New British Update 13 August 2021

13 August 2021

LOOKING through today’s 21 British specimens is a real treat, amongst which are some rare and beautiful examples. Anyone with an interest in British mineralogy will simply enjoy the diversity and quality of so many of these specimens and we include material from England, Scotland and Wales.

Before we get stuck into today's update though, we'd like to make our US customers aware of the East Coast Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show that starts today at 10am and continues through until 5pm on Sunday. Our sister company UK Mining Ventures will be in attendance at Booth 129 showcasing lots of stunning Fluorite from their mines in Weardale, County Durham, so if you're in the area why not head down to the Better Living Center in West Springfield where you'll be greeted by Debbie and Michael.

Back to today's selection and in it are many true classics, including Hope’s Nose Gold, Cornish Liroconite, a fabulous West Cumbrian ‘heart’ twin Calcite and a rare and rich Paracelsian from Benallt mine collected by Sir Arthur Russell in 1911. A tempting group indeed, so without further ado, let’s quickly take a broader look before you investigate individual specimens further.

Calcite ‘heart’ twins from the iron mines of west Cumbria are always something special. This specimen pushes the boundaries further in that it has two prismatic Calcite crystals attached to it on one side, equally gemmy to the main twin. The twin itself is colourless, gemmy and very lustrous, with well-formed striated termination faces. It is a gorgeous example and although we only know it to be from the Egremont area, it is most likely from Gillfoot mine. Not far from here is Pallaflat mine at Bigrigg from where we have a group of translucent pale sky blue Baryte crystals forming very flat tabular blades with snow white terminations. All the blades have a bright glassy to resinous lustre with a pearlescent reflectance. This is ex. the W.W. Jefferis and Lindsay Greenbank Collections.

Staying in the north, do look at the lovely single purple Fluorite crystal from Blackdene mine in Weardale. This is from Lindsay Greenbank’s collection and can be classified as a floater, with only the minimum of point-contacts where the crystal developed. Blackdene and Boltsburn mines are famed for producing these single blocky crystals of Fluorite. And from the Caldbeck Fells in the English Lake District, a fabulous specimen of Campylite, the barrel-shaped variety of Mimetite, from the archetypal location at Dry Gill mine. Apricot-tinted, light orange barrel habit Campylite crystals fill a 13 x 5 cm cavity in a Quartz-Baryte matrix. A smaller cavity on one side is also lined with pumpkin-orange Campylite crystals.

What about Cornwall and Devon, I hear you cry! Okay then, let’s go to Torquay and that very special rocky headland called Hope’s Nose. For sure a collector’s favourite, a wonderful Native Gold, partly etched out from its creamy Calcite matrix. This wonderful specimen is richly invested with aesthetic, buttery-golden fronds of dendritic and arborescent Native Gold, the wires of which extend back into the matrix.

And next to Cornwall. Today we don’t just have one Liroconite to offer, but three. All from Wheal Gorland, Liroconite’s type locality, each is a great specimen but range in price considerably according to their size, coverage and quality of crystals. The most expensive has excellent blue to slightly blue-green classic wedge-shaped Liroconite crystals, with a large central crystal measuring to 6 mm. Most are in the 1-2 mm range extensively covering a good deal of the display face of the rusty-cream Quartz gossan matrix. Crystals of Liroconite are also to be seen in several other areas of the specimen with patches of white Halloysite. Olive green micro-crystals of Olivenite are concentrated on one side of the specimen.

Also from Cornwall have a look at a Cassiterite with Quartz from Wheal Pendarves; a Clinoclase from Wheal Gorland; a Cassiterite with Quartz and Zinnwaldite from St. Michael's Mount and a super Native Copper from Poldory mine in the parish of Gwennap. Last but by no means least, a super small cabinet specimen of towering composite Calcite crystals to 7 cm tall from Greystone quarry at Lezant in Cornwall. Flattened rhombic prisms of mildly pink-tinged creamy Calcite stack to form composite crystals and on these are perched two small clusters of iridescent Chalcopyrite crystals.

From Benallt mine on the Lleyn Peninsula in Gwynedd, Wales, take a look at a most special small cabinet specimen of crystallised Paracelsian, a barium-aluminium silicate. This specimen was collected in 1911 by Sir Arthur Russell and is accompanied by a British Museum (Natural History) Department of Mineralogy label. From Coed-Ely Colliery in Rhondda Cynon Taf, a superb Millerite with crystals to almost 3 cm long criss-crossing a Dolomite lined cavity within a block of ironstone. This specimen is accompanied with a Richard W. Barstow white label, showing it was in his personal mineral collection. Our one offering from Scotland is a lovely bright leaf green Pyromorphite from Leadhills in South Lanarkshire, now Strathclyde, enveloping a cavernous Quartz matrix with the Pyromorphite forming tapering micro-hexagonal crystals and botryoidal plumes to about 4 mm diameter.

We think you’ll agree there are lots of specimens here to be liked and by no means have all been given mention, so do delve deeper and take a closer look at all 21. It may well be Friday 13th, but here is your opportunity to make it a great day to remember by that certain special addition to your British Collection. Have a great weekend and enjoy these web specimens in greater detail. PT

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

Tuesday 17th August & Friday 20th August - Beauty and the Beast!


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.



Crystal Classics, and our sister company UK Mining Ventures, will be in attendance at the following shows for the remainder of 2021:

AUGUST 13-15
East Coast Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show 2021
Better Living Center, Eastern States Exposition, 1305 Memorial Drive, West Springfield, MA 01089, USA

Colorado Mineral and Fossil Fall Show 2021
Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center 15500 E 40th Ave, Denver, CO 80239, USA

Hardrock Summit 2021 - Evolution
Colorado Convention Center, Four Seasons Ballroom 700 14th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA

The Bakewell Rock Exchange 2021
Lady Manners School, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1JA, UK

The Munich Show 2021
Exhibition Center Messe München, WEST Entrance, Munich, Germany

The Sussex Mineral & Fossil Show 2021
Haywards Heath College, Harlands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1LT, UK

Crystal Classics Winter Open Day 2021
No.1, The Old Coach Yard, East Coker, Somerset BA22 9HY, UK



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Author: JH
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