New Beauty and the Beast Update 20 August 2021

20 August 2021

TODAY we reveal the second half of this week’s theme, Beauty and The Beast, with 11 Beauties and 10 Beastlies to tempt you.

Tuesday’s update certainly triggered conversation on this divisive subject, for one person’s Beastly is another person’s Beauty! I guess this is one of the many reasons mineral collecting is such a wonderful interest, because no two collectors or collections are the same. We might not yearn for another person’s collection, or part of it, but we can fully appreciate why they are so passionate about a particular branch of mineralogy and from this we are bound to learn something new. While the Beauties are readily appreciated, a little more effort is often required for those less aesthetic. In my collection I readily admit to having drawer upon drawer of what at first glance appear most unattractive specimens but taking time to examine any one of them closer and suddenly their hidden beauties soon manifest.

And, quickly returning to Tuesday’s comments following our update, it’s funny how collectors gravitate more towards discussing the Beastly and not to their detriment I might add! So pampering to this observation, let’s begin with a few Beastlies with the lure of Beauties to come.

Specimens don’t come more Beastly than a Krennerite from Sacarîmb (Nagyág) in Romania. This is a rare gold-silver telluride, similar to Calaverite and is from its type locality. Forming striated brassy golden crystals to a few millimetres long, the Krennerite forms as euhedral well developed crystals and as lath-like sections embedded within the dark grey matrix, conveniently indicated by paper pointers attached to the specimen. The gold tellurides form a specialised area of mineral collecting, but one which is highly popular because of their more exotic chemistry. Not so Beastly in my opinion are a fabulous Skutterudite from Monte Romero mine in Spain and an excellent group of intermeshed Bournonite crystals from Les Malines District in France. If these are so beautiful, why classed as Beastly I hear you ask! Well they all tend to be either silver, dark grey or black, not the stuff normally associated with dazzling displays.

Enter stage left some Beauties. My eye is caught by a charming, part polished Amber from the famous Goitsche Open Cast lignite mine at Bitterfeld in Germany. Bitterfeld Amber is of Early to Mid-Eocene age and this miniature is of gemmy, richly coloured burnt toffee-orange. We have two lovely Beryl crystals, one an unusually coloured Aquamarine from Barra de Salinas in Brazil and a gemmy, delicately tinted lime to apple green Heliodor from the Chamber Pegmatites at Volodarsk-Volynskii in Ukraine. Adding an eye-catching zing is a stunning Mimetite with Wulfenite from the San Francisco mine in Mexico. A small cabinet specimen of predominantly Mimetite, forming spherical crystal aggregates to 8 mm diameter of brightly coloured acidic orange to zesty lemon. At the opposite end of the colour spectrum, so lowering the temperature, is a colourless Dolomite from the Azcárate quarry in Navarra, Spain. This beautiful miniature is free from matrix and varies from gemmy to translucent, although is essentially transparent.

Other Beastlies well worthy of mention are a magnificent large cabinet specimen of Cerussite after Anglesite with Coronadite from the Broken Hill mining district in New South Wales, Australia and two excellent Gratonites, one from Cerro De Pasco in Peru and one from the Rio Tinto mine in Andalusia, Spain. Gratonite is a rare lead-arsenic sulphosalt and the latter is from the Dr Josef Clemente Collection of southern Germany. Look out also for the Nagyágite from Romania; Acanthite with Stephanite from Saxony; a rare miniature of Chalcocite crystals from the long-closed Bristol Copper mine in Connecticut, USA and a gorgeous large bed of velvety golden chocolate brown Goethite from Príbram in the Czech Republic.

We had better end with a flourish of Beauties, so how about a vibrant sky-blue Chrysocolla pseudomorphing Malachite and this, pseudomorphing after Azurite with Quartz from the Tenke-Fungurume area in Democratic Republic of the Congo. We have a stunning part cubic crystal of colour-zoned lilac to purple Fluorite with attached Sphalerite crystals from Elmwood mine, Tennessee and a simply gorgeous deep emerald green Dioptase on snow white Calcite from Tsumeb.

The choice is all yours! Do you go for a Beauty or a more daring Beast? We so often shy away from daring to admit some minerals are not always the most beautiful on the outside, but again, beauty is only skin deep. What are frequently referred to as “grey uglies” usually harbour fascinating and exotic chemistry, so possessing a beauty all of their own. Have a great weekend, enjoy looking through our specimens and as always, we hope you come across something just right for your own collection. PT

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

Tuesday 24th August & Friday 27th August - Tsumeb


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:

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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