Tucson Gem, Rock & Mineral Show 2013 - Part 2

Write By: tmmadmin Published In: Mineral Show Reports Created Date: 2015-02-02 Hits: 5273 Comment: 0

Here is Part 2 of our 2013 Tucson show report, showcasing more of the treasures we brought home that year. Please click here for Part 1.

Below please find picture of some of my favorite new finds from our purchases at this year's show. I've included links to the specimens that are listed online already, plus a few others that will be listed within the next few days. As of this writing, none have sold and all are currently available. If you are interested in any of these pieces, or if you want to see other material from the same find, please email us.

Wulfenite - Red Cloud Mine
Here is an outrageously aesthetic and exceptionally well crystallized specimen of wulfenite on matrix in an eye-popping red-orange color. It came from the most famous wulfenite locality anywhere in the world: the Red Cloud Mine, on Trijo Mountain in Arizona. Wulfenite from the Red Cloud is celebrated for its crisply geometric tabular crystals, brilliant adamatine luster, and pulsating, luminous super-saturated red color. It has been eagerly sought after by mineral collectors since 1938, when Ed Over collected many fine specimens that are generally considered to be the finest ever found there, including the largest crystal ever found at the mine, over 2" on edge. This specimen is an outstanding representation of the crystals from this locality: it has the color, it has the luster, and it has the crystal form of the best crystals from the Red Cloud Mine. And, there is virtually no damage to the crystals. Brian Lees (of Sweet Home Mine fame) worked the mine for specimens for several years around 2005. Since then, the death knell was sounded for this classic locality. Lees pushed the mine to a depth beyond which it is not economical to do specimen recovery, and now the reclamation work has been completed and the mine is closed (presumably forever). I bought this piece, an older specimen which came out of an old European collection, out at the Tucson Gem, Rock and Mineral Show.

6.5" Superb red-orange wulfenite crystals to .5" on matrix from the Red Cloud Mine in Arizona. $3,500.


Stibnite - China
Here's an eye-catching stibnite specimen with sharp silver stibnite crystals with stibiconite sprouting out all over in a fascinating "porcupine" formation. The stibnite sprays make an elaborate display, poking out sharp metallic points in all directions. I love the porcupine effect, and the complexity of the crystallization makes this a great display specimen. It was collected at the Qinglong Mine in Qinglong Co., Qianxi'nan Pref., Guizhou Province, China. Specimens like this with dramatic sprays of crystals are hard to find, and the Chinese dealers place a premium on them. The Quinlong Mine has now closed down, after having produced the world's finest stibnite specimens for 10 years since 2003. Good specimens from the mine are already hard to find, and now that no more specimens are forthcoming, prices will undoubtedly rise in the future.

3.5" Radiating spray of all terminated silver gray stibnite crystals - China. $300.

Pezzotaite - Madagascar
This 11 carat pezzottaite crystal is highly lustrous and partially gem quality. It is colored a characteristic and unique raspberry red. Now that the type (and virtually only) locality know for this rare variety of beryl has closed, pezzottaite crystals have become really hard to find, so I was delighted when I came across this one in the room of a French dealer who was set up at the Tucson Show. This very rare mineral was only recently discovered in late 2002, at the Sakavalana pegmatite, Ambatovia, Mandrosonoro area, Fianarantsoa Province, Madagascar. The deposit is now depleted. The Sakavalana pegmatite is the only significant source of pezzottaite. It was first mined for tourmaline by the French in the 1940s, but pezzottaite was not discovered there until 2002, in a large, crystal-lined vug that also contained tourmaline and spodumene. It was an overnight sensation when it first appeared, and even more so when it was subsequently approved by the IMA in 2003 as the newest member of the beryl family.

.7" 11 carat Double terminated bright raspberry gemmy pezzotaite crystal from Madagascar. $900.

Aquamarine - Brazil
This aquamarine crystal is extremely sharp and nearly transparent in an unusually rich turquoise blue color. It is an outstanding specimen of aquamarine: highly lustrous, double-terminated, exceptionally sharp, with smooth glassy faces, and nearly transparent. The crystal is 100% natural. Fine aquas of this large size, fine gemminess, and rich color are always in high demand, and with its fine aesthetics, this one is clearly a winner. This specimen comes from the Urucum Mine in Galileia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. This aquamarine is from a recent find, and it is very finely colored, totally unlike the pale turquoise blue frequently seen in aquamarine from Pakistan.

3.8" 4,580 carat vivid turquoise blue double terminated aquamarine crystal from Brazil.

Barite - Nevada
This superb specimen of golden barite comes from the Meikle Mine in Nevada, from the original mining operation there in 1998-9. The tabular crystals are very thick and highly lustrous, in a soft golden yellow color. The large crystal is about 2" wide, and almost .5" thick. The piece comes from the Rust Bucket Pocket, 1375' level, Meikle Mine, Bootstrap District, Carlin Area, Elko County, Nevada. Casey and Jane Jones recovered this specimen when they had the Meikle Mine under a collecting contract in the late 1990's. (There's an excellent article in Rocks & Minerals magazine recounting their underground adventures.) Material from this celebrated find has become very difficult to buy on the market today, and prices have risen steadily since the pocket was emptied (and no others have been opened since).

3.7" Translucent bright yellow gemmy barite crystals from the Meikle Mine in Nevada. $1,950.

Boulder Opal - Australia
The surface of this lovely boulder opal flash with sparkling colors of lime green, deep blue, bright turquoise, and rich shades of violet. The opal sits atop a light tan matrix, and has been polished to bring out the colors. This beautiful specimen comes from Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia - an area that is probably the world's best known locality for opal. This large piece has great opalescence, and flashes green, turquoise, red and blue colors. Although opal has no crystal structure, (meaning a regular arrangement of atoms) it does have a structure made up of random chains of silicon and oxygen that are packed into extraordinarily tiny spheres. In precious opal, the variety used most often in jewelry, there are many organized pockets which contain spheres of approximately equal size and have a regular concentration, or structure. This structure diffracts light at various wavelengths, creating colors. The multicolored flashes of light from this precious opal give it a truly beautiful look.

4.3" Polished precious gem boulder opal with fiery red, green, turquoise and blue color play from Australia. $1,450.

Vivianite - Bolivia
Here's a truly exceptional specimen of vivianite, featuring lustrous dark green crystals perched on a small scrap of matrix. When viewed edge-on, the vivianite appears so dark that it's almost black, but when turned, the flat surfaces of the crystals flash a deep, gemmy green. Vivianite is a rare phosphate species frequently associated with tin deposits. This is from the celebrated find in the mid 1990s, which produced what are arguably the finest vivianite specimens in the world. Rob Lavinski reports that fine quality specimens have all but disappeared from the market since 2001 when the mine was taken over by the Bolivian government. Today removing specimens is strictly forbidden, and the levels upon which the vivianites are found have been intentionally flooded to keep the miners out.

4.8" Emerald green gem terminated vivianite crystals from the Huanuni Mine in Bolivia

Heliodor - Ukraine
This is a gem heliodor from the famous locality at Volodarsk-Volynski, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine. The crystal simply glows with brilliant transparency and juicy color. The luster is top quality, the clarity is like a gem, totally clean and clear. You couldn't ask for more in a classic Russian heliodor. It is a double-terminated floater that is complete all around, with no damage. This specimen was mined from an anomalous pod in this old mine in 1988-89, and crystals from the find are now hard to find classics. Although it is called heliodor, which is the yellow gem variety of beryl, the color is very slightly greenish. The crystal is highly lustrous and does not exhibit the natural etching typical of crystals from this locale.

2.2" 24 gram all gem terminated heliodor crystal from Volodask-Volynski in the Ukraine.

Wulfenite - China
This spectacular specimen of red-orange wulfenite comes from our recent acquisition of several specimens from the Jianshan Mine in China. The color is a brilliant red with only hints of orange, that is much more vivid than average, and the crystals, which nearly cover the entire surface of the matrix, are exceptionally sharp and lustrous. This is an excellent small cabinet specimen with terrific pizzazz - truly a very showy piece of wulfenite eye candy. And, the piece is nearly pristine, with no noticeable damage. The specimens from this new find of wulfenite rocked the mineral world when they first showed up in 2007. The wulfenite comes from the Kuruktag Mountains, Xinjiang Uygur Region, China. This locale was the subject of a Mineralogical Record article in Feb. 2007.

3.2" Brilliant flashy red tabular wulfenite crystals from Xinjiang, China.

Rhodochrosite - Sweet Home Mine CO
Here is a sweet single gemmy crystal of rhodochrosite, with slightly uneven growth planes which indicate that it is, indeed, a crystal and not a cleavage. It features glossy, lustrous surfaces and a delightful rosy red color accented by small, cubic crystals of pale purple fluorite. Note: the color is much more red than the photos show. The luster is topnotch, which is typical for this classic locality that has been closed since 2004, and the portal filled with cement. Since its closure, rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home Mine has become the darling of investors. Always popular with collectors because of its bright red color, in recent years the prices have skyrocketed to the point that you probably can't afford to buy one if you have to ask the price. I acquired this specimen from a dealer who had purchased the specimen in the early '90s, and squirreled it away until now.

3/4" Lustrous red rhodochrosite crystal with fluorite from the Sweet Home Mine in Alma, Colorado.

Dyscrasite - Morocco
Here's an excellent specimen of the rare and beautiful silver mineral dyscrasite, which came from the Bousismas Mine, Bou Azzer District, Tazenacht, Ourzaazate Province, Morocco. Dyscrasite forms intricate and strikingly beautiful crystals and crystal aggregates Its metallic silver-white color rivals the beautiful color of silver itself. The crystals are highly detailed and formed in a fine arborescent (branching) form. I purchased this specimen at the Tucson Gem, Rock and Mineral Show from one of the Moroccan mineral dealers set up in the Moroccan Village near the old Executive Inn. He said it was silver, but after consulting with several other dealers who had specimens from the same find, I agreed that it is in fact dyscrasite. This was the first appearance in memory of this rare silver mineral at Tucson, and only a handful of dealers had specimens from the new 2012 find.

3" Shiny silver dyscrasite crystals with allergentum in calcite from Morocco.

Meteorite - Argentina
This nickel-iron meteorite from the famous Campo del Cielo locality in Argentina is faintly lustrous and colored in shades of black and brown, with deep depressions that look like thumbprints (called regmaglypts). It is a chunky, three-dimensional nickel-iron meteorite with lots of interesting surface features and a well-preserved fusion crust. Meteorites are the material that remains from an interstellar visitor passing through the earth's atmosphere and crashing to earth. Meteorites originate in the heads of comets, the asteroid belt, from Mars, and from the Moon. Scientists theorize that nickel-iron meteorites are pieces of the central cores of large asteroids that once melted and then re-formed. During collision, these asteroids were shattered, sending pieces of their cores hurtling into space, where some of them fell to earth. This meteorite comes from the Campo del Cielo meteorite field near Gran Chaco, Gualamba, Chaco, Argentina. The first record of the Campo del Cielo meteorite was in 1576, when the Spanish governor learned of the iron from the Indians who reportedly believed that it had fallen from heaven.

4.6" 2,064 gram nickel iron meteorite with regmaglypts - Campo del Cielo, Argentina.

Scolecite- India
This is an outstanding specimen of brilliant white scolecite, with a host of sharply terminated crystals growing in radiating crystal groups to form a large hemisphere more than 5½ inches across. This is a very impressive display specimen of this lovely zeolite mineral from the Nasik Mine, Nasik District, Maharashtra, India. Nasik is well known for producing topnotch examples of this lovely zeolite mineral. Though somewhat rare, scolecite is a popular mineral among collectors. It forms in volcanic bubbles called vesicles along with other zeolites. Scolecite sprays of radiating crystals are exotic, inspiring, awesome, magnificent, etc. They are truly hard to describe, but are something that everyone who loves minerals will enjoy.

5.6" Snow white scolecite hemisphere with sharp undamaged crystals from Nasik, India.

Fluorite - China
This fluorite features a group of completely transparent, clear as glass, see-through crystals in a lovely mint green color that is reminiscent of the color of coke bottles. The crystals are all razor sharp, and the surfaces show growth planes to prove they were not polished (they are that clear!). The edges of the crystals are slightly beveled, and there is no significant damage. This extraordinarily eye-catching specimen comes from Xian Hua Lin, Chengzhou, Hunan, China. The beveled edges of the crystals are the result of the crystals trying to to be octahedral at a point late in the growth cycle. This was probably the result of the temperature of the hydrothermal fluids rising.

9.2" Bright shiny mint green clear-as-glass cubic fluorite crystals from China.

Prehnite with Epidote - Mali
This choice, brightly colored specimen of botryoidal prehnite with epidote came out of Bendoukou, Sandare District, Kayes Region, Mali. My friend Rock Currier first visited the quarry in 2004, and the specimens he shipped home created a real stir in the mineral world because of their great color and stark contrast. The prehnite takes the form of botryoidal bubble-like shapes, often colored a rich grass green. The prehnite provides a great contrast with sharply formed, terminated, dark green (almost black) epidote crystals. Since the Al Qaeda violence started in northern Mali, the supply has dwindled somewhat, and the future of the locality is in doubt.

5.7" Smooth, bright green prehnite balls on dark green epidote crystals from Mali.

Smoky Quartz - Brazil
Here's a dramatic, one-of-a-kind, very long smoky quartz crystal in a rich smoky gray color, with an interior that is almost transparent, with only a few wispy areas. This large crystal comes from Itabirinha de Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Long, relatively thin crystals like this one are seldom encountered, and this is a superb example of this hard-to-find material. The bottom of the crystal has been sawn so it stands on its own, and there is no damage on the specimen.

12" Dark shiny gemmy smoky quartz crystal wand with sharp termination from Brazil.

Silver - Mexico
Herringbone pattern native silver is one of my favorites, and is much rarer than silver wires. This specimen is a top quality example, somewhat lustrous, and beautifully oxidized to a bronzy patina. The interwoven herringbones are highly detailed and finely formed around a core of white calcite, adding to the superb aesthetics of this exquisite, very collectible specimen. This piece came from the famous mine at Batopillas, Andres del Rio District, San Miguel Batopillas, Chihuahua, Mexico. Specimens of crystallized silver have always been highly sought after, and herringbone-pattern silver is much rarer than most other forms of wire silver.

1.9" Shiny herringbone native silver crystals covering all sides from Batopillas, Mexico.

Babingtonite on Prehnite - China
Here's a superb specimen of Chinese babingtonite with very sharp, very black, very lustrous tabular crystals heavily implanted on the specimen. Behind the babingtonite, and on the back side, are bright green botryoidal prehnite crystals, in a very three-dimensional form. The babingtonite is large for the species, even by Chinese standards, and appear in profusion on the specimen. The faces of the crystals are smooth and undamaged, and where they join the edges are exceptionally sharp. The babingtonites show good luster. The combination of black babingtonite with green prehnite has very high contrast, and is very visually appealing and nicely aesthetic. It comes from Qiaojia, Qiaojia County, Zhaotong Prefecture in Yunnan, China. When babingtonite was found here it set the bar at a new height for size and perfection of crystals. Before this, the best babingtonites in the world came from my backyard, here in Western Massachusetts. Over the years I collected quite a few really great specimens, but when the Chinese material appeared, I was floored.

3.8" Blocky black babingtonite crystals to1/2" on quartz & prehnite - China.

Lemon Citrine - Brazil
The color and clarity of this citrine quartz crystal are superb: it is a bright yellow "lemon" color, and the interior is very clear and gemmy. The crystal has a sharp chisel-tip termination, with very little damage. It came from the Boca Rica Mine, Sapucaia do Norte, Galileia, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The crystal is sharply terminated, with a superb yellow interior with rainbows visible through the unpolished, natural sides. Note: this crystal has not been treated to enhance the fine natural citrine color - it is 100% natural.

4.6" Amazing bright yellow lemon citrine crystal 100% natural - Brazil.

Again, if you are interested in any of these pieces, or if you want to see other material from the same find, please email us. And, check our website often, as we will be listing nothing but new specimens from Tucson for at least the next month.

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