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Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 10.06.2016 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted a small number of great new specimens in this new Afghanistan Update (click here).  This update includes brilliant lustrous andradite crystals from the Spin Ghar range, and red zircon from the Dara-i-Pech District.

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan – 3.7 cm

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan – 3.3 cm

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan – 4.5 cm

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan

Andradite Garnet,  Diopside and Epidote, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range,
Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan – field of view 4.0 cm

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan

Andradite Garnet and Epidote with Clinochlore, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range,
Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan – field of view 2.5 cm

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan – 5.5 cm

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan

Andradite Garnet, Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Range, Khogyani District, Nangharhar, Afghanistan – 6.0 cm

Zircon, Dara-i-Pech District, Konar Province, Afghanistan

Zircon, Dara-i-Pech District, Konar Province, Afghanistan – 3.7 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 10.01.2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (0)



I’ve added new specimens in this Mali Update (click here), including excellent prehnite, epidote, grossular and vesuvianite.

Prehnite on Epidote, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali

Prehnite on Epidote, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 6.5 cm

Prehnite, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali Prehnite, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 4.3 cm

Prehnite, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali

Prehnite, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 4.8 cm

Prehnite, Epidote, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali

Prehnite on Epidote, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 5.1 cm

Prehnite, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali

Prehnite, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 1.8 cm ball

Grossular Garnet, Sandaré, Cercle de Nioro, Kayes Region, Mali

Grossular Garnet, Sandaré, Cercle de Nioro, Kayes Region, Mali – 4.7 cm

Vesuvianite, Sandaré, Cercle de Nioro, Kayes Region, Mali

Vesuvianite, Sandaré, Cercle de Nioro, Kayes Region, Mali – 2.6 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 09.11.2015 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve added some excellent yellow stilbites on the website in the new Mali Update (click here).

Beautiful yellow stilbite balls from Mali made their debut at Ste. Marie 2014. Although there has only been a small trickle of fine specimens since then, the deposit at Diamonkara has now once again produced a number of very fine pieces. As in 2014, moderate-to-significant damage was almost ubiquitous, and high-quality specimens like the ones in this lot are very uncommon. As a side note, although there has been a push to sell these as specimens of stellerite, none of the analytical work done to date has confirmed any stellerite identification, to my knowledge (and I am aware some analytical work has been done).

As for the specimens themselves, the good Diamonkara pieces are absolutely some of the nicest and most distinctive stilbites I’ve ever seen from anywhere, with beautiful colour and form. They are perhaps not yet appreciated for what they are – these are striking, colourful display specimens of a mineral that is often pale and drab.

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite with prehnite and epidote, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 6 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 6.2 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 6.8 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite on epidote, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali
Field of view – 5 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite on pargasite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 4.6 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite on prehnite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali
Field of view 4.5 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 3.8 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 4 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 4.1 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 3.1 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite (deep colour) Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 3.1 cm

Stilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliStilbite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 3.1 cm

Prehnite, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, MaliPrehnite, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – field of view 5.5 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 12.05.2014 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

This Magnetite Update (click here) features beautiful magnetite crystals from the famous Dashkesan deposit in Azerbaijan. The magnetites are accompanied by pretty little epidote crystals, many of which are in bundles or sprays. The finest quality magnetites from Dashkesan are among the nicest magnetite specimens from any locality.

Two things are remarkable about the magnetites I’ve added here: their shape and their quality. The crystal morphology is unusual for fine magnetite crystals, as they feature predominantly the dodecahedron, modified by triangular octahedral faces – certainly different from more typical octahedral magnetite crystals. The quality of these is super. They are sharp and lustrous, and the triangular faces are bright.

Magnetite, Epidote, Dahskesan, Azerbaijan

 Magnetite, Epidote, Dashkesan Deposit, Maly Caucasus, Koshkarchai Valley, Azerbaijan – 4.3 cm

Magnetite, Epidote, Dahskesan, Azerbaijan

Magnetite, Epidote, Dashkesan Deposit, Maly Caucasus, Koshkarchai Valley, Azerbaijan – view  approx. 3.5 cm

Magnetite, Epidote, Dahskesan, Azerbaijan

 Magnetite, Epidote, Dashkesan Deposit, Maly Caucasus, Koshkarchai Valley, Azerbaijan – 5.9 cm

Magnetite, Epidote, Dahskesan, Azerbaijan

Magnetite, Epidote, Dashkesan Deposit, Maly Caucasus, Koshkarchai Valley, Azerbaijan – view approx. 5 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 11.27.2014 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

This South-Africa – Kenya Update (click here) includes a small number of excellent specimens. From South Africa, there are beautiful complex hematite crystals from the N’Chwaning II Mine. And from Kenya, there is a small group of the superb epidotes from Pakot, North Eastern Province, from the 2002 find.

Hematite, N'Chwaning II Mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Hematite, N’Chwaning II Mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 4.8 cm

Hematite, N'Chwaning II Mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Hematite, N’Chwaning II Mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 3.5 cm

Even though the finest quality epidotes from Pakot rank among the world’s finest, to date not much has been written about them. The find occurred in 2002 in North Eastern Province, which was known at the time as Northern Frontier District, or NFD. It is noted by Tom Moore in his write-up of the 2003 Tucson show (The Mineralogical Record, May-June, 2003, Vol. 34:3). The deposit, described as a metamorphic skarn, was worked by Wayne Thompson and the late, famous African mineral explorer Campbell Bridges. This is a remote area of Kenya, home to tribal communities and is sometimes a conflict region, so mineral specimen collecting is not an easy or frequent matter – this 2002 find was remarkable.

Epidote, Pakot, North Eastern Province, KenyaEpidote, Pakot, North Eastern Province, Kenya – 7.7 cm

Epidote, Pakot, North Eastern Province, Kenya

Epidote, Pakot, North Eastern Province, Kenya – this field of view shows approximately 4.5 cm of this crystal

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 10.23.2014 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

This Mali Update – October 2014 (click here) includes unusually fine balls of radiating green prehnite perched upon sharp, lustrous blocky epidote crystals. The specimens from this particular recent find are better defined and nicer than the typical ones from here. Also in this update are two more of the great yellow stilbites from Diamonkara.

100535(1)

Prehnite on Epidote, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 7.4 cm

Prehnite, Epidote, Mali

Prehnite on Epidote, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 8.3 cm

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Prehnite with Epidote, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 6.0 cm

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Radiating groups of stilbite crystals, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Kayes Region, Mali – 7.2 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 07.18.2014 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

Beautiful new specimens from Mali, featuring yellow balls of stilbite crystals from Diamonkara, a new find. The Diamonkara workings are in the same general vicinity of the Arrondissement Diako which has produced the now well-known specimens of prehnite and epidote. Also new among these specimens is an exceptionally fine prehnite on epidote.  These specimens are now posted under Mali – July 2014 Update (click here).

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Stilbite with Prehnite and Epidote, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Kayes Region, Mali – 6.9 cm

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Stilbite with Prehnite and Epidote, Diamonkara, Bendougou, Kayes Region, Mali – 7.5 cm

100496(1) Stilbite , Diamonkara, Bendougou, Kayes Region, Mali – 6.9 cm

100509(1)

Prehnite on Epidote, Arrondissement Diako, Kayes Region, Mali – 5.9 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 07.07.2014 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

Sharp, lustrous epidote specimens from the relatively new (and apparently depleted) locality, Concession Morgan 3, Coayllo, Cañete Province, Lima Department – to see the Peruvian Epidote – July 2014 Update, click here.

These are great epidotes! I acquired all of the good ones I could in Peru.

Information about the find has been pretty sketchy. I was told that it was a “small skarn zone” encountered and removed. The zone was certainly quite tight – most specimens I have seen have unfortunately had some level of contacting, confirming that there was not a lot of open space for free crystal growth. The specimens are beautiful, well-developed sharp epidote crystals, with great lustre. Some are very dark and in some ways reminiscent of some of the epidotes from Prince of Wales, Alaska, while others have slightly lighter green (and in these, there seems to be some colour variation with some brown as well).

 

100439(1)

Epidote, Concession Morgan 3, Coayllo, Cañete Province, Lima Department, Peru – 5.0 cm

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Epidote, Concession Morgan 3, Coyallo, Cañete Province, Lima Department, Peru – field of view 6 cm

100440(1)

Epidote, Concession Morgan 3, Coayllo, Cañete Province, Lima Department, Peru – 5.8 cm

100442(1)

Epidote, Concession Morgan 3, Coayllo, Cañete Province, Lima Department, Peru – 4.8 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 03.19.2014 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

Excellent specimens from travels in Peru, including a trip to the Quiruvilca Mine. This Peru Update features barite, hubnerite/quartz, epidote, a great pearceite, pyrite and more. I hope you’ll find them interesting. If you are curious about Quiruvilca and what it is like to be searching for crystal specimens at the mine, have a look at Into the Andes: Quiruvilca, Peru.