New Little & Large Update 3 September 2021

26 August 2021

Today sees the second instalment of our ‘Little & Large’ updates, with 10 ‘Little’ and 11 ‘Large’ specimens.

As mentioned on Tuesday, the accompanying photos are stamped ‘Little’ or ‘Large’ to give an instant check, should you have a particular size range in mind. All those marked ‘Little’ comfortably fit into 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. The ‘Large’ specimens do not necessarily fill their specific boxes but the box size conveys their general size. Precise dimensions are provided on each specimen’s web page. Smaller sizes include micromounts, thumbnails and miniatures (we tend not to use the term ‘toenail’ here in the UK, but we do include these) and large is any specimen of hand size or above. For clarity, we will first review the miniatures and then look at the larger sizes.

It’s great to include a specimen from Mont Saint Hilaire. This fine Catapleiite displays sharp and lustrous light tan crystals associated with a dark greenish black Aegirine and forms a slightly divergent yet parallel habit perfect for display. And from the Monteponi mine on the Italian island of Sardinia, a gemmy-translucent pink tinged double crystal of Phosgenite to over 2 cm associated with a sugary white-colourless druse of Cerussite crystals.

Moving below miniature size, take a look at the Native Gold from Roşia Montană in Romania and a Macle twin Diamond from the Kasai-Oriental area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This area was extensively mined for placer Diamonds before the discovery of several Kimberlite pipes. This small thumbnail is a terrific example of a Macle twin Diamond displaying the characteristic triangular aspect and coloured an attractive deep pistachio green. A gorgeous beauty to note is a pair of ruby-red Proustite crystals measuring to 1 cm tall from Freiberg in Saxony, Germany. Proustite is a silver sulphosalt which darkens on prolonged exposure to light, hence often appearing opaque black. This specimen has clearly been stored in the dark ever since it was mined because of its natural bright colour and wonderful translucency.

Also, in our group of ‘Littles’, a finger-like Rhodochrosite stalactite from the Capillitas mine in Argentina of flesh-pink with a rounded tip coated with a crust of fine bladed crystals. From Berbes in Asturias, Spain, do look at a striking Royal purple Fluorite crystal nicely perched on a small bed of stubby, colourless to milky quartz crystals; it really is lovely. And how about an Azurite on Arsentsumebite from yes, you’ve already guessed, Tsumeb in Namibia. This gorgeous miniature of intergrown lustrous deep royal blue Azurite crystals contrasts against a druse of bright, almost fluorescent green crystallised Arsentsumebite. The well-formed and aesthetic blocky deep blue Azurite crystals measure to 2.1 cm and display excellent faces and lustre.

Ok, time to look at a few of the larger pieces! One of my favourites is a fantastic Sphalerite with Calcite from the Trepča Mining Complex in Kosovo. This large cabinet specimen of jet-black Sphalerite with biscuit-tan Calcite is, without any exaggeration or hype, spectacular. Some of the Sphalerite crystals measure to over 6 cm on edge and display a complexly modified octahedral habit with a stunning glossy metallic lustre. There is a fabulous

Quartz from Corinto in Brazil, a magnificent group of gemmy Rock Crystal quality with some individual crystals up to 10 cm tall while others can be to 4 cm wide. The surface texture of the faces and terminations can be either mirror smooth or horizontally rippled with growth structures, both types displaying a superb glassy lustre.

From the Mibladen mining district of Morocco we have a stunning caramel brown Vanadinite with superb crystal habit and a brilliant, eye-catching lustre. This long, narrow specimen is completely covered with perfectly developed thick, chunky hexagonal Vanadinite crystals with vertical striations on their prism faces and conchoidal swirling growth patterns on the flat pinacoids.

Lapis Lazuli is a metamorphic rock whose principal constituent is the mineral Lazulite. This almost 13 x 11 cm polished slab, from Lake Baikal in Eastern-Siberian Russia, is a magnificent bright azure blue which varies as shaded parallel bands dictated by the direction of foliation. Aligned to this trend are granular streaks of brassy golden pyrite and white Quartz. It is a thing of beauty.

There are many more specimens to see today, but let’s end with a Cuprite from the Mashamba West mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sharp intergrown Cuprite crystals to 1.5 cm form rich dark maroon-red ribbons finely contrasting against duck egg-blue Chrysocolla. There are also several bright emerald-green sprays of Malachite just for good measure!

So, is it something you wish to add to your miniature or thumbnail collection or more for the mantelpiece or prize display case? Hopefully this is your biggest decision for the weekend. You’ll be spoilt for choice we feel sure, but there is always that one specimen which comes back to haunt and pleads “buy me”, be it ‘Little’ or ‘Large’. Enjoy and we look forward to being with you all next week. PT

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

Tuesday 7th September & Friday 10th September - September New Finds


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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We also offer an additional service that enables you, as our customer, to contact us via with your mineral wish list to enhance your current collection, but are unable to find the right specimens on our website. We have 1000's of specimens in our general stock that do not appear online.

Author: JH
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