New World Update 24 May 2022

25 May 2022

THIS week we again have a selection of fine minerals from around the world covering a diversity of species and localities. These span five continents: Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America and, as always, including classic localities, fascinating mineral associations and many great aesthetics.

Let’s begin in Africa and a make welcome return to Tsumeb, a locality not featured for some time. A tubular cast of pinkish-cream Dolomite forms a complete hollow tunnel some 5 cm long. The outside surface of lustrous Dolomite crystals is dotted with small Calcite crystals and speckled olive green with patches of Duftite. Hiding within the tube are several well-formed pale yellow-buttermilk, tabular Wulfenite crystals, the largest to about 1.3 cm on edge.

The next continent, alphabetically, is Asia from where we have a Hubeite on Quartz and an Epidote with Quartz. The Hubeite, a calcium-manganese sorosilicate, is from its type locality at the Fengjiashan mine in Hubei Province, China and forms translucent, chocolate brown micro-crystals scattered over Quartz crystals with a smoky cast. The Epidote is from the Tormiq Valley in the Haramosh Mountains of Pakistan. It’s a showy small cabinet specimen of lustrous, translucent, dark bottle green Epidote crystals to 3 cm intergrown with colourless Quartz crystals of around 1 cm long.

Next on the list is Europe and it is from here we have the lion’s share of today’s specimens. Beginning in the far north, from the Kola Peninsula of Russia do take a look at a splendid miniature of the rare sodium fluoride Villiaumite. This cleaved solid block forms a cuboid miniature with micro-stepped faces of metallic carmine red to intensely deep red, almost black, with a brilliant glassy lustre. Moving west into Finland, the Uvarovite Garnet from Outokumpu forms equant crystals of between 2 and 9 mm across and whose clarity varies proportionally with size; the smallest being gemmy, the largest opaque, with translucent intermediate crystals.

Elsewhere in Europe we have classics galore! How about a stunning Pyromorphite from Asprières in France? This amazing large cabinet specimen measures just over 18 cm long and the large open vugs, contained within an extremely hard and strong iron stained gossan, are packed full of deep canary-yellow botryoidal spherules averaging 5 mm in diameter. A vug across the front face measuring some 12 x 5 cm and is filled with near vertical stalactitic columns of intergrown canary yellow Pyromorphite spherules. It’s a stunning Pyromorphite, a species for which France really excels.

South, we head to Portugal and the world renowned Panasqueira mine at Covilhã. I think most collectors are very aware of just what fabulous specimen material Panasqueira offers, a locality with the ability to elevate even the most simple and common species to new aesthetic heights. This Quartz with Pyrite and Siderite is a stunning and majestic cabinet specimen. A pair of colourless, transparent to translucent Quartz crystals, the largest 11 cm tall, are preferentially coated with Pyrite and Siderite almost completely covering four of the six prism faces of the larger crystal, each face being a different colour. It really is quite beautiful and breath-taking.

Zipping a little faster around our other European locations, things well worth a closer look include a Baryte with Quartz and Calcite from Gyöngyösoroszi in Hungary; light lemon yellow, prismatic crystals of Topaz with Quartz from Schneckenstein Cliff in Saxony, Germany; a stunning crystallised Dyscrasite (silver antimonide) from Uranium Mine No. 21 in Príbram, Czech Republic; Eisenkiesel Quartz from the Wölsendorf Fluorite Mining District in Germany and delightful ruby-red Proustite crystals on Calcite from the Schlema-Hartenstein District of Saxony.

Finally we cross the Atlantic to North America where we have a lovely apricot orange Creedite with Fluorite from the Navidad mine at Abasolo in Mexico; a Galena from West Fork mine in Reynolds County, Missouri; Sphalerite with Baryte and Fluorite from Elmwood mine, Smith County, Tennessee and Spinel with Chondrodite and Muscovite in Calcite from the Edenville-Town of Warwick district in Orange County, New York State. The latter is an interesting specimen as the Edenville deposit is within the Franklin Marble, with the slightly more famous Franklin-Ogdensburg mines only 15 to 20 km to the south-west, across the state boundary in New Jersey. The Spinel crystals are all embedded and mainly buried within the matrix, although the largest crystal does display a complete 1.6 cm long edge. Because of its proximity to Franklin-Ogdensburg I have checked the specimen under UV light and find some of the white Calcite matrix fluoresces a very dull deep red under LWUV.

The above mentioned Galena from West Fork reads like yet just another Galena from Missouri, but don’t judge a book by its cover. I’ve seen and handled many a Galena cube in my time, but my-oh-my, this is one mighty beauty! Dare I say it reminds me of a Borg cube, although delightful as opposed to super-scary! One single, slightly distorted cube measuring 6 cm along each edge is attached by one corner to a minor matrix of mixed sulphides. The Galena crystal is bright metallic silver with each face displaying fascinating patchworks of linear geometric crystal growth. However, a word of warning, take just one look and Resistance is Futile!

We conclude in South America with Rhodochrosite and Quartz from Uchucchacua mine, Peru and a splendid, quite complex Orthoclase twin from Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Orthoclase offers an excellent example of twinning laws in a natural specimen and will make a perfect companion to an idealised crystal model.

Every specimen is well worth a closer look, for what may initially be perceived as just another specimen from a familiar locality, all too often is something much more special. As always, we hope you find lots of interesting specimens. They may not be minerals you wish to buy, but all contribute to a broader appreciation of what the mineralogical world has to offer. Having said this, we really do hope you find something well worthwhile to add to your collection! 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 SUMMER OPEN DAY

Crystal Classics are delighted to announce that our 2022 Summer Open Day will be taking place on Saturday, June 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.

Breakfast and lunch will also be provided by The Village Cafe which is located next door to our offices.

It promises to be a great day and we look forward to welcoming you soon 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
Categories: Updates

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