2.5 X 2.2 X 1.6 cm 10.6 grams
A complete crystal of emerald green Tsavorite on smartly contrasting black graphite schist. The faces are glassy, and the crystal has a particular "glow" related to a zone of abundant internal reflections just above the matrix. The outer zone is gemmy. This would be perfect save for one very small chip visible in the lower-right part of the piece as shown in the upper-right photo. This is difficult to see without looking at the specimen from an angle reflecting light of this face, which does not occur from any of the preferred display angles
Tsavorite is the chromium-rich variety of Grossular Garnet. Chrome is also the impurity that gives Emeralds their intense green color, versus other Beryls, like blue Aquamarine, pink Morganite, and yellow Heliodor. At first glance, it would be forgiven for mistaking this for an Emerald; it even has dark matrix similar to the dark gray slate host-rock for specimens produced from Muzo, Colombia! Muzo Emeralds, though, tend very slightly toward the bluish side of the green spectrum, while this piece tends very slightly toward the yellowish end.
I've not seen any chemical analyses from these to know how close they come to Uvarovite Garnet, but I've never seen a Uvarovite even approaching the 2.5-cm length of this crystal that wasn't darkly covered and/or nearly opaque due to multiple internal fractures, inclusions, and/or possible associated zones of black Andradite. This juicy piece exemplifies why Tsavorite is considered the most valuable Garnet for cutting gemstones.
2017 Tucson Gallery I: Worldwide
Imiter Mine, Djebel Saghro, Ouarzazate Province, Drâa-Tafilalet Region, Morocco
6.0 X 4.2 X 3.7 cm
Lustrous leaves of silver, with a slightly pink color owing to a minor (<5%) mercury content. This one originally came out of the mine around 1990, and weighs a hefty 63.2 grams. Some refer to this as a silver-mercury alloy/amalgam called "kongsbergite."
Sharp crystals of Orthoclase to 2.2 cm, bone-white with preferentially oriented faces showing slightly tan to pinkish coloration, demonstrating evolution of the chemical nature of hydrothermal fluids and gasses during crystal precipitation. A second growth-stage comprises thin, nearly acicular "sticks" of Muscovite covered by Albite. The back of the piece, shown in the above-center photo, exhibits classic "graphic" texture associated with pegmatites worldwide.
Most publications regarding this occurrence are more than 20 years old, and it is likely this dates to this era. From the Mark and Nicole Pecha Collection, their label number P235 remains on the back, and their card is included.
14 Specimens added March 28, 2017
Llamas Quarry, Duyos, Caravia, Asturias, Spain
5.0 X 3.8 X 3.5 cm
Another piece of eye-candy from the Show! The Llamas Quarry is not to be confused with the much more productive Villabona Mining Area; this was one of only 20-30 pieces recovered and presented at the 2017 Tucson Show. The remainder of the lot comprised perfect, 1-2 cm maximum dimension Fluorite crystals on matrix. This piece isn't perfect, but has the largest and most impressive Fluorites from the entire group. The contact where the piece was separated from matrix is shown by the curvature along my thumb in the main picture, upper-left, and there are a couple of small chips on unimportant edges, but none detract from the stack of "candies" capped by the main crystal, measuring 2.2 X 2.1 X 1.1 cm. #TGS-011 $495
Kimbanga Prospect, Kimbedi, Mindouli District, Pool Department, Republic of Congo
3.5 X 2.9 X 1.5 cm 35.5 grams
Jos Plateau, Plateau State, Nigeria
2.4 X 0.9 X 0.8 cm 2.0 grams
Neat thumbnail from Nigeria, originally destined to be cut into gemstones. This piece exemplifies the deep blue color of Jos, versus Pakistan, Afghanistan, and most of Brazil. Note the steep terminations Jos is known for. There are very minor chips that don't even show in the photos, but must be noted for consideration.
1.4 X 1.1 X 0.3 cm 1.5 grams
Outstanding example of a Gold wire, the rarest of all Gold forms, and this one looks exactly like a ram's horn! This is a small thumbnail specimen, with ultra-defined presentation. Besides the obvious aesthetics, there is a hollow section to the "horn," shown in the upper-right and middle-left photographs.
I don't now much of the geology of the Venezuelan occurrences, other than that this one is clearly alluvial/fluvial and shows minor wear due to transport. It's possible the gold grew on an earlier stock of another mineral (silver?) that has since been dissolved, leaving the hollow core.
A great Gold specimen for any level of collector...
Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Durango, Mexico
10.0 X 6.6 X 3.1 cm
Gold var. Porpezite
1.9 X 0.9 X 0.6 cm 2.45 grams
Super-aesthetic crystals of Gold and Porpezite. Porpezite is the pinkish to tan-colored gold that grew at a later stage, containing 5 - 10% Palladium. There is another silvery gray mineral at the surface that may or may not include Palladium. This is reportedly from the San Antonio Mining District, but I can't find info on this area using convenient sources, so I'll have to follow up. Doesn't the photo on the lower-right look like a "Mickey Mouse" hand holding a kitchen knife???
Grossular var. Tsavorite with Graphite
Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
Scheelite with Dolomite and Quartz
Tae Hwa Mine, Neungam-ri, Anseong-myeon, Chungju, Chungcheongbukdo, South Korea
9.8 X 9.4 X 7.1 cm
Large complete Scheelite with adamantine to glassy luster, and characteristic grayish purple color, with tan colored Dolomite rosettes and quartz. It's clear this combo comprises relatively large, earliest milky Quartz crystals, with coverings of tan dolomite, and a later primary Scheelite crystal. The original Quartz was dissolved away, leaving a few fragments, and 2 large casts on the sides of the Scheelite crystal, and other casts comprising its base. A second generation of weakly translucent Scheelite overgrew the earlier minerals, with a last growth of small, clear Quartz crystals.
Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
2.6 X 1.7 X 0.7 cm 4.8 grams
I selected this from a group of gem-rough being sold at $20 / gram. From the large lot, this was one of maybe 10 crystals that were specimen-quality, suitable for someone who prefers this Tanzanite in its natural state, versus someone who would irradiate it to produce a uniform cornflower-blue color, typical of the "gemstones" sold at US jewelry stores and via "home-shopping" networks. I believe irradiated "fake-color" specimens will lose value with time, and untreated specimens will become more important. Note: there is a small contact on the backside of the top of the crystal, already considered. #TGS-005 $125
Microcline with Albite and Muscovite
Papachacra, Belén Department, Catamarca, Argentina
Kermesite with Valentinite
Kermesite occurrence, Dafeng, Shanglin County, Nanning Prefecture,
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
8.3 X 3.3 X 1.6 cm
Dark blackish red sprays of Kermesite from the famous 2002 discovery, with small, tan crystals of Valentinite (upper-right and lower-left photos). This find added a new dimension to just how good Kermesite can be, and this one is old enough that it shows up on the mindat.org page of Kermesite photos! The original label identifies the source as the Caiwa Mine, but the true source is being debated, and the locality currently listed on mindat.org is used above.
The color and luster of this piece ranges between glassy and sub-metallic, and is very distinct from the metallic luster of Stibnite. The base the specimen, from which the crystals grow into more fattened sprays, comprises distinct points with minimal contacting, and the wildly flowering opposite end shows a flat terminal growth where the crystals bridged the opposite wall of the cavity they grew in.
An unattributed old card lists this locality as the "Dae Hwa Mine, Jungweon Gun," possibly an original spelling for the mine that can be pinned to an actual production date between the mine's start in 1902 and closure in 1973. Regardless of specifics, this is as good a sample as I've seen from this classic locality, including some of the different colored Scheelites in older collections, museums, and posted on mandat.org. I would argue that every little bump seen in the photos represents recrystallization around an earlier imperfection, except for one, shown best at the top of the photo on the bottom right. The bit of roughness visible at the very top is actually recrystallized Scheelite on Dolomite, save on small conchoidal chip on one edge, not visible in the photos. This is one of only two possible points of contact with the original pocket, otherwise this is a complete floater.
Large and very rich example of Scorodite, one of Ojuela's hallmark species, with smaller, bluish green Scorodite crystals closer to the center of the display face, transitioning to larger, at least 6.0 mm-long, greenish blue crystals toward the edges (photo to lower-right). The backside has contacted crystals to more than 1.0 cm that were part of a small "bridge" to the next wall of this thin pocket, but the part shown on the left side in the center-left photo is full of complete crystals.
This is a rich and showy specimen of Scorodite, with moderately lustrous crystals toward the center, and lustrous to glassy crystals (the larger ones) toward the edges. I acquired this through trade with another well-known dealer while at the Show, allowing me to offer it at a nearly wholesale value!
Large single crystal of golden yellow to canary yellow Wulfenite from a new find! This was the third best I saw from the couple-dozen pieces available; the best orange crystal sold for a lot of money before I had time to look at it a second time, the second best was a larger orange Wulfenite crystal on a gossanous matrix for a couple-thousand dollars, and this was the third!
It is contacted on the base, completely out of sight, and also has a couple of very thin "peelings" shown on the lower-left and upper-right part of the photo on the upper-left. A large and impressive Wulfenite, this is undoubtedly the largest and prettiest single Wulfenite crystal I've ever offered.
Mammoth - Saint Anthony Mine, Tiger, Mammoth District, Pinal County, Arizona, USA
Exceptional for Amethyst from anywhere, this piece is especially notable for being from Tiger, exhibiting part of a deeper level, below the Pb-etc-oxide minerals the mine is more famous for. A few contacts occur in the lighter-colored areas, which bridged the small pocket. Ex Mark and Nicole Pecha Collection #P647.
8.4 X 7.7 X 5.3 cm #TGS-006 $275
Navegadora Claim, Penha do Norte, Conselheiro Pena, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Sorry... sold this piece as I was readying to list it...