New Mexico Update 23 November 2021

23 November 2021

HERE in Somerset, England, winter is truly upon us as the days rapidly shorten and this morning the surrounding fields and hedgerows were white with frost, while weak sunlight lit up the ground-hugging mist. But fear not, this week we begin in the much warmer climes of Mexico, with an exciting selection of 21 specimens which include many Mexican classics.

Mexico is famous for its more than rich share of mineral localities and the wonderful specimens it produces. Any reader of the Mineralogical Record knows only too well how many special Mexican issues its has produced over the years, more than for any other country. Those of you who have visited any of the major mineral shows will probably have seen fine displays of Mexican minerals, one memorable exhibit being at the 2018 Tucson Westward Look Show. Checking the mindat database for Mexico, the current count is 779 valid recorded mineral species and it is type locality to 90 species. Let’s dive straight in and see just what goodies we have…

In mentioning type localities, we’ll begin with a Fluor-buergerite from Mexquitic de Carmona Municipality in San Luis Potosí. Fluor-buergerite is a bronze-brown to dark brown member of the Tourmaline Group and, as is a characteristic trait at this locality, individual crystals form linear chains across the matrix surface and as sub-parallel chains to one another. The separate crystals are perfectly formed and all have a brilliant reflective glassy lustre which sparkle when tilted. This is a gorgeous miniature example.

From Milpillas mine at Cuitaca in Sonora, do look at the rare combination of Volborthite with Brochantite from the relatively recent find in 2014-15. Dark olive-green rosettes of Volborthite crystals sit on a snow-white covering of Dickite on a light grey Limestone. The Brochantite forms as turquoise green, very fine, acicular crystals around the base of the Volborthite, in long delicate hair-like sprays.

Today’s selection includes many stand-out cabinet specimens amongst which is a Danburite, Pyrargyrite and Fluorite with Calcite. The Danburite, from the Aurora mine in San Luis Potosí, is a superb cabinet specimen of large terminated crystals measuring to an exceptional 10 cm. These are translucent white to gemmy and form a stunning display of sub-vertical crystals with many exhibiting different termination habits and all crystals have inclusions of pale brassy Chalcopyrite crystals. The exact locality for the Pyrargyrite is unknown, but it is known to originate from Mexico. Rich islands of metallic maroon to silvery-grey Pyrargyrite crystals are set in a snowy-white bed of crystallised white scalenohedral Calcite. When held at certain angles some Pyrargyrite crystals produce stunning flashes of characteristic ruby red. The Fluorite with Calcite is from the Naica mine at Mun. de Saucillo in Chihuahua, famous for its gigantic gypsum crystals in various caverns such as ‘Cave of Swords’ and ‘Cave of the Crystals’. Colourless to pale lilac-green, almost spherical Fluorite crystals are preferentially coated with tiny white Calcite crystals. All the Fluorite is transparent tending to gemmy and occasionally contains small inclusions of Chalcopyrite.

We cannot really have a Mexican update without an offering from the Ojuela mine in Durango. If you can’t instantly recall which one of the famous Mexican mines Ojuela is, then just picture the precarious suspension bridge which crosses the deep gorge to the mine entrance! Vertigo inducing to say the least, but luckily for us, we don’t have to cross it! From here we have some stunning items: Adamite, Hemimorphite, Legrandite and Mimetite. The Adamite forms zesty apple to vibrant lime green hemispherical mounds composed of three dimensionally fanned crystals, each typically to 1.5 cm high. The Hemimorphite features individual semi-transparent to translucent terminated lath-like crystals to 1 cm surrounding two dominating curved crystalline mounds of up to 4 cm across. In these the glassy white Hemimorphite forms lustrous fanned crystal aggregates resembling splayed packs of playing cards. The Legrandite occurs as acidic golden lemon crystals to 1.1 cm in several attractive clusters over a rusty coloured plate of naturally corroded Siderite crystals. Last but certainly not least is the Mimetite, and what a Mimetite it is, beautifully crystallised, forming plumes of spherically terminated crystals covering a shallow vug in a pale yellow and rusty brown gossan matrix. It’s colour can be likened to a cross between mustard and acidic lemon and around the periphery of the drusy mounds, micro-crystals covering the surface adopt a subtle orange hue. It is a small cabinet specimen of museum quality.

Amongst all of today’s other specimens be sure to see the two lovely Wulfenites, various Amethyst crystals, one sceptred and some on Danburite crystals, a fabulous Stephanite, gemmy apple green Grossular Garnets and a delightful Boleite with Anglesite from Santa Rosalía in the Boleo District.

With any mention of Mexican minerals, probably the first image conjured is that of colourful specimens, quickly followed by high quality and remarkable diversity. We certainly have a colourful selection for you to scrutinise today, which we feel sure you will thoroughly enjoy. It is hoped our twice weekly updates help disseminate a basic mineralogical flavour of whichever topic has been chosen and if you are able to find a worthy addition to your collection, then that’s a real bonus. Good hunting and enjoy! PT

                                         

If you'd like to see a video of any of the specimens listed above then please contact us at orders@crystalclassics.co.uk 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 WINTER OPEN DAY

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 debbie@crystalclassics.co.uk 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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MINERAL WISH LIST

We also offer an additional service that enables you, as our customer, to contact us via orders@crystalclassics.co.uk 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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