New World Update 31 May 2022

30 May 2022

THIS coming weekend we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, marking 70 years since she became Queen following the death of her father King George VI, on February 6, 1952. The culmination of events will take place over an extended four day weekend beginning this Thursday, with most regions of the UK enjoying a two-day public holiday. However, fear not, our regular Friday update will be heading your way at its usual time of 4 pm; we would not want any of our dedicated customers suffering from mineral withdrawal symptoms! We will be taking an update break for all of next week as we prepare for out bumper update issue on Saturday, June 11, the Crystal Classics Summer Open Day.

Yesterday, on our social media platforms we teased by announcing the Open Day will feature a new major collection of British mineral specimens just recently acquired. This week we will release details of just whose collection this was together with a condensed biography. It all remains under wraps for now, so you will just have to be patient for another 24 hours! Wow, the tension is more intense than the countdown to Christmas Day!

In the build-up to this British extravaganza of both Jubilee and Open Day, we continue our theme of Worldwide specimens. With fare warning to our British Only Buffs, we will include several UK specimens this coming Friday, so don’t miss out.

Let’s begin today’s overview with a superb and most reasonably priced Amethyst Quartz from Hyderabad in India. At only $450, this decent-sized cabinet specimen is composed of composite Quartz crystals up to 6.5 cm tall, of the richest blackberry-Royal purple. Well-lit, be this artificial or daylight, the crystals display a stunning inner red-mauve glow; it really is a very beautiful Amethyst.

By far the largest of today’s specimens is a magnificent Ferberite with Quartz from Kara-Oba in Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan. A magnificent and impressive group of sub-vertical, slightly smoky Quartz crystals forms an architectural display with intergrown composite blades of silky black Ferberite crystals. The largest Quartz crystal measures 16.5 cm tall, with an equally impressive 12 cm crystal in the centre. The Ferberite, an iron tungstate, forms striated tabular crystals; the one on the display face standing vertical in sub-alignment with the Quartz.

One specimen I find rather fascinating features intergrown oil-green Andradite Garnet crystals clustered at one end of a fibrous, white Amphibole species from the Malenco Valley in Italy. Calling a spade a spade, the Amphibole is a form of Asbestos, so handling and displaying this specimen just requires some common sense. Asbestos products are, and rightly so, long out of favour, but it sure does produce a fine specimen when teamed with Andradite! The Andradite crystals are a gemmy to translucent yellow-oily green and nestle at one end of the fibrous mass of foliated, buttery clotted-cream to pale peppermint Amphibole fibres.

One mine which has always held a fascination for me is Kabwe in the Central Province of Zambia. This was formerly named Broken Hill, but its present and more appropriate name, for the surrounding city of Kabwe, avoids confusion with the equally famous Broken Hill in Australia. Hopeite is a rare hydrated zinc phosphate which, in this specimen, forms micro-crystals of dark pumpkin to terracotta orange in a near-continuous druse over a highly porous, spongy-textured gossan matrix.

Two favourite European mines amongst collectors are Les Farges in France and Panasqueira in Portugal. I have been fortunate enough to visit the latter but not the former. Today’s Les Farges piece is a delightful miniature of toffee-orange Pyromorphite crystals between 2 and 12 mm long overgrowing a wood-like core of partially dissolved stalactitic Goethite. Then, from Panasqueira, a stunning small cabinet specimen of seven well-terminated, jet-black Ferberite crystals in tabular blades to 4.8 cm together with many creamy crystals of Fluorapatite; the occasional buff Siderite crystal and 2 to 3 mm clusters of pale lilac Fluorite.

Quickly mentioning some other real beauties, do take a look at a gorgeous Fluorite from Rosiclare in Illinois, featuring wonderful colour zoning in shades of purple, lilac and blue throughout cubic crystals of subtle honey lemon yellow. There is a fine Malachite from the L'Etoile du Congo (Star of Congo) mine in the DRC; an excellent jackstraw Cerussite from Kommern in Germany; rich barley sugar and apricot orange Orpiment crystals from Cut 62, Twin Creeks mine in Nevada and a choice Cassiterite with Arsenopyrite on Quartz from Yaogangxian mine in Hunan Province, China.

One specimen I am almost obliged to give special mention is a very fine Descloizite from, really where else but Berg Aukas mine in Namibia. It seems quite a while since we advertised a great Descloizite and we are very well aware there are one or two of you out there (one in particular!) who to call a Descloizite Fiend is somewhat of an understatement! This particular small cabinet specimen is a beautiful example with a roughly 8 x 6 cm display surface totally covered with intergrown rosettes of lenticular Descloizite crystals. Its perfect damage-free condition; quality and size of crystals and peacock iridescence make this a really stunning and splendid specimen.

So there you have it, a good mix of species and localities and remember, there are considerably more specimens not even mentioned here. Enjoy today’s picks, then keep a careful watch for this week’s announcement of our bumper British collection destined for release on June 11. 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
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