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Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 10.18.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve added excellent new specimens from Cape Split in this Nova Scotia Update (click here).

Cape Split is on the Blomidon Peninsula – “Blomidon” is best known among mineral people as a classic locality for analcime. Over the past three years, a pocket system at Cape Split has sporadically yielded excellent, distinctive specimens of several minerals, most notably the groups and hemispheres (and even balls) of natrolite crystals, associated with sharp analcime crystals, and lustrous brownish stilbite crystals. This pocket system seems to be at an end, and this group of specimens represents some of the nicest pieces recovered from these finds.

Natrolite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 8.4 cm

Natrolite with Stilbite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite with Stilbite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 9.5 cm

Natrolite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 6.1 cm

Natrolite with Calcite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite with Calcite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 6.8 cm

Natrolite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite with Analcime, Stilbite and Heulandite – 8.3 cm
Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada
Field of view 4.5 cm

Natrolite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada
Field of view 4.5 cm

Natrolite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada
Field of view – 3.0 cm

Analcime with Stilbite on Heulandite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Analcime with Stilbite on Heulandite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 5.8 cm

Analcime with Heulandite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada
Analcime with Heulandite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 3.5 cm

Stilbite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Stilbite with Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 7.2 cm

Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Analcime, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 6.1 cm

Stilbite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Stilbite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada
Field of view 4.0 cm

Natrolite with Stilbite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Natrolite with Stilbite, Cape Split, Blomidon Peninsula, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada
Field of view 6.5 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 10.18.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted some great chabazite specimens from Wasson’s Bluff in this Nova Scotia Update (click here).

This is the classic Canadian locality for chabazite, including the deep-coloured ones that were once known as “acadialite”, and many of the specimens in this update are this colour (there are also very fine cabinet specimens of the nice mid-orange colour.) Acadialite was named after Acadia (which is the English for L’Acadie, the colonial-era name for this part of Canada). The name “acadialite” is sometimes still seen on older collection labels, sometimes as a species name and sometimes as a varietal name. Under current nomenclature, these specimens are known as chabazite, with “acadialite” now considered a historical synonym.

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 3.7 cm

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 9.6 cm

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite with Heaulandite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 2.8 cm

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 9.0 cm

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 5.4 cm

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada
Field of view 6 cm

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 5.3 cm

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada
Field of view 2.2 cm

Chabazite, Wasson's Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada

Chabazite, Wasson’s Bluff, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, Canada – 5.0 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 04.06.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted some new specimens in this Peru Update (click here). These include hubnerite, alabandite, clinoatacamite, quartz/chrysocolla, chalcopyrite, spinel-twinned galena, proustite and top quality pyrite. Some of these were collected recently and some go back a few years.

 Hubnerite on Quartz, Mundo Nuevo Mine, Huamachuco, Sanchez Carrion Province, La Libertad Dept., PeruHubnerite on Quartz, Mundo Nuevo Mine, Huamachuco, Sanchez Carrion Province, La Libertad Dept., Peru
Field of view 3.5 cm

Pyrite on Quartz, Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru

Pyrite on Quartz, Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru
Field of view 3.5 cm

Alabandite, Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Dept., Peru

Alabandite, Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Dept., Peru – 8.7 cm

Prousite, Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Dept., Peru

Prousite, Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Dept., Peru
Field of view 1.5 cm

Galena (spinel-law-twinned), Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru

Galena (spinel-law-twinned), Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru
Field of view

Pyrite, Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru

Pyrite, Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru
5.0 cm across, in this orientation

Chalcopyrite, Quartz, Animon Mine, Huaron District, Pasco Dept., Peru

Chalcopyrite, Quartz, Animon Mine, Huaron District, Pasco Dept., Peru – 5.0 cm

Atacamite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., PeruAtacamite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Field of view

Clinoatacamite, Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru

Clinoatacamite with Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Field of view 1.1 cm

Clinoatacamite on Quartz,  Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru

Clinoatacamite on Quartz, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Crystal group 0.4 cm

Quartz, Chrysocolla, Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru

Quartz on Chrysocolla and Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Field of view

Quartz, Chrysocolla, Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru

Quartz on Chrysocolla and Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru – 5.5 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 03.24.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

I’ve added some excellent crystals in this new Alberta Selenite Update (click here). These specimens of gypsum, var. selenite were recovered during a project at Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta in the early 1990s. These crystals are sharp, lustrous and transparent – many are like crystal models.  And… they have great fluorescence.

Willow Creek selenite crystals are fluorescent under ultraviolet light, exhibiting an “hourglass” pattern that is not visible in natural light. It is clearly visible in short-wave, medium-wave and long-wave ultraviolet, most prominent in short-wave.

These crystals are also phosphorescent – the hourglass pattern remains briefly visible in a green hue in total darkness after the ultraviolet light source is extinguished – the selenite crystal then fades and until it too is dark.

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada – 6.7 cm.

Gypsum var selenite, Willow Creek, Nanton, Alberta, ultraviolet light

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada – 6.7 cm.
Same crystal as in the previous photo, exhibiting fluorescence,
photographed in short-wave ultraviolet light.

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada – 7.2 cm

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada – 6.5 cm

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada – 6.2 cm

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada – 6.2 cm.
Same crystal as in the previous photo, exhibiting fluorescence,
photographed in short-wave ultraviolet light.

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada – 7.6 cm

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta – 5.0 cm

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta – 5.0 cm
Same crystal as in the previous photo, exhibiting fluorescence,
photographed in short-wave ultraviolet light.

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada

Gypsum, var. selenite, Willow Creek, near Nanton, Alberta, Canada – 5.8 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 03.18.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

As you may have seen in my Tucson blog post, a recent find at Orange River, South Africa has produced some beautiful quartz crystals with exquisite sharp red phantoms. I’ve posted them in this Red Phantom Quartz Update (click here).

Red quartz has been produced from this locality for many years, however, long-time South African dealer Clive Queit told me he has never seen any he liked as much as the ones from this 2016 pocket, because these have such distinct red phantoms enclosed in sharp, clear quartz crystals – in his view they are the best.

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South AfricaQuartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 5.0 cm

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Field of view 3.0 cm

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 3.8 cm

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 6.1 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 8.0 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 6.5 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Field of view 2.5 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 5.1 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 5.1 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Field of view 3.5 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 4.4 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 4.3 cm

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

 Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Quartz with red phantoms, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 3.7 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 02.26.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted some great new pieces in this Brazil Update (click here).  These include gorgeous stars of rutile on hematite from Novo Horizonte, older specimens of cyclically-twinned rutile from Diamantina, and beautiful muscovite crystals from Mantena, Minas Gerais.

Rutile on Hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil

Rutile on hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil – 4.8 cm

Rutile on hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil

 Rutile on hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil – 3.5 cm

Rutile on hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil

Rutile on hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil – 3.4 cm

Rutile, Diamantina, Minas Gerasis, Brazil

Rutile, Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.6 cm

Rutile, Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Rutile, Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.8 cm

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 7.3 cm

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 8.6 cm

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 7.6 cm

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 7.5 cm

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 7.0 cm

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 5.2 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 02.25.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted the first of the new Tucson specimens in this Wodginite Update (click here). These are sharp, lustrous wodginite crystals from a small recent find in the Linopolis district, near Divino das Larajeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Wodginite is not a common mineral, and it is quite difficult to acquire good crystals. The identification of these ones has been confirmed at the University of Arizona, and, along with subsequent EDS work, it has been established that of the various members of the wodginite group, they are wodginite.

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

 Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.5 cm

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.7 cm

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 3.2 cm

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.6 cm

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 3.2 cm

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.0 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 02.22.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Mineral Shows | Comments (0)

 

Always hard to contain my enthusiasm about Tucson… The world’s largest annual gathering of mineral people and mineral specimens from around the globe never disappoints – it is a great time full of great minerals.

Santa Rita The foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains, just south of Tucson.

OK, I admit it’s also a sunny and warm break from Canadian winter. While many others in North America seem to be having a bit lighter winter than usual, we’ve had lots of snow this year in the Bancroft area. It began in November and now the snow is high. A February 2017 snowbank by our house:

SnowbankBancroft, winter 2016-17. Snowbanks about 8-9ft tall.
(For scale, Emery is a 90 lb Lab. He never misses a chance to be out in the snow.)

Tucson’s surroundings are obviously a real contrast to home, both as to weather and scenery.

SaguaroSanta Rita Mountains and a saguaro.

During the show, there is so much to see and do with the minerals and mineral friends that, in the limited time of a Tucson trip, there is precious little chance for exploring the surroundings. However, every step out in the area is worth it!

YuccaA walk in the foothills

As every year, the mineral events around Tucson are spread over many different show venues, over a few weeks. From one year to the next, dealers come and go, and move about. New shows pop up, older shows wane and sometimes disappear altogether, and then some rise again from the ashes. So, always something new and interesting to discover out there in the urban field-collecting jungle.

I thought maybe I’d start with my favourite warnings and signs from around the shows.

I didn’t take a photo of the one in my rental car, but it was a winner: every time I turned on the car,  a bright, bold electronic notice told me not to operate the car stereo while the car is operating, because it’s dangerous. (Thanks so much to the Mensa-candidate lawyer who came up with that one.)

At one show:

Washroom sign

Really???
(People do this?)

I quite liked this lawn sign:

No Lawn Signs

And at that same show, within about 40 ft of the one above:

Lawn Signs

Anyway… On to the minerals!

On the whole, there were some excellent finds, mostly of the small and isolated variety (rather than large-scale splashes of new discoveries). I’m going to start with Brazil, because over the past year, it has produced many fine specimens.

A small number of new wodginite crystals have been found. These are sharp and great for the species!

 Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil Wodginite, Linopolis district, near Divino das Larajeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.5 cm

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Wodginite, Linopolis district, near Divino das Larajeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.6 cm

Wodginite, Linopolis District, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Wodginite, Linopolis district, near Divino das Larajeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 3.2 cm

If you’d like to see more of these, I’ve posted them in the Wodginite Update (click here).

The workings at Novo Horizonte have produced more excellent hematite-rutile specimens. Most of these are not in very good condition, but a few are really super.

Rutile on Hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil

Rutile on Hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil – 4.8 cm

Novo Horizonte has also been the subject of some additional mineral analysis, with very interesting results over the past year. One of these is a new mineral, published in 2016. The work on this mineral began with our late friend, Luiz Menezes – one of the most observant and careful people in mineral world, who never missed something new, never assumed an identification, and whose work contributed to the description of several new minerals. The work on this material was continued by a group of mineralogists, and in June 2016, the new mineral, parisite-(La), was officially regognized by the IMA. (The full group: Luiz A.D. Menezes Filho, Mario L.S.C. Chaves, Nikita V. Chukanov, Daniel Atencio, Ricardo Scholz, Igor Pekov, Geraldo Magela da Costa, Shaunna M. Morrison, Marcelo Andrade, Erico Freitas, Robert T. Downs and Dmitriy I. Belakovskiy.)

I am including a photograph of one of the best specimens – there are not many in existence. This one was available from Luisa at Luiz Menezes Minerals.

Parisite La
Parisite-(La), Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil – approx. 7 cm

Just before leaving Novo Horizonte, I have a small final update. In November 2015, I had a few specimens from this locality on the website, sold to me under the label “synchysite”, and so-labeled on the website. Subsequent analysis by Don Doell has confirmed more about their identity. Having conducted semi-quantitative EDS at SGS Labs, Don found that these are in fact phosphate mineralization, and they are likely a combination of rhabdophane-(La), rhabdophane-(Ce), possibly including monazite-(Ce). They appear to be pseudomorphs after a REE carbonate, probably in the parisite group, given that this new parisite-(La) has been found at Novo Horizonte in crystals with a similar aspect and appearance, at a similar time. They could also be after bastnasite-(La), which has been described from the locality. For now, I’m labelling them rhabdophane, pseudomorph after parisite, with the proviso that the above is the technically closest identification information to date. Thanks very much to Don for this analysis! Very cool for rhabdophane. (If you’d like to see what these looked like, they are here.) Mine are all sold, but Carlos Menezes had a few thumbnail-sized specimens of this fascinating material available in Tucson.

Also from Brazil, there has been one I think will be underrated and missed by many collectors. From Mantena, Minas Gerais, there has been a find of beautiful muscovite crystals. Yes of course the mica group minerals are very common minerals, and one might be jaded and tempted to overlook them on that basis. However, it can be a challenge to acquire a genuinely good muscovite specimen. These muscovite crystals from Mantena have nice colour, giving depth and presence. I picked out the finest few I could find and they will be online in a coming update.

Muscovite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Muscovite on albite, Mantena, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 7.3 cm

I have always loved the blue fluorapatites from Ipira, but, although I always look for them, I am almost always disappointed. This is not because there aren’t any – it’s because very few of them are sharp and collection-worthy. The deposits mostly contain corroded-looking crystals with poor definition, and most crystals are broken crystal segments. This past year, Daniel Foscarini Almeida conducted significant mining operations in a zone that contained small, sharp crystals. Almost all had small chipping, but I went through hundreds and these best ones are extremely good. The colour with backlighting is hard to believe.

Fluorapatite, Ipirá, Bahia, Brazil

 Fluorapatite, Ipirá, Bahia, Brazil – 3.2 cm

And finally from Brazil (for now), Minas Gerais yielded some very fine phantom quartz crystals this year, from the deposits at Presidente Kubitschek. As always with Brazilian quartz, it can be very hard to find specimens in excellent condition, but some of these are just great.

Quartz with phantoms, Presidente Kubitschek, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Quartz with phantoms, Presidente Kubitschek, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Crystal 2.0 cm wide

Moving on from Brazil to the African continent next, still on the quartz theme, there was a pocket of spectacular quartz with red phantoms from Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Red quartz has been produced from this locality for many years, however, long-time South African dealer Clive Queit told me he has never seen any he liked as much as these, because these have such distinct red phantoms enclosed in sharp, clear quartz crystals – in his view they are the best. The crystals themselves are relatively small, and my favourite specimens were the ones that had good proportions (of crystal size to the piece), so the ones I consider the best are not large specimens. They are superb.

Red Phantom Quartz, Orange River, Cape Province, South Africa

Red Phantom Quartz, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 5.0 cm

Red Phantom Quartz, Orange River, Cape Province, South Africa

Red Phantom Quartz, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 4.0 cm

Red Phantom Quartz, Orange River, Cape Province, South Africa

Red Phantom Quartz, Orange River, Northern Cape Province, South Africa – 6.1 cm

Further north in Africa, there’s something a bit different and new from Arrondissement Diako, in Mali. We’ve seen thousands of loose single garnet crystals from here over the years, and occasionally we’ve been lucky enough to see matrix specimens. A new find, at Diabe Sira, has produced some very attractive specimens with sharp, lustrous grossular crystals on matrix. As is the case with all localities, and particularly much of the Mali material (of the various minerals), so much is damaged – the devil is in finding fine, collection-quality specimens. I worked through a lot of this material and I found a few – they are really nice!

Grossular, Diabe Sira, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali

Grossular, Diabe Sira, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 9.7 cm

Further north still, I think we’ve all become a bit spoiled by the constant flow of excellent mineral specimens from Morocco in recent years. So it felt like a bit of a disappointment that there wasn’t a spectacular new find, and that some of the material we’ve seen in recent times is drying up. As I mentioned in my Ste. Marie post last summer, the Sidi Lahcen barites are no more – I love those specimens, and good ones are now already hard to find (and in some cases very expensive). Speaking of production that seems to have dried up, I was also surprised that there were hardly even any signs of the Mamsa aragonites (the ones posted here last fall).  I had expected to see some of the lesser material at very least.

However, from Morocco there were some beautiful erythrites from the Bou Azzer district.

Erythrite, Bou Azzer, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco

Erythrite, Bou Azzer, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco – 1.3 cm crystal

China seems to have produced less in the way of truly new material. There are some new bluish-purple quartz specimens, highly priced and different dealers were giving different locality names – we’ll see what the future holds for these. From Huanggang, there were a few of the flat, discoidal calcites that made their debut last fall in Denver – here is a sweet small one.

Calcite, Huanggang Mines, Hexigten Banner, Ulanhad, Inner Mongolia A.R., China

Calcite, Huanggang Mines, Hexigten Banner, Ulanhad, Inner Mongolia A.R., China – 3.3 cm

From Russia, the mines at Dal’negorsk continue to operate and there was a new pocket of sharp datolite crystals found at the Bor Pit. These crystals are a beautiful light green and they are highly lustrous.

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

 Datolite, Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 5.0 cm

As you’ll know if you’ve read my posts from the past, I love Peru and Peruvian mineral specimens. Over the years, the large polymetallic mines have produced a variety of excellent specimens, and several workings undertaken purely for mineral specimen mining have provided spectacular pieces. However, this was really not a great year for new Peruvian specimens. Ucchucchacua has now produced no new specimen material in three years, and a new piece of unfortunate news from Peru is that the Lily Mine has ceased operations. Lily was operated for copper and is known to collectors for a few minerals – chrysocolla, and most notably some of the best atacamite and clinoatacamite specimens that have been found anywhere. I obtained only a few more of these, as good specimens are already scarce, and I’m told any future production is questionable.

 Clinoatacamite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Clinoatacamite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Superb crystal group, 5 mm

In much better news, a Peruvian collection and the workings at Mundo Nuevo have provided some excellent specimens.

Pyrite and Lautite, Mundo Nuevo Mine, Huamachuco, Sanchez Carrion Province, La Libertad Dept., Peru

Pyrite and Lautite, Mundo Nuevo Mine, Huamachuco, La Libertad Dept., Peru – 2.9 cm

Back to North America, I was lucky to pick up a couple of nice little wulfenite specimens from the Red Cloud Mine, including this one – it’s not big, but this thing is a red window pane.

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Silver District, Trigo Mts., La Paz Co., Arizona

 Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, Arizona – 2.3 cm
(Crystal 1.0 cm across, 0.8 cm on edge)

Over the coming weeks, many of these finds – and more new material – will be posted on the website, so stay tuned!

Palm

 

In the meantime, as nice as it is to have had a break, it’s so great to be home. (You can take the Canadian out of the winter but you can’t take the winter out of the Canadian – at least not this Canadian.) It’s beautiful out here in the winter woods in February, as always!

Bancroft, Ontario, Canada

Yes, the snow piles are high.

Snow Window

Another 9 ft tall snowpile. Granted, it reduces the view for a while.
And we probably shouldn’t expect this part of the garden to emerge until late May.

This year’s snow-management issues aside, it’s gorgeous and peaceful, with lots of active local residents in our woods…

 Blue Jay, Bancroft, Ontario, Canada

Blue Jay, near Bancroft, Ontario

And there’s this one guy who loves winter more than any being I’ve known:

Snow Angel

Every day from the first snows until the last snow patches are too small in spring, Emery does snow angels.

Well, that’s it, until the Rochester 2017 report.

If you haven’t yet seen them, this year’s Rochester Mineralogical Symposium program and registration materials are online here. Hope to see you there!

Meanwhile, of course these specimens will be coming online soon!

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 02.14.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve added some excellent specimens in this Russia Update (click here). In particular, there are some super, transparent, colourless fluorites from Dal’negorsk, with crystals exhibiting up to five crystal forms. Among these area couple of great overgrowth and phantom pieces. These fluorite specimens are not new, I’ve kept an eye out for them in recent years and have acquired good ones when I’ve been able. This update also includes some great calcite specimens, with some fascinating crystal forms, and some fine datolite specimens with sharp crystals.

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 9.5 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – crystal 1.3 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 9.3 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 9.6 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – crystal 3.5 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite phantom, modified cube inside modified dodecahedral crystal
Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – Field of view 2.0 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – Field of view 5.0 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – Field of view 3.5 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite exhibiting five crystal forms,
Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia
Crystal 1.3 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 5.5 cm

Fluorite, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Fluorite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 3.7 cm

Calcite, Verchniy Mine. Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Verchniy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 9.0 cm

Calcite, Verchniy Mine, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Verchniy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 5.5 cm

Calcite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Datolite, Bor Pit, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Datolite, Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 2.1 cm crystal

Datolite, Bor Pit, Dalnegorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Datolite, Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 7.5 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 01.14.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

I’ve posted some beautiful new specimens in this Morocco Update (click here).  The pieces include azurite from Kerrochen and Bou Beker, vanadinite from Taouz, pyrite-coated fluorite from El Hammam, purple fluorite from Tounfit, twinned cerussite from Mibladen and quartz on siderite from Gourrama.

Azurite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Azurite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Crystal 2.5 cm

Azurite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Azurite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Crystal 3.1 cm

Azurite, Bou Beker, Touissit-Bou Beker District, Jerada Province, Morocco

Azurite, Bou Beker, Touissit – Bou Beker District, Jerada Province, Morocco – 9.7 cm

Azurite with Malachite, Bou Beker, Touissit - Bou Beker District, Jerada Province, Morocco

Azurite with Malachite, Bou Beker, Touissit – Bou Beker District, Jerada Province, Morocco – 6.3 cm

Vanadinite, Taouz, Er Rachidia Province, Morocco

Vanadinite, Taouz, Er Rachidia Province, Morocco – 5.2 cm

Fluorite coated with Pyrite, El Hammam Mine, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco

Fluorite coated with Pyrite, El Hammam Mine, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco – 6.0 cm

Fluorite coated with Pyrite, El Hammam Mine, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco

Fluorite coated with Pyrite, El Hammam Mine, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco – 4.2 cm

Cerussite with Barite, Les Dalles Mine, Mibladen Mining District, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Cerussite with Barite, Les Dalles Mine, Mibladen Mining District, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 2.0 cm

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 4.0 cm

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 3.5 cm

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 2.0 cm

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 3.0 cm

Quartz, Siderite, Gourrama, Er Rachidia, Morocco

Quartz, Siderite, Gourrama, Er Rachidia, Morocco
Crystal 3.2 cm