New Wimbledon Update 29 June 2021

29 June 2021

WE take our inspiration for both of this week’s updates from the welcome return of the Wimbledon Grand Slam tennis tournament, following its cancellation last year due to COVID-19. This was its first cancellation since World War 2.

Wimbledon, as it is better known, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, the first Championship being held in 1877. The final was attended by around 200 spectators and the winner received the silver challenge cup and 12 guineas (£12 12 shillings), the equivalent in today’s money of about £1,500. Whether or not these winnings were used to purchase minerals from local dealers such as Bryce McMurdo Wright is lost to history!

Our Wimbledon selection reflects the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’s colours of purple, green and white, traditional strawberry cream teas and, where artistic licence allows, a smattering of tennis terminology. It’s all just a bit of fun to celebrate this wonderful British annual institution while presenting some terrific specimens for you to enjoy.

Club Colours: The distinctive colours of the All England Club are prominent around the tennis courts at Wimbledon and in coverage by the BBC. Purple, green and white make for a striking and quite distinct combination and our chosen minerals capture the essence. Perhaps the most evocative is a gorgeous Fluorite from Larkin’s granite quarry at Shannapheasteen in County Galway, Ireland. Vibrant light lime green and watery lavender-blue Fluorite forms three intergrown cubes, the largest measuring 4.5 cm on edge. Each crystal is colour zoned lime green and lavender-sky blue, the latter defining first stage octahedral crystals and the latter, later stage overgrowths of the cubic habit.

To introduce Wimbledon purple, take a look at two Fluorites from Mexico and the USA. From Tule mine in Coahuila, a large miniature of mottled violet cubic Fluorite crystals to 2.4 cm with intensely deep violet edges with composite stepped faces and sub-parallel alignment. The Elmwood mine, Fluorite, from Tennessee, is a classic cabinet specimen of deep blackberry purple Fluorite on Sphalerite. The Fluorite is beautifully arranged over the display face with the appearance of squidgy cubes of blackberry jelly!

Combining green with white, we have a fabulous rarity, the copper molybdate Szenicsite, named for well-known American mineral collectors Terry “Skip” and Marissa Szenics. A rich miniature of vivid metallic chromium green Szenicsite crystals in a white matrix and from its type locality at the Jardinera No. 1 Mine in the Atacama Region of Chile.

Keeping a colour score, I make this 30-40 to purple, so lets throw in another green to make Deuce. What better than a beautiful light emerald green Malachite replacing Azurite from Tsumeb? The Malachite has a velvety texture with a silky lustre, forming many surface patterns of fanned radial acicular sprays. Serving for the match, a Wheal Uny Amethyst, an old tin mine close to Redruth in Cornwall, takes Advantage, quickly followed by another Amethyst, this from the Zinc Corporation mine at Broken Hill, NSW, winning the game.

Afternoon Tea: One of Wimbledon’s most loved traditions is partaking of a fresh English strawberry and cream afternoon tea. Indulge yourself with our offering of pale crushed strawberry pink Rhodochrosite encrusting an elongated plate of creamy Quartz from which splendid colourless to milky Quartz crystals project. This delicious beauty is from the famous Cavnic mine at Maramureș in Romania. Napkins are essential for both the specimen and cream tea, as both will make your mouth water!

New Balls Please: Announced by the umpire after every seven or eight games in Grand Slam matches, the new balls are kept refrigerated at the perfect temperature of 68 Fahrenheit. We can offer lots of balls formed by beautifully crystallised Calcite, Orthoclase, Fluorite and Malachite. For starters, look at the 7 cm diameter hemisphere of Calcite heavily included with metallic grey-black Boulangerite from the Herja mine in Romania. The Malachite from Shilu mine in China forms a near perfect sphere with the most aesthetic velvety texture and shimmering lustre. A more unusual ball is that of Orthoclase pseudomorphing after Leucite, both species belonging to the Feldspathoid Group. This amazing specimen is from Kalehöyük in Turkey. And finally a Witherite from Nentsberry Haggs mine in Cumbria, England, displaying six balls of this rare barium carbonate, each to about 2 cm.

You cannot be serious! Yes, like it or not, that’s the last of our showcased specimens. So, rather than go ballistic at the Crystal Classics Umpire, delve deeper to see all the other fabulous goodies in today’s selection of 21 specimens. Missing out on two you like might be termed a Double Fault, so don’t delay, serve an Ace and Win that specimen before you go to a Tiebreak. Enjoy the specimens, enjoy Wimbledon and, as always, we hope you find a good addition to your collection. PT


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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