New Weardale Fluorite Update 16 November 2021

16 November 2021

BEFORE launching into today’s update, we have Breaking News (as is the modern idiom) concerning this Saturday’s Sussex Mineral & Lapidary Society Show at Hayward’s Heath (November 20th). Crystal Classics will be there! Our attendance has been on and off due to many complications, but we can confirm we will definitely be at the show so we look forward to seeing you all once again.

Both of this week’s updates are entirely dedicated to the magnificent new find of Fluorite made this summer at the Lady Annabella mine, from the Purple Rain and Hailstorm Pockets. If you are unfamiliar with this locality, Lady Annabella mine works a remnant mineralised bench in the former Eastgate Quarry, also known by its original name of Blue Circle Cement Quarry. Specimen recovery began here in the early summer of 2020 and the mine is named for Ian and Diana Bruce’s, then, new daughter.

The original Eastgate quarry produced a stream of fascinating Fluorite specimens over the years. The first season of mining at Lady Anabella uncovered a wealth of fabulous specimens from various veins and pockets, all of which became instant favourites with collectors the world over. The Bull Vein, along with the Poison Ivy, Minty Cheesecake, Sherry Twins and Lemon Meringue Pockets are but just a few.

Less than one month into the 2021 season, miners encountered a clay-filled pocket associated with the Fairy Hole Vein, containing excellent specimens of purple-blue Fluorite and Galena. On excavating this four-metre-long cavity, many of the Galena crystals were coated with a film of white Hydrocerussite, a basic lead carbonate (Pb3(CO3)2(OH)2). The pocket has been named Purple Rain, and those specimens displaying snow-white Hydrocerussite-coated Galena, the Hailstorm Pocket. The one pocket is synonymous with both pocket names, simply reflecting its two distinct types of mineralisation. Many Purple Rain Fluorites are associated with superb galena crystals, but of characteristic silver colour showing no trace of Hydrocerussite.

The Purple Rain and Hailstorm Fluorites are characteristically gemmy to translucent deep inky purple, while displaying numerous permutations of purple with blue, mauve, leaf-green, blackberry and even colourless. Some Fluorite displays wonderfully colour-zoned crystal clusters with bands of blackberry, cranberry, mauve-red, deep purple and green.

Today’s 21 specimens provide numerous permutations of Fluorite, Galena and Hydrocerussite, together with various forms of crystal habits, colour zoning and two specimens displaying excellent fluid inclusions. For this update we will not attempt to describe individual specimens as the broad palette already painted gives you a broad feel before examining specific specimens via the hyperlinks.

If you are already a keen collector of Weardale Fluorite then you are sure to find something of interest and if not, then now is your chance to begin! Enjoy and good hunting! 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 are delighted to announce that our 2021 Winter Open Day will be taking place on Saturday, December 11 from 10am to 5pm.

To book your place please email Debbie at or by phone 01935 862 673 to register your interest.

We have many new collections to showcase as well as thousands of superb specimens in our showroom which are set out in beautiful display cases and drawered cabinets beneath oak beams bedecked with antique crystal models and other mining and mineralogical ephemera.

Complimentary food will also be provided by The Village Cafe which is located next door to our offices.

As is standard, we will be doing a bumper British Update on Saturday morning to coincide with the Open Day, so for that week only, there will be no update as usual on Tuesday or Friday.

It promises to be a great day and we look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful showroom in East Coker, Somerset.



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Author: JH
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