The zinc mines around Carthage, Tennessee have been famous for many decades for producing superb examples of calcite, fluorite, sphalerite and barite. Very large, exceptionally sharp and sometimes gemmy calcite crystals and clusters were fairly common. These often featured sharp single and multiple terminations, and came in colors ranging from gold to orange, and sometimes sporting red-orange tips. Well-formed fluorite crystals were less common, but usually available in transparent to translucent blues and purples and all shades in between. Plates of black to brown sphalerite crystals, sometimes tined red, were customary, typically with brilliant luster. Last but not least, large hemispheres of ivory colored barite were often found perched on the sphalerite matrix pieces. The quality of these specimens had long ago established these zinc mines as an American classic locality, and exemplary specimens were often featured in displays at the big mineral shows. And then, in 2004, the mines closed and the source dried up.