This is about as bright and gemmy as calcite gets – a gorgeous miniature with brilliant lustre and excellent transparency. The crystals are parallel growth and are twinned. In excellent condition, perfect modification faces at the top of the larger crystal and a small, very clean cleave at the tip of the smaller one – mounted to display upright as photographed, this does not stand out. Beautiful internal play of light. This specimen just glows under the lights.
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.