque pale apple green, through dark olive green and terminating in translucent spring leaf green. Adjacent to Wheal Gorland was the equally famous Wheal Unity and from here we have a spectacular Olivenite. This large miniature’s entire top surface is richly encrusted with beautifully crystallised Olivenite, forming intensely dark olive green crystals which appear jet black, with a bright speckled glassy lustre.The Olivenite occurs as perfectly formed individual and elongated crystal sprays lining the shallow vug around which apple green Wood Olivenite occurs. This also is an ex. Sir Arthur Russell specimen.

Moving a little east into Devon, Bampfylde mine is probably best known for its Pseudomalachite, but is also associated with occurrences of Native Gold. Gold form this locality is very rare, so this miniature iron-stained Quartz matrix containing a 1.0 x 0.5 cm patch of at least 14 decent flakes of buttery-yellow Native Gold is quite a catch.

Taking a quick tour across other parts of Britain, look out for a Vanadinite and a vivid reddish-orange Heulandite both from Scotland; Aragonite, Smoky Quartz and Eisenkiesel from West Cumbria and a Fluorite from St. Peter's mine at Sparty Lea in Northumberland. There are not many Fluorites in this update, but two well worth a mention are from the new Lady Annabelle mine which is currently working an old bench in the former Eastgate quarry in Weardale.

Although we are cheating by including specimens from Ireland in this update, they are always popular and many collectors cover Great Britain and Ireland. Of particular note is a terrific cuboctahedral Galena from Mogul mine in the Silvermines District of County Tipperary. The Galena crystals are all intergrown, yet the largest at over 3 cm across, displays many excellent faces of the combined cube and octahedral forms with bright lustrous silver metallic faces. Most of these specimens were recovered from a single find from the 2-W-6 section named the “Great Vug”, the majority of which were brought back to Cornwall by mineral dealer Richard Barstow.

This is but a snapshot of today’s selection, available for purchase if you cannot attend our Open Day. We offer you a very warm welcome and hope you will be able to make it in person next time. Meantime, enjoy investigating this bumper update and we really hope you find at least one or two specimens which compensate for not being with us today.

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

Tuesday 15th June - Far East & Oceania

Friday 18th June - Father's Day Picks


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.



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Author: JH
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