New Easter Update 12 April 2022

12 April 2022

TODAY we celebrate Easter which will be with us this coming weekend. Our choice of specimens has largely been guided by colour as so many colours are associated with Easter and the joint arrival of spring.

Yellow is an obvious choice with the image of daffodils and Easter chicks while green conjures images of plants and trees showing their tentative first buds. White is closely associated with the purity of Easter, while gold and purple are associated with royalty during biblical times and remain so today. Purple is called the colour of Lent and is widely seen in the decoration of churches at this time of year. More blatantly we include a polished egg, an unheard of item in any Crystal Classics’ update, but this is from a old quarry in Derbyshire, a county famous for its fine lapidary work as seen in ornaments such as Blue John, Ashford black marble and Youlgreave oakstone. Today’s is an update of minerals from around the world, so chocs away, let’s go touring…

We’ll begin with the yellow specimens as I most associate this colour with Easter. A Mottramite from Judkins quarry in Warwickshire, England; a beautiful bright lemon Fluorite with Quartz from Cäcilia mine at Freiung in the Upper Palatinate of Germany; a 6.2 cm, gemmy single crystal of pale lemon-tinted Aragonite from Číčov in the Ústí Region of the Czech Republic; a cluster of golden straw Fluorite crystals from Hilton mine in Cumbria, England and last but certainly not least, a fine group of deep acidic lemon Pyromorphite crystals from Barstow's Cut at Roughton Gill, Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria, England. Interestingly, we don’t usually associate yellow with either English Mottramite or Pyromorphite, yet here we have two fine examples. Judkins quarry was a popular locality with UK collectors up to its closure in 1996 and this Mottramite on Calcite with Baryte is a particularly good example. Unlike Mottramite from its type locality at Mottram St Andrew in Cheshire, a sooty blackish grey, this from Judkins occurs as lemon, mustard and dark ginger films and thin crusts coating Calcite and Baryte crystals. I almost forgot; we also have a rather gorgeous cluster of acidic yellow-tipped, colourless Baryte crystals on Calcite from Příbram in the Czech Republic.

Our Easter purples include powder-pink Erythrite coating Native Bismuth with Skutterudite from Schneeberg in Saxony, Germany; Amethyst Quartz from Banská Štiavnica in the Czech Republic and Fluorapatite from Greifenstein, also in Saxony. Representing our other Easter royal colour, a beautiful Native Gold from Transylvania in Romania, most probably originating from Roşia Montană. This fine miniature of crystallised leaf and arborescent Native Gold comes with an old Francis H. Butler (late Talling) label dating from between 1884 and 1887 when he was at 180 Brompton Road, London.

Our three unashamedly Easter offerings are the aforementioned Derbyshire polished egg, a cockscomb-like array of Aragonite from the Lavrion mining district of Greece and, maintaining the “egg” theme, a lovely example of a Pig’s Egg, the Cornish miner’s name for Kaolinite pseudomorphs after Feldspar, this example from Melbur China Clay Pit in the St. Austell District. The polished egg is composed of Fluorite with Baryte and Galena, a specimen collected in Smalldale quarry north west of the village of Bradwell and south east of the more well-known town of Castleton. The Aragonite is from the Kamariza Mines at Agios Konstantinos (formerly Kamariza). Not only a superb example of Aragonite, this is made all the more special having a rich overgrowth of gemmy, pale apple green Adamite crystals.

Reflecting the busts of spring colour we currently enjoy in our gardens and countryside, do look closer at the first class Olivenite from the famed Kamariza mines near Lavrion, Greece; a striking Malachite forming lustrous, radial acicular clusters of silky emerald green from Waitschach in Austria and a deep apricot orange, rice grain Rhodochrosite from Wolf mine in the Rhineland-Palatinate of Germany.

Finally, we offer a fine selection of white minerals in many habits and associations. Reminding us of a hot cross bun (traditionally eaten on Good Friday) is a Goethite with Quartz from Restormel Royal Iron mine at Lostwithiel in Cornwall, England. What could be nicer than good Cornish mineral specimen reminiscent of a tasty treat! This small cabinet specimen looks like a breccia but is more likely part of a vein section where the Goethite forms burnt orange to rich chocolate brown, fibrous radial clasts in a snow white Calcite. Yummy!

The Lavrion Aragonite, pig’s egg and polished egg are already covered, which leaves a magnificent crystallised Calcite from Laki in the Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria; a delightful cabinet Baryte from Cavnic in Romania; a Scheelite crystal on Calcite and Quartz from Baia Sprie, Romania and a creamy white Fluorite from Erika mine in the Upper Palatinate of Germany.

We are taking a break this Good Friday, so our next update will be next Tuesday, April 19. This is therefore the time to wish all of our followers who celebrate and observe Easter, a happy and peaceful weekend. This Easter update offers a wide ranging selection of species and worldwide localities, so we hope there is something of interest to everyone. Happy Easter from all the Crystal Classics’ team. PT


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Author: JH
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