New The Americas Update 14 January 2022

14 January 2022

WE spread our wings wide today to cover both North and South America.

From northern Canada through the USA, central America and down to Argentina we offer a fascinating selection, touching on classic localities and some most collectors will probably never have heard of before. We also include some rare species seldom encountered in private collections which are always enticing, if only to widen our mineralogical knowledge.

Probably the best means for today’s overview is to travel from north to south within these two great continents, while visiting each of the localities featured today. We start our journey in Rapid Creek, Yukon. So, at a latitude of over 68 degrees north in mid-January, make sure your winter parka is fur lined and fully zipped-up!

The phosphate deposit at Rapid Creek was first discovered in 1974. From here we have a nicely crystallised Augelite forming pale yellowish lime green crystals on a hard rusty brown phosphatic shale. Although minor, a 3 x 2 cm group of blue Lazulite granules are embedded in the matrix on its base.

Mont Saint-Hilaire, close to Montréal in Québec, is from one of the world’s most iconic mineral localities. We have two specimens from the Poudrette quarry, a Lemoynite forming spherical acicular sprays and a Sabinaite with Siderite, Analcime and Aegirine. The Sabinaite forms micro hexagonal plates of about 1 mm diameter and translucent tan with a glassy lustre. These are richly scattered amongst pale biscuit tan, curved prisms of blocky Siderite, many snowy white Analcime crystals (up to 1 cm diameter) and laths of bronze and deep bottle green Aegirine.

Another interesting locality in Canada is the Gibson Road East occurrence by Monmouth Township in Ontario. This locality was discovered by a mineral collector in about 1995 and although it has produced only seven species, they tend to be very well crystallised. We have two specimens from here, one a superb, 4 cm long double terminated crystal of Fluoro-richterite on matrix and a translucent buff Microcline on Fluoro-richterite.

Our last two Canadian localities are also in Ontario: from the Red Lake area, a Tellurobismuthite and Native Gold and from the popular Thunder Bay Amethyst mine, a gorgeous royal purple Amethyst with inclusions of light chocolate brown Hematite.

We now cross into the USA and have five points of call. First, a beautiful cherry red Elbaite Tourmaline capped peach and lime green from the Himalaya mine in California. The Calumet mine in Chaffee County, Colorado, is known for its Amphibole pseudomorphs termed Uralite. The fine example we have is thought to be Actinolite pseudomorphing after Diopside. While looking at the lovely Azurite with Malachite from the historic Copper Queen mine in Bisbee, Arizona, cast your eye also over the beautiful accompanying copperplate handwritten label. Finally moving south, do see the zoned purple Fluorite with Sphalerite and Chalcopyrite from Elmwood mine at Carthage, Tennessee and a terrific Siegenite with Chalcopyrite, Galena and Dolomite from Sweetwater mine in Reynolds County, Missouri.

Our last stop in North America is Mexico. One of the rarer minerals we alluded to is Nifontovite, a calcium borate from Charcas in San Luis Potosí. This crystallised miniature is a fine example with colourless crystals up to 2.7 cm long and all with a brilliant glassy lustre. Also from Charcas is a quite stunning group of Danburite crystals and from the Santa Eulalia District in Chihuahua, a slightly mauve tinged Creedite.

Our final six specimens are all from South America; four from Brazil, one from Bolivia and something very unusual from Argentina. The Gem State of Minas Gerais supplies us with an Elbaite Tourmaline, the indigo blue variety Indicolite, from the Cruzeiro mine and from the Ilha claim in Taquaral, a stunning cluster of gemmy, clove brown Childrenite crystals perched on a deep pink crystallised Rose Quartz.

The Tourmaline species Uvite occurs in several different colours at Brumado in Bahia State, Brazil, this specimen being deep cherry red. The three Uvite crystals are displayed to advantage against colourless Magnesite crystals with a bright glassy lustre. Tapiolite is a tantalum niobate with the presence of iron and manganese. This fine example from Baixão da Laje mine in Rio Grande do Norte displays many faces of a 3 cm long crystal.

Today’s final two specimens are an Acanthite with excellent Native Silver wires from Colquechaca in the Potosí Department of Bolivia and a super-rare Inyoite with Meyerhofferite from Nacimiento Sijes in Argentina. These two borates are very similar in composition and appearance and are therefore difficult to differentiate in the same specimen. However, specimens from this small find contain a majority of Inyoite with a part replacement of Meyerhofferite.

Representing two continents with 21 specimens is, of course, impossible, but from a collector’s perspective we hope this varied selection may just contribute something to your collection, be it systematic or focused on The Americas.

Before we sign off for the weekend here in East Coker, our team remain super busy in Tucson preparing for all our forthcoming 2022 events. These will include the opening of The Tucson Fine Mineral Gallery, The Mineral City Show, Westward Look Show and last, but by no means least, the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show (TGMS) 2022. Do visit our Events Page here for the latest information. Have a great weekend. PT

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

Tuesday 18th January - Africa & South America

Friday 21st January - Europe

                                         

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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