New Pink & Red Update 25 June 2021

25 June 2021

TODAY we’re in the Pink, well red and pink actually, and the reason why? It’s Debbie’s 50th birthday this weekend, her favourite colour is pink (especially Rhodochrosite) and she has had a major hand in choosing today’s update.

As many of you will know, Debbie is our office manager here in East Coker and also contributes enormously to UK Mining Ventures’ Weardale operations at the Rogerley, Diana Maria and Lady Annabella Fluorite mines, not to mention our new USA venture.

Debbie works tirelessly for the companies and her staff, never failing to provide all the help and assistance she can in the most friendly and congenial way. Her fan club is not just confined to Ian, Diana and all the staff, as she is always attends our Open Days and mineral shows within the UK and throughout the world. So, here it is, the big Five-0. I can’t really believe she’s reached this milestone and remain convinced she’s still 25! (not that I’m after a pay rise you understand!).

So before kicking-off to review some of today’s Pinks & Reds, from all the staff in Somerset, County Durham and Arizona, and our loyal customers across the globe, here’s wishing you a wonderful 50th – Happy Birthday Debbie!

Pink and Red, today’s specimens cover the full spectrum of these two colours, so where to begin? My eye is instantly caught by a stunning vivid pinkish cobalt-purple crystal of translucent Cobaltoan Calcite from Mashamba West mine in the DRC. This mining district in central Africa is known to collectors as the Katanga Copper Crescent. This amazingly coloured crystal displays perfectly against a druse of dull strawberry Cobaltoan Calcite forming an undulating botryoidal matrix. Our other Cobaltoan Calcite is a post-mining dip-stone miniature from Tynebottom mine on Alston Moor, England, of vivid cerise pink covering a grey Limestone. We also have a fabulously crystallised delicate pink manganese Calcite from Dal'negorsk in Far-Eastern Russia.

As mentioned, Rhodochrosite is Debbie’s favourite mineral, so we include excellent examples from Cavnic in Romania, Uchucchacua mine in Peru and N'Chwaning 1 mine in South Africa. Although these specimens are of the same species, they could not appear more different. Do take a look as they won’t disappoint.

Other fabulous pinks include a Serandite from Mont Saint-Hilaire in Canada, a Väyrynenite from Pakistan and a Kunzite from Afghanistan. The Poudrette and De Mix quarries at Mont Saint-Hilaire used to be familiar names back in the 1980s and 90s and early 2000s, but little material appears on the market these days. A vivid salmon pink prismatic crystal measuring 3.3 cm is encrusted over one face with micro-crystals of glassy Albite Feldspar and black Aegirine. Väyrynenite is a rare manganese-beryllium phosphate and this 2.5 by 1.9 cm pink translucent naturally etched crystal is a splendid example. As for the Kunzite, well, it’s amongst the very best I have ever seen and I’ve seen a lot. A magnificent single crystal of extraordinary pastel pink measuring to 13.8 cm tall. The crystal is large and substantial yet possesses the most delicate colours containing a gemmy transparency of ethereal quality.

Including a Native Copper, the colour of polished copper pipes, may appear to be cheating in a selection of reds and pinks. But placed amongst the other specimens it does not look out of place and there is good reason for this. It is a Native Copper in Calcite, an iconic combination from the Copper Country of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Upper Michigan. I adore these classics and this gorgeous cabinet specimen is mouth wateringly delicious. The bright metallic Copper emits a pinkish glow from within the depths of the encasing, sharply terminated Calcite crystals. A thing of great beauty indeed.

We also feature red and pink Tourmalines, one an Elbaite from Brazil and one a Liddicoatite from central Madagascar. The Elbaite is from the gem bearing pegmatites in the Coronel Murta municipality of mid-eastern Brazil. This single crystal is 8.6 cm tall and stands out because the main divide in colour is orientated parallel to the c-axes, not normal to it as is characteristic in Tourmaline. The prism displays a clear vertical shift from hot cerise pink to a translucent blueish-pale pink across the crystal while the translucent prism looks magnificent backlit. The Liddicoatite is from the famous Anjanabonoina Pegmatite with the prism’s colour intensifying towards its termination, graduating from a pinkish champaign base to a rich cranberry red termination.

Let’s end on a high with a particularly fine Moroccan Vanadinite from the Mibladen mining area. Excellent bright pigeon blood-red hexagonal Vanadinite crystals measuring to 1.2 cm are stacked one upon another all over the display area of a cockscomb white Baryte coated by a thin veneer of grey-black manganese-iron oxide. The translucency of the Vanadinite crystals allows internal shades of golden peach and barley sugar orange to twinkle in transmitted light, making this the choicest of specimens.

So strike while the iron is red (or pink) hot because once Debbie returns from a day of pampering at the local Spa, she might just start buying-up all her favourites as a special birthday treat! We certainly hope Debbie has a 50th to enjoy and remember, and likewise, hope you enjoy the Pink and Reds to celebrate this auspicious occasion. PT

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

Tuesday 29th June & Friday 2nd July - Wimbledon


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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