• Created By : 28-Jul-2015
  • Write By: tmmadmin
  • Published In: Mineral Species
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3.1" 39g Rich Cherry Red & Crayon Orange Gem Zincite Crystal Group Poland for sale

Click here to see all of our zincite specimens

Zincite is not precisely a natural mineral because it came from the Tarnowskie Góry smelter in Upper Silesia, Poland. A finite, limited number of crystals of this extraordinarily beautiful mineral developed when a furnace wall at the smelter fractured in a singular event in the late 70's. As reported by the smelter superintendant, the zincite was formed in a one-time event when a smelter chimney sprang a leak, allowing an excess of oxygen to mix with the fumes inside the smelter. The oxygen that came in through the crack combined with the zinc to form zinc oxide (zincite). Zincite was then deposited in air vents, from which it was later collected. This material proved to be a success on the mineral market, and so lower quality zincite was later collected from chimneys and flues of similar refineries in Olkusz and several other areas.

  • Created By : 23-Jul-2015
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  • Published In: Your Collection
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This raspberry-and blue-colored tourmaline —nicknamed the “Steamboat ”—is one of the world’s finest and most valuable mineral specimens; it was collected in Pala, California

There has been much discussion recently in the mineral community about the impact of the 1% phenomenon on the price of specimens. By "1%", I am referring to the growing disparity between ordinary people and the very small number of people: the ones who earned over 20% of total income in the U.S. Expensive minerals have become a status symbol for wealthy people, just like expensive sports cars and art. Mineral dealers refer to this phenomenon as the "high-end market," generally defined as specimens with a price tag of $10,000 and up into the millions. High-end mineral specimens can mean different things to different people. The best definition I have seen is from Jolyon Ralph, who heads Mindat (www.mindat.com). He defines a high-end mineral specimen as "…one that commands a high price because it is of particular aesthetic appeal, or because it is of an especially fine quality or from a classic or particularly noteworthy location." The most expensive crystal on record is the "Rose of Itaitia," a red tourmaline from Brazil.


11.8" Bright Yellow Natural SULFUR STALACTITE - Blue Fire Volcano, Java, Indonesia


Molten sulfur burns atop a solid sulfur deposit at Kawah Ijen volcano

Locality Photos by Olivier Grunewalt
Specimen photos by Treasure Mountain Mining

In Tucson this year, I found a vendor who was selling sulfur stalactites, up to 13" long. The stalactites were a bright, butter yellow color, and consisted of multiple "frozen" rivulets of sulfur. They came from the Kawah Ijen volcano on the island of Java in Indonesia. Here, stalactites form naturally when the molten sulfur drips over the edge of a drop off and "freezes" as it flows along the stalactites as thin rivulets of bright yellow solid sulfur.


5.1" Purple on Yellow Gem Phantom Fluorite - Crystal Mine ex-Ross Lillie

Some of the most beautiful fluorite specimens found anywhere in the world came from the fluorite mines in Southern Illinois. Since the 1950s and 60s, mines such as the Annabel Lee, Hardin, Denton, Rosiclare, Minerva #1, and Hill-Ledford became legends in the mineral world for the outpouring of their world-class fluorite specimens into the mineral marketplace. In 1993, the mining companies announced that they were going to shut down the mines, and the last mine closed in 1995. In the mineral world, when mines close, prices usually shoot up immediately, in anticipation of short supplies in the future. In the case of Illinois fluorite, the supply pipeline of fine fluorite specimens was very full. In fact it was so full, that it wasn't until 2008 that supplies began to dry up and prices began to rise. In 2009, the price for the really good Illinois fluorite specimens rose dramatically. In the years since, prices have continued to escalate very rapidly. Today, it will cost you 10-fold what you would have spent in 1993 to get a superb specimen.

  • Created By : 21-Apr-2015
  • Write By: tmmadmin
  • Published In: Mineral Show Reports
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Here are my hand-picked favorites from the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in January, 2016. Picking these few out of the thousand or so specimens we purchsed this year was no easy task, but I think you'll find them just as irresistable as I did. Enjoy!

  • Created By : 31-Mar-2015
  • Write By: tmmadmin
  • Published In: Mineral Show Reports
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Every year it seems buyers bemoan the fact that there have been no new finds, there is no new material to be had, etc. I have even heard that said by other dealers about the 2015 show. But I don't buy it. We arrived on January 24 and stayed until February 14, and spent virtually every waking hour scouring the mineral dealers rooms and booths at many of the different shows, and we turned up a lot of really new things as well as a couple of re-discovered oldies but goodies from the past.