Mixed Minerals!

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SLX01 Chrysoberyl var. Alexandrite
Novello Mine, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
8.7x 4.9x 4.8 cm

A sharp chrysoberyl twin on matrix, from recent finds in Zimbabwe.  Good matrix examples are exceedingly hard to come by, pretty much everything I saw last year were either single matrixes crystals, or crystals on clusters of more crudely formed alexandrite.  This one has been well exposed on a schist matrix (you can see a bit of the work around the crystal) and is exceptionally sharp and well formed.  It also shows pretty significant color change, from a dark grass green in daylight or equivalent lighting, to a sort of purplish green under incandescent lighting.  Please note: the color is NOT purple as shown in the pictures, for some reason the camera picks up on this color, when in reality it is more of a dark purplish green mix.  All in all however, this is a great alexandrite specimen-- very hard to find this sharp, on matrix, with good color change-- and I think this is a very good piece for the price.

SLX02 Xenotime on Rutilated Quartz
Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil
7.6x 3.7x 6.4 cm

An exceedingly rare matrix specimen of xenotime from Brazil. There is a new crop of xenotime crystals available at every Tucson show, some years they are bigger, and some years they are tiny-- but they are always just single crystals.  Matrix specimens are almost unheard of, especially with xenotime crystals of this size.  This one appears to have been naturally rehealed midway along its length, and is perfectly terminated.  The geminess and sharpness of the quartz (with its whispy rutile inclusions) tat comrise the matrix doesn't hurt either.  If you collect Brazilian minerals, you will probably realize how special this is-- it's certainly not as flashy as a tourmaline, but to my mind, it is much cooler.

SLX03 Sulfur
Maybee, Monroe Co., Michigan, United States
8.5x 5.2x 5.7 cm

Simply put, this is an exceptional American sulfur specimen.  

When it comes to sulfur, Sicily seems to get all the attention-- everything else, be it from Baja California or Bolivia seems to be relegated to the realm of wholesale, though I suppose it is somewhat appropriate, considering the crystals from those localities seem to grow endlessly and never reach a very large size.  There is however, an American locality that produces exceptional examples.

The sulfur from Maybee Michigan is not particularly well known outside of the American midwest, you see some examples at local shows, but seldom at the major international ones.  The other mineral that the locality is known for is celestite, and those don't get too much exposure either.  

This is an older piece, remarkably complete with good crystal form and on matrix-- what I have seen in the past has typically been off matrix, and the few with individual crystals in this size range tend to have rather nasty contacts.  

SLX04 Quartz incl. Hedenbergite
Huanggang Mine, Hexigten Banner (Keshiketeng Co.), Ulanhad League (Chifeng Prefecture), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
7.6x 6.1x 4.2 cm

A beautiful radiating cluster of light green quartz crystals from a find made a few years back at the Huanggang Mine.  I think the price is particularly good-- at the time there was one US dealer who had bought the majority of the pocket, and was offering them for an average price of around 900-1200 for similar pieces.

SLX05 Roweite with Olshanskyite and Magnetite
Shijiangshan Mine, Linxi Co., Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
4.4x 3.7x 2.6 cm

A beautifully well balanced combination specimen from this recent find, incorporating the borates roweite (brown) and olshanskyite (white) with some octahedral magnetite crystals.  Roweite was first discovered in Franklin, New Jersey, but the quality from there never even came close to the new Inner Mongolian examples.

SLX07 Fluorite on Quartz
Huanggang Mine, Hexigten Banner (Keshiketeng Co.), Ulanhad League (Chifeng Prefecture), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
11.0x 5.1x 4.3 cm

A nice example of deep, inky blue fluorite on a cluster of white quartz crystals.  This comes from the major find a made a few years back.  I see pieces at every show, but it don't often come across examples that I find to be especially aesthetic or well balanced.  More often than not, they are just somewhat lopsided clusters, or single points so covered in fluorite that the form of the quartz is obscured.  And when they are not, they inevitably seem to have bruises in the most unfortunate places.... this one didn't have any such issues, and I liked that the terminations of the quartz crystals were all sharp and clearly visible.

Please note, the fluorite is very dark in person (if you have seen these up close, you know what I am talking about)

SLX08 Shattuckite on Malachite
Kaokoveld Plateau, Kunene Region, Namibia
4.5x 2.5x 1.7 cm

A very beautiful miniature sized specimen of malachite with shattuckite.  The malachite occurs here as a lustrous spray on a bit of quartz, with overgrowths of velvety blue shattuckite.

SLX09 Monazite-(Ce)
Siglo XX Mine, Llallagua, Bustillo Prov., Potosi Dept., Bolivia
10.7x 6.6x 3.3 cm

An exceptionally rich cabinet sized specimen of monazite from Llallagua, this is an older piece and is much much richer than the material produced in recent years.  Monazite at this location is thorium deficient, and like most from this location, the crystals on this piece show a slight color shift.

SLX10 Fluorite
Minerva No. 1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois, USA
7.5x 6.1x 1.2 cm

An unusual fluorite specimen from the world famous fluorite mines of southern Illinois, this one is a sort of cast composed of numerous purplish blue cubes. The back is flat, and shows the outline of something else that the fluorite grew on

SLX12 Fluorite on Quartz
Minerva No. 1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois, USA
6.0x 6.0x 3.1 cm

A beautifully zoned fluorite form the southern IL fluorspar district.  The front and sides are etched, the contact is located on the lower back/ bottom.  The color is actually nicer in person-- it has more of a cyan component that is somehow not picked up by the camera. There is a bit of edge wear, but the piece is as shown.

SLX13 Dioptase
Altyn Tjube, Karganda Oblast', Kazakhstan
6.5x 6.0x 4.5 cm

A nice matrix example of dioptase from the type locality.  This is an older piece, and the matrix seems to be sprayed with something... I'm not entirely sure why, but I tend to see this on many of the older examples from there.

SLX14 Grossular var. Tsavorite on Graphite
Merelani, Arusha, Tanzania
3.8x 3.0x 1.7 cm

An interesting and somewhat rare matrix specimen of tsavorite (or I suppose "green grossular" would be more appropriate considering the slight undersaturation) hosting columnar clusters of green crystals on graphite.  Over the last year I've seen a number of columnar clusters offered off matrix, but this is the first time I saw a matrix example-- they're a bit closely packed, but it's still a very unusual and interesting specimen.

SLX15 Xenotime on Quartz
Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil
5.2x 2.1x 1.9 cm

A very rare matrix specimen of xenotime from Brazil, I see fresh xenotime specimens from this locality every year, but this is the first time I have seen matrix pieces available.  The dealer only has two without damage, this is the second piece (a bit more affordable than the other) though still an excellent and very hard to obtain example of this material on matrix.   

SLX16 Shattuckite
Kaokoveld Plateau, Kunene Region, Namibia
5.1x 2.3x 1.8 cm

A nice example of deep blue shatuckite from Namibia.  I'm not sure exactly how these form, but the odd angular geometry of the outer faces makes it seem like it was originally a cast, or formed in between crystals that later dissolved away.  Either way, it's a nice little miniature of this material.

SLX17 Cuproadamite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
8.0x 5.4x 4.2 cm

A nice example of green cuproadamaite from Mina Ojuela.  The vast majority of the admit specimens recovered at this mine are yellow, green cuproadamites are significantly rarer, and purple manganoan adamites are rarer still.  This piece comes from a discovery made several years ago.

SLX18 Axinite
Canta Prov., Lima Dept., Peru
7.6x 3.5x 2.7 cm

A nice cluster of axinite crystals from last year's find in Peru.

SLX19 Adamite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
5.8x 3.7x 1.5 cm

A very beautiful and rather rich specimen of adamite from recent finds at the Ojuela Mine.  Around summer of 2017 a particularly good batch of this material came out.  Admit is pretty much always being found at Mina Ojuela, but in my opinion the pieces in this find are significantly better than what has been coming out for the last several years.  I thought this was a particularly nice small cabinet sized piece from the discovery.

SLX20 Roweite
Shijiangshan Mine, Linxi Co., Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
2.2x 2.2x 1.8 cm

A nice thumbnail sized specimen of this rare borate from the recent find.

SLX22 Betafite with Apatite
Silver Crater Mine, Bancroft, Ontario, Canada
2.4x 2.2x 1.9 cm

A nice betafite crystal from the Silver Crater Mine in Ontario-- the species was discovered in Madagascar but this is the locality that arguably produced the finest specimens.  This one has a crystal section of apatite crystal running through the front.

SLX23 Dioptase
Kaokoveld Plateau, Kunene Region, Namibia
4.0x 2.2x 1.5 cm

A nice, isolated dioptase crystal on a matrix coated with nicely contrasting white quartz.

SLX24 Roweite
Shijiangshan Mine, Linxi Co., Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
3.0x 2.3x 1.8

A nice example of this rare borate from the recent find.  The pictures are all of the same specimen, it just looks very different from different angles,

SLX25 Roweite
Shijiangshan Mine, Linxi Co., Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
2.6x 2.3x 1.7 cm

A nice thumbnail sized sample of this rare borate from the recent find.

SLX26 Rosasite
Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
3.0x 2.0x 1.7 cm

A nice thumbnail or rosasite from the Ojuela Mine, I liked it because it seemed somewhat unusual to find such a complete, clean blob of the mineral on its own like this-- it's always just kind of a formless semi-botryoidal layer on limonite.

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