New Little & Large Update 31 August 2021

26 August 2021

THIS week we venture into slightly new territory under the theme ‘Little & Large’. Using this criterion we have carefully selected 11 aesthetic miniatures and 10 equally aesthetic large cabinet to small museum-size pieces, with no constraint on species or country.

Mineral collectors tend to fall into two camps, those unconcerned about a specimen’s size and those preferring a specific size range. The former often say “I don’t collect sizes” whereas the latter may specialise in, say, micromounts, thumbnails, miniatures, cabinet or hand to museum sizes. It’s all about personal preference and, more practically, the available space in your home. We would all probably like lots of museum-size specimens in our collections but, sadly, don’t have museum-size houses in which to display them!

To give an instant overview, the accompanying photos are stamped ‘Little’ or ‘Large’ and from here you can see the individual dimensions on each specimen’s page via its hyperlink. To give you an approximate idea, all those marked ‘Little’ comfortably fit in one of our 8 x 6 x 4 cm black boxes while all the ‘Large’ reside in 25 x 18 cm boxes, some 6.5 and some 11.5 cm deep. This does not mean to say each specimen completely fills its box but gives you a general feel. For clarity, we will present this week’s overview beginning with the Little miniatures and thumbnails then move to the Large hand, cabinet and museum sizes.

Our 11 ‘Little’’ cover the world and are a charming selection of aesthetics. In no particular order we’ll begin with a lovely thumbnail Cavansite from the Wagholi Quarries in the Pune District of India. A beautiful rosette of the rare calcium-vanadium silicate Cavansite is perched on a lemon-tinged cream plate of micro-Stilbite crystals. From Jegdalek in the Kabul Province of Afghanistan, a delightful fuchsia-pink Ruby Corundum crystal on snowy-white marble is also attached to a hexagonal section of gooseberry-brown Dravite Tourmaline.

Holding its own amongst the many gem minerals is a fabulous golden orange brown Baryte from Dalmellington mine in Cumbria, England. The Baryte forms complex colour-zoned prisms with mirror bright faces and a superb glassy lustre. A favourite of mine is a Tourmaline with Quartz from Pyingyi Taung in the Pyin-Oo-Lwin District of Myanmar. This delightful small miniature displays five gemmy Tourmaline crystals of vivid cerise-pink with a thin dark grey-olive green terminated cap nestling on milky-white Quartz. This wonderful miniature packs a punch way above its size.

Others in our ‘Little’ range include a thumbnail of lilac Fluorapatite crystals from Ehrenfriedersdorf in Saxony, Germany, the type locality for this species and a sharp, lustrous Scheelite crystal, 2.0 cm on edge, attached to a clear Quartz crystal from Tae Hwa mine at Chungju in South Korea. The root beer-brown Scheelite fluoresces faint ethereal white under SWUV while the Quartz crystal is a much brighter, yet pale to medium white under LWUV. Also lookout for the spinel twin Galena on Quartz from Dal'negorsk in Russia; a Dauphiné Quartz from the Giuv Valley in Switzerland; vanadium enriched Dravite Tourmaline from Nadonjukin in Tanzania and an excellent Topaz crystal the Spitzkopje area of the Erongo Region in Namibia.

Now onto the ‘Large’! Nine totally aesthetic specimens ranging from hand-size to larger, plus one large sulphosalt! It's a bit mean picking the sulphosalt as the one non-aesthetic, but it is what it is! Aesthetics aside, this Andorite is a fine example of the rare silver-lead-antimony sulphosalt and is from the San Germán mine at Cerro de Potosí in Bolivia. Ramping-up the aesthetic dial, a 13 x 8 cm plate of vibrant lime green Vesuvianite crystals from the Jeffrey mine at Asbestos in Canada. The crystals range between 0.5 and 1 cm tall and amongst these are several delicate champaign grading to colourless crystals up to 1.5 cm. A showy and gorgeous Jeffrey Vesuvianite!

The Fluorite with Dolomite from the Shangbao mine in Hunan Province, China forms sharp-edged cubic crystals of excellent transparency tending to gemmy, with the most eye-catching nested colour zoning of colourless, lavender, lilac and purple in distinct concentric diminishing cubic- framed phantoms.

Smoky sky-blue Aquamarine Beryl crystals embedded in a matrix of intermeshed plates of silvery-cream Muscovite mica form a stunning large cabinet specimen from Pingwu on Mount Xuebaoding in Sichuan Province, China and from Pakistan, an incredible colourless gemmy Quartz crystal measuring 26.5 cm, that is almost one foot in imperial/US measure! We must give quick mention to a bright duck-egg to sky blue botryoidal Hemimorphite from the Esmeralda mine in Durango, Mexico; a beautiful group of fine rhombic Calcite crystals, some measuring to almost 3 cm from Tsumeb in Namibia and a totally amazing single crystal of bubble gum to coral pink Cobaltoan Calcite 17.5 cm tall, also from Dal'negorsk.

Last but far from least, let’s end in that most evocative of localities, Rum Jungle in Northern Territory, Australia. This can mean only one thing, Pyromorphite on Malachite, and what a specimen it is. Of just over 20 x 13 x 13 cm, this museum-size beauty would look even more impressive in a private mineral display. Botryoidal Malachite mounds averaging 5 mm in diameter form a roughly triangular specimen with two thirds of the Malachite encrusted with yellowish-lime green micro-crystals of Pyromorphite. Although both are common minerals, once in this combination there is no mistaking where they originate, with the specimen hardly requiring a label!

So much mineralogical variety in a binary size range. Both ‘Little’ and ‘Large’ display specimens are trending, each governed by a common aesthetic at opposite ends to the size spectrum. Do have a good look through all these we highlight together with the other equally fine specimens not mentioned amongst our 21. Hopefully you will spot one or two you think fit for your collection, but then comes the big decision, should it be ‘Little’ or ‘Large’?! 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.



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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