New American Independence Day Update 06 July 2021

6 July 2021

WITH this week beginning on July 4, it felt only right to make our theme that of American Independence Day.

As the United States declared independence from Great Britain and the rule of King George III, we here in the UK should not really be celebrating this auspicious anniversary, but we are not ones to bear a grudge! That most historic vote was actually made on July 2, 1776, but not declared until two days later. There were then just thirteen American colonies which ran down the eastern Atlantic coastline of North America, all territory to the west belonging to either Native Americans or Spain. Known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, on July 4, 1776, together these became the United States of America. The declaration carried 56 signatures including those of John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The youngest signatory was Edward Rutledge (aged 26) and the oldest, Benjamin Franklin (aged 70).

So, minerals of the USA are celebrated this week, beginning with today’s selection of 21. Where to begin? Well, perhaps some true American classics. Calcite with Sphalerite from Elmwood mine, Tennessee, is always a favourite. A 4.9 cm wide, colourless, glassy, twinned scalenohedron Calcite crystal perches on a stacked group of rich toffee-orange Sphalerite crystals to 2.3 cm, these appearing lustrous metallic black in reflected light.

What could be more representative of the eastern colonies than a Herkimer Diamond? These classics are gemmy double terminated Quartz crystals found in Herkimer County of New York State. This beautiful miniature is from the famed Ace of Diamonds mine at Middleville.

And speaking of classics, surely the Bisbee mining district in Arizona must be given mention. Excellent duck-egg blue botryoidal Chalcoalumite richly lines two connected cavities, covering an area of 3 x 2 cm on this choice miniature from the Copper Queen mine. We also have two Bisbee Cuprites, one a rich miniature of burgundy-red micro crystals and one of crystals to 6 mm in a matrix of earthy orange-brick-red massive Native Copper with a patch of amorphous Chrysocolla and minor Azurite.

Mammoth-Saint Anthony mine at Tiger, Arizona, evokes excited anticipation as one of those mines which offers many rare and fascinating species. It is type locality to ten species, one being the lead-copper sulphosilicate Wherryite, of which we have a superbly-rich miniature together with the lead-copper halide Diaboleite. Also from here, a terrific Dioptase with Cerussite, Wulfenite and Mottramite. Large areas of the creamy matrix are covered in sparkling bluish-green Dioptase crystals with rare scattered crystals of orange Wulfenite, colourless glassy Cerussite and dark olive green Mottramite. The Dioptase, a copper silicate, forms beautiful gemmy acicular sprays. Our third offering is a Leadhillite. Several prismatic crystals and crystal sections of light blue-green to white Leadhillite measuring to 8 mm are scattered over the top of this rich miniature.

Well worth taking a closer look at is a pale creamy lilac Fluorapatite with Quartz from the Himalaya mine in California; opaque, deep reddish-brown Zircons from El Paso County, Colorado and a superb milky white translucent crystal of Witherite from Cave-in-Rock mine, Illinois.

One rare and seldom seen location is the Hardshell mine in the Harshaw District of Arizona. From here we have a large miniature of bright lemon-mustard yellow to mild apricot orange intergrown Mimetite crystals coating a porous red-black gossan matrix.

The manganese iron oxide Bixbyite is a famous mineral from the rhyolites of the Thomas Range in Juab County, Utah. We draw your attention to this particular fine miniature because of its crystallography. Two excellent mirror-bright, jet-black cubic crystals of Bixbyite measuring to 6 mm have fascinating sawtooth corner and edge modifications and are associated with gem clear Topaz crystals.

Another intriguing manifestation of crystallographic in action is a so-called “inverted snow cone” Fluorite from Elmwood, Tennessee. Micro-cubic stepped mauve Fluorite crystals form a scalenohedral-like 4 cm long cone emerging from the remaining three faces of a transparent half cube measuring up to 2.0 cm on edge. The entire Fluorite structure has great clarity and internally appears mostly colourless, yet whose near-surface is a wonderful lavender.

Crystal Classics is proud to have so many good friends and customers throughout the USA and we hope this selection of classic USA specimens does just honour to last Sunday’s 245th anniversary.

This is an opportune time to also give an update on the new showroom complex currently under construction in the USA, The Tucson Fine Mineral Gallery. Work continues at a rapid pace, so look out for continued updates on the galleries new Instagram and Facebook accounts.

And to sign-off today’s North American theme, we are nearing the Texas Mineral and Fossil Show, Dallas 2021. Crystal Classics will be showcasing lots of stunning specimens from newly bought collections to the best of new finds in the Embassy Suites by Hilton Frisco Conference Center, 7601 Gaylord Parkway, Frisco, Texas 75034 from Friday July, 16 to Sunday, July 18.

Much has happened since that historic day back in 1776, yet one unchanging constant is that of classic beautiful minerals we all love and admire. We hope you enjoy today’s collection and possibly declare one or more for your own 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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