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Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 08.29.2019 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted the first in a series of updates with superb specimens from John S. White’s collection (click here).

Most of you will likely know a bit about John, given that among his many accomplishments in the mineral world he is the founder of the Mineralogical Record, former curator of the U.S. National Mineral and Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and author of two books and over 200 articles. I’ve written a short post about him with some great photos – hope you enjoy it! (click here)

These wonderful high-quality specimens from John’s collection are from a wide range of localities (classic to contemporary) and include a variety of minerals.

 Anatase, Kharan, Balochistan, PakistanAnatase, Kharan District, Balochistan, Pakistan – 2.9 cm

 Andalusite, ItalyAndalusite, Chiavenna, Sondrio Province, Lombardy, Italy – 4 cm crystal

Aragonite, Giumentaro Mine, Capodarso, Enna, Sicily, Italy

 Aragonite, Giumentaro Mine, Capodarso, Enna, Sicily, Italy – 9.6 cm

Aragonite, Giumentaro Mine, Capodarso, Enna, Sicily, Italy (ultraviolet)

Same specimen as above, illuminated by shortwave ultraviolet light

Aragonite, Giumentaro Mine, Capodarso, Enna, Sicily, Italy (phosphorescence)

Same specimen as above, exhibiting phosphorescence after UV illumination

 Atacamite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., PeruAtacamite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru – 6 cm

Azurite, malachite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Azurite, malachite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco – 2 cm parallel-growth crystals

Babingtonite, Prehnite, Qiaojia Co., Yunnan, China

Babingtonite, Prehnite, Qiaojia Co., Yunnan, China
Field of view 6 cm

Beryl, var. alkalai beryl, Deo Darrah, Khash & Kura Wa Munjan Districts, Badakshan, Afghanistan Beryl, var. alkali beryl, Deo Darrah, Khash & Kura Wa Munjan Districts, Badakshan, Afghanistan – 3.2 cm

Beryl, var aquamarine, Huya Deposit (Pingwu Beryl Mine), Mt. Xuebaoding, Pingwu County, Sichuan Province, China

Beryl, var aquamarine, Huya Deposit (Pingwu Beryl Mine), Mt. Xuebaoding,
Pingwu County, Sichuan Province, China – 4.7 cm

Beryl, var goshenite, Huya Deposit (Pingwu Beryl Mine), Mt. Xuebaoding, Pingwu County, Sichuan Province, China

Beryl, var. goshenite, Huya Deposit (Pingwu Beryl Mine), Mt. Xuebaoding,
Pingwu County, Sichuan Province, China – 6.1 cm

This next calcite is so great from both sides, in both normal and UV light, I can’t choose only one photo. Here’s one of each side, in each light:

Calcite, Fozichong Deposit, Cenxi Co, Guangxi, China

Calcite, Fozichong Deposit, Cenxi Co, Guangxi, China – 9.7 cm

Calcite, Fozichong Deposit, Cenxi Co, Guangxi, China

Same crystal as above, under ultraviolet light

Calcite, Fozichong Deposit, Cenxi Co, Guangxi, China

Same crystal as above, other side

Calcite, Fozichong Deposit, Cenxi Co, Guangxi, China

Same as above, ultraviolet light

Wenshan Mine, Wenshan, Yunnan, China

Calcite, Wenshan Mine, Wenshan, Yunnan, China – 8.8 cm

Calcite, Fluorite Location:		Xianghualing Mine, Linwu Co., Chenzhou, Hunan, China

Calcite on fluorite, Xianghualing Mine, Linwu Co., Chenzhou, Hunan, China – 8.2 cm

Carrollite, Kamoya South II Mine, Kamoya, Kambove District, Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Carrollite, Kamoya South II Mine, Kamoya, Kambove District, Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo – 2.4 cm

Carrollite, Kamoya South II Mine, Kamoya, Kambove District, Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Carrollite, Kamoya South II Mine, Kamoya, Kambove District, Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo – 2.2 cm

Cavansite on stilbite, Wagholi, Pune District, Maharashtra, India

Cavansite on stilbite, Wagholi, Pune District, Maharashtra, India – 5.2 cm

Chabazite, Roadcut at Bavdhan, Pune District, Maharashtra, India

Chabazite, Stilbite, Roadcut at Bavdhan, Pune District, Maharashtra, India – 10 cm

Cuprite, 	Rubstsovkoe, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Russia

Cuprite, Rubstsovkoe, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Russia – 4.4 cm

Datolite, Bor Pit, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Datolite on quartz, Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 5.3 cm

Dioptase, Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Dioptase on calcite, Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia – 4.5 cm

Fluorite, Xianghualing Mine, Linwu Co., Chenzhou, Hunan, China

Fluorite, Xianghualing Mine, Linwu Co., Chenzhou, Hunan, China – 7.6 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 05.19.2016 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted excellent new Kazakhstan dioptase specimens in the Dioptase Update – May 2016 (click here). These beautiful specimens were mined in 2015, and acquired from the team currently conducting specimen mining at Altyn Tyube soon afterward.

Dioptase was first described from Altyn Tyube, the type locality for dioptase, in the nineteenth century. Altyn Tyube is a remarkable deposit in the Steppes, far from everywhere. It was first worked for copper thousands of years B.C., and it is interesting to note that there are very few copper minerals at the locality – dioptase with occasional minor malachite and cuprite.

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan – 7.7 cm

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan
Field of view 3.0 cm

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan

 Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan
Field of view 4.0 cm

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan – 7.4 cm

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan – 7.1 cm

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan
Field of view 2.5 cm

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan

Dioptase, Altyn-Tyube Deposit, Kirghiz Steppes, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan – 4.5 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 07.10.2014 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

Beautiful new dioptase specimens from Mindouli, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) – these were mined very recently and arrived in Europe a few days before Sainte-Marie. Sharp, lustrous and of course, wonderful green, these dioptase specimens are now posted under Dioptase – July 2014 Update.

You have to be a glutton for photographic punishment to shoot any dioptase, let alone many of them (it is so hard to capture the colour and intensity) but hopefully the photos in this update do these fine specimens reasonable justice.

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Dioptase on Plancheite, Mindouli, Pool Department, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) – full specimen 5.3 cm

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Dioptase, Mindouli, Pool Department, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) – 5.6 cm

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Dioptase, Mindouli, Pool Department, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) – crystal 1.3 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 07.02.2014 | Filed under: Latest, Mineral Shows | Comments (0)

 

Nestled in the Val d’Argent, in Alsace, France, the town of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines hosts one of the world’s largest minerals shows, with character and class unto itself.

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Alsace is dotted with picturesque villages…

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Rodern

vineyards…

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The vineyards near Saint-Hippolyte

… and forests, hills and castles.

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Château du Haut Koenigsbourg

The towns are small and picturesque, with distinctive architecture.

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Roses on a home in Saint-Hippolyte

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Quiet afternoon in Saint-Hippolyte

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First morning sunlight in Saint-Hippolyte

The Sainte Marie show itself is centred on the old theatre in the centre of town, with a small group of dealers hosted inside, and many more outside, based in white tents, lining tent “streets” in the mineral dealing area. (There are also other large buildings full of dealers).

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Theatre, Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines

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Exhibits inside the theatre

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A glimpse of some of the tents on one of many “streets” of dealers

Of course, with so many dealers and others in mineral world all coming together in one place like this, one hopes that there will be interesting minerals to see, and Sainte Marie 2014 did not disappoint. If you have time for a glimpse into a small number of highlights, here are a few.

For a couple of years now, we have been seeing the pale blue barites from the Sidi Lahcen Mine, Nador, Nador Province, Morocco. These are delicate and can be outright spectacular, but alas many are quite badly damaged and lots do not have good colour. A small number with the better colour have survived the mining/collecting, prep work, shipping and travel – and these are wonderful specimens.

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Barite, Sidi Lahcen Mine, Nador, Nador Province, Morocco – 7.7 cm

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Barite, Sidi Lahcen Mine, Nador, Nador Province, Morocco – 5.8 cm

Some super new dioptase specimens have been collected very recently at Mindouli, Mindouli District, Pool Department, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).  As always, it remains very hard to obtain specimens from this area, as it lies at the heart of the border area between DRC and Brazzaville, and conflict continues. However, these have been brought out and are beautiful.

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Dioptase with Plancheite, Mindouli, Mindouli District, Pool Department, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) – crystal 1.2 cm

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Dioptase with Plancheite, Mindouli, Mindouli District, Pool Department, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) – 5.3 cm

Another new African find is quite intriguing. The now well-known Bendougou vicinity in the Kayes Region of Mali has been producing fine specimens of green prehnite balls and epidote for many years. A new locality among the many within the district  – Diamonkara – recently produced super specimens of yellow stilbite. One dealer was adamant that these are stellerite, and then suggested that some are stellerite and some are stilbite, but the consensus assumption by many of us (granted, from observation alone) is that they are in all likelihood all stilbite. They are primarily “balls” and “wheels” of crystals, up to about 6 cm, some of which are associated with epidote and even prehnite. Unfortunately a few that could otherwise have been nice were terribly damaged, but the fine specimens are really sweet! I obtained the fine ones I could find available.

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Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Kayes Region, Mali – 3.7 cm

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Stilbite with Epidote, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Kayes Region, Mali – 3.5 cm

Finally, I would feel strange coming back from Ste Marie without anything fun from France… and I managed to find a small group of interesting pieces, including bournonite from Les Malines District, Saint-Laurent-le-Minier, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, and some very cool hematite specimens from Le Haïcot, Brézouard Massif, Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France.

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Bournonite, Les Malines District, Saint-Laurent-le-Minier, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France – 7.0 cm

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Hematite,  Le Haïcot, Brézouard Massif, Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France – 5.0 cm

As with other top-level large international mineral shows, the Sainte Marie show included educational presentations and a display area. The theme of the display area was copper minerals and it included many jaw-dropping specimens from France and all over the world, assembled from the collections of museums and private collectors. I feel that photographing these through glass with inappropriate photo lighting would be tantamount to insulting these gorgeous specimens (and the collections in which they are housed). I mean it’s hard enough taking good accurate photos of azurite and dioptase as it is (!). Suffice it to say, I sure returned to this area more than once. (Did I kneel down in front of any cases?  Well I guess you may never know…) Beautifully done!

Minerals from the show will be available on the website in updates coming over the next few weeks.

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2014 was a great show – a sincere thank you to the organizers and display contributors. If you have not yet been, it is a show like no other. À la prochaine!

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