This is a beautiful, glassy twinned calcite crystal with textbook form. Champagne-coloured, with good transparency some internal play of light at certain angles. Doubly-terminated, complete all-around, and the twinning is super. This may have formed attached to a matrix by one of the adhering bits of dolomite or it may have formed as a floater. In excellent condition, to the eye it looks perfect as displayed. Upon close inspection, one termination has intact modification faces, and the other has a tiny splinter cleave that looks like a modification face – one has to look for it and hard to make out without magnification. Stands perfectly for display as photographed.
Looking at this one, t’s not hard to see why the miners called these jewels.
About These Elmwood Calcites
First opened in the 1970s, the Elmwood Mine (the Elmwood-Gordonsville-Cumberland mining complex) has produced some of the world’s finest calcite crystals, many of which are twinned. Over the years, the miners referred to the large orange Elmwood calcite crystals as “footballs”, and they referred to the clear gemmy calcites in this update as “jewels”. These are from a pocket found in late 2014. Most specimens were damaged and these are exceptional – the handful of high-quality specimens in this update are the result of a quest through about 50 flats of specimens.
Highly dependent upon global metal prices and given the low price of zinc, the Elmwood Mine was unfortunately closed in December, 2015. Metal price fluctuations are cyclical and this is not the first time this has happened – the Elmwood Mine has closed and reopened under new ownership in the past. For now, the mine has been placed on care and maintenance with an uncertain future ahead. Hopefully at some point in the future it may be profitable for someone to reopen it.