New Weardale Fluorite Update 19 November 2021

19 November 2021

FOR starters, a quick reminder that tomorrow, Saturday November 20, marks the much-anticipated return of the Sussex Mineral & Lapidary Society (SMLS) annual show at Haywards Heath. Crystal Classics are delighted to be back, although this time at their new venue in Haywards Heath College (Harlands Road, RH16 1LT). Doors open at 10 am and we will be concentrating on British specimens together with Fluorite from the Purple Rain Pocket as featured in today’s update.

Tuesday’s update featuring Fluorite, Galena and Hydrocerussite from the Purple Rain and Hailstorm Pockets proved very popular, so we are excited to offer another fine selection of 21 specimens today. Purple Rain and Hailstorm were discovered in early summer 2021 in the Lady Annabella mine which works a highly mineralised bench at the former Eastgate quarry in Weardale, County Durham.

Beautiful Fluorite specimens from Eastgate, also known to collectors as the Blue Circle Cement Quarry, have made it to the mineral market ever since operations began in the early 1960s and some material was usually available at regional British shows such as Haywards Heath and Bakewell. Ever since Crystal Classics’ sister company UK Mining Ventures began specimen recovery in summer 2020, a whole stream of amazing specimens has emerged, the likes of which have never before been encountered in this quarry. Specimens of Hydrocerussite coating Galena crystals from the Hailstorm Pocket are very much in short supply, this is not hype, as relatively few were found. Hydrocerussite is a fairly rare mineral throughout the lead and Fluorite mines of Weardale and these specimens, associated with blackberry purple Fluorite, make a superb addition to any collection from this famous mining district.

As on Tuesday, we shall not attempt to describe individual specimens from the update here, as you really need to look at the accompanying photos to fully appreciate the nuances of each. However, rules are made to be broken and I cannot help myself mentioning two in particular.

First, a super-cool Fluorite with Galena from the Purple Rain Pocket. This remarkable large cabinet specimen is formed over a hidden stalactite of ironstone. As seen in the end of the specimen, the stalactite is completely circular with a central round hollow core, 7 mm in diameter. This is completely overgrown with single and interpenetrant twinned crystals of purple Fluorite, typically between 0.5 and 1 cm on edge, and up to 2 cm. On one side, three magnificent Galena crystals sit on top of the Fluorite, of respective maximum diameters 3, 4 and 4.9 cm. The Galena forms modified, somewhat rounded cuboctahedrons of mainly matt lead grey and occasional bright metallic silver. It is a delight!

Then from Hailstorm Pocket, so called because of the hailstone-like white Hydrocerussite coated Galena crystals, a magnificent cabinet specimen, particularly striking because of the large number of Galena crystals and their total coverage of pure white Hydrocerussite. The Galena forms equant cuboctahedral crystals up to 2.5 cm and typically around 1.5 cm. Interpenetrant twinned crystals of blackberry purple Fluorite nestle either side of the Galena and the Fluorite at one side, once backlit, becomes predominantly pale sea green.

All fluorite from these pockets displays strong daylight fluorescence and under long wave ultraviolet (LWUV) fluoresces bright shades of lavender, lilac and purple-white.

For those of you attending the Sussex Show tomorrow we greatly look forward to welcoming you to out stand and for those who cannot make it, hopefully you can take solace in a specimen from today’s special update. Enjoy your weekend. PT

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

Tuesday 23rd November - Mexico

Friday 26th November - USA


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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