New Christmas Update 17 December 2021

17 December 2021

IT’S hard to comprehend yet another year has flown by and Christmas is almost upon us. As today’s 50 specimens mark the last of this year’s updates, we have ensured a wide selection of species and localities, so hopefully there is something for everyone.

2021 will be remembered as a year in which we all attempted a return to pre-Covid 19 normality, but this has not been easy, as the current situation highlights. Perhaps we as mineral collectors are luckier than many. We have an interest which is pursued either in the great outdoors or in the confines of our own homes where we catalogue our latest acquisitions and enjoy our collections in countless ways. Covid restrictions have without doubt disrupted club and society meets and mineral shows, both at the local and international level, but every possible idea is being applied to help move matters forward.

Today’s 50 cover every continent (save Antarctica) and for those of you who only collect British (you know who you are!), our selection does include several, so read on!

Hence, beginning with devotees of British minerals, you make well think you don’t need yet another Campylite from Dry Gill mine in Cumbria, but do you have one which once featured on the cover of Lapis? Tagging a specimen in your display cabinet as “Featured Specimen in …” is always a joy, and in this case you can add “Lapis No. 3, March 1997”. It may be a small miniature, but it features big on this cover! Other British classics include a stellate cluster of Barytocalcite crystals from Nentsberry Haggs mine on Alston Moor, Cumbria; Calcite with Hematite inclusions from Barrow-in-Furness in former Lancashire and probably from Stank mine; a really eye-catching Eisenkiesel Quartz on Hematite from Florence mine by Egremont and a terrific pair of cubic Fluorite crystals totally encrusted with opaque milk Quartz and Pyrite from Wheal Mary Ann by Menheniot, Cornwall. We do have more British and I will come back to these further on.

Next on my hit list of Christmas temptations is a super miniature Calcite on Descloizite from Berg Aukas in Namibia. If you love this locality then throw caution to the wind and treat yourself! Milky-white trigonal Calcite crystals to 0.9 cm overgrow crystallised, reddish burnt toffee brown Descloizite with spears to around 5 mm. Crossing the border into South Africa we have several great stocking fillers including minty lime-green Fluorite crystals with milky Quartz from Riemvasmaak in Northern Cape Province and three from the N'Chwaning Mines in the Kalahari Manganese Field. These feature a beautiful Inesite and two quite different Rhodochrosites, one of which reminds us of The Iron Throne in Game of Thrones. Look at the photos and we think you’ll agree.

Remaining in Africa, but now in the north, do please take a look at the incredible plate of Vanadinite crystals from Mibladen in Morocco. Yes, similar to said Campylite, we are all more than familiar with Moroccan Vanadinites, making them all too easy to overlook. But not this specimen! These, with a platy crystal habit, appeared several years ago but seem to have been a quite limited find. Burnt cherry red tabular hexagonal crystals on both sides are offset from each other and overlap similar to roof tiles or a dragon’s scales, so producing a beautiful effect and most unusual crystallographic arrangement. Examining the specimen side on, the first few rows of the smaller Vanadinite crystals curve over, as if gently bent by gravity during growth. It is a crystallographic delight.

The selection features many superb Tourmalines including a chromium-bearing Dravite from Nadonjukin in Tanzania and four from Brazil, including Pederneira mine and Coronel Murta. One amazing specimen is simply labelled Minas Gerais, in which six bicoloured Tourmaline crystals are set in an aesthetic matrix of crystallised translucent milky Quartz. The beautifully developed and terminated rhubarb-red prisms with teal-tinged sage-green terminations range from 5.2 cm down to 1.3 cm tall, making a really superb display piece. Also from Brazil is a spectacular group of butterfly twinned Calcite crystals with Quartz and Dolomite from Ametista do Sul, although I would call these ‘heart’ twins.

I cannot attempt to mention all fifty otherwise it would be Christmas Eve before we know it. So, in Advent Calendar fashion, we can just have a sneak preview through a few random windows. Jadeite from Myanmar; Cinnabar on Dolomite from Tongren Prefecture, China; Kipushite from the DCR; Native Gold from Nevada and California; Fluorite from Okorusu; Zincite and Rhodonite from Franklin and a superbly crystallised Molybdenite from Moly Hill mine in Québec are just some.

I did promise a few more British offerings to sign-off with, so here goes. How about a spectacular Kaolinite pseudomorphing after Orthoclase from Goonbarrow China Clay Pit in Cornwall, with crystals to almost 10 cm?! There is also a vibrant bright green cluster of twinned Fluorite crystals from Zero Level at Rogerley mine, Weardale, collected in the late 1970s and to end with, a large cabinet specimen of single and double terminated Quartz with Hematite from the iron mines around Frizington in West Cumbria.

So there you have it, numerous tasty teasers with many more surprises still remaining under our metaphorical Christmas tree. Bid adieu to gift wrapped novelty socks, shaving kits, bath salts and scented candles. What nicer gift could one receive than the perfect mineral specimen?

Here at Crystal Classics we are taking a Christmas and New Break and will return three weeks today on Friday , January 7 with a similar bumper update, all of British specimens.

It now only remains for us to wish you all a Joyous and Peaceful Christmas and Good Health and Happiness throughout 2022. Merry Christmas from Ian, Diana, Debbie and the entire East Coker team. 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.

 

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Author: JH
Categories: Updates

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