Rhodolite variety of Almandine Garnet
These garnets are the rhodolite variety of Almandine. They are from Mina Rodolita, Fazenda Rodolita, near the little village of Peixe, Sao Valerio da Natividade, Tocantins, Brazil. They occur in mica schist and are locally abundant. The mine has produced more than 100 tons of these that have been shipped to China and cut into small gems so that the color will show to best advantage. The ones we have are small which are ideal for showing the color of this gem material. Even the small ones are black looking until you put a light behind them. Here is one of the good ones with a powerful light shining through it. They are found up to fist size and larger at the locality but they are completely black looking until they are cut into small gems.
Parisite crystals 3 to 5 cm.
Mt. Malosa, Malawi
$ 10 to $ 36
These look like little brown beehives and are ugly as sin, but they are rare. Actually they are parisite/ bastnasite crystals that are altering to limonite and in fact are probably mostly limonite. Most of the specimens show the incipient basal cleavage that is typical of parisite. More accurately these should probably be called limonite pseudomorphs after parisite. They are so ugly I initially had doubts if we should be offering them at all, but initial sales of these specimens have been surprisingly strong and I could not resist keeping one of them for my own collection.
Ruptsovsky Mine, Altai Republic, Russia
$10 to $90
The new Russian locality continues to produce lots of good quality Cuprites. How long this will continue is anyone’s guess. However this is the first time that any mine has ever produced so many nice Cuprite crystals. At the Denver show we went whole hog and bought about 400 specimens and think that these will be come classics. When they first showed up at Tucson about two years ago, the prices were breath taking. At the last Denver show there were more than ever, but the prices for good ones were thousands of dollars, and the prices have continued to fall and finally we decided the time was right to see if we could work a deal where we could offer them for reasonable prices. If you have ever wanted a Cuprite specimen in your collection, now is the time. Take a look at this link and educate yourselves about what good cuprite specimens look like:
Ampliacion a Victoria Mine, Navaiun, La Rioja, Spain
Iron disulfide, cubic
$5 to $20
We just bought a nice lot of small pyrite specimens from this famous locality. Pyrite is commonly thought of as occurring as cubes, and boy are these perfectly cubic and in matrix. For their size they really don’t get much more cubic than these. Once I stopped in Madrid and bought a big bunch of these specimens on the last stop of a round the world trip. When I got to US customs in Los Angeles, they refused to believe that they were natural specimens and insisted that they were some how a manufactured item and confiscated them till I could file a customs declaration and retrieve them. Educate yourselves about what good pyrite specimens look like by checking out this link:
Actually this link will take you to just a third of the Best Minerals article about Pyrite because the article is so long it had to be broken up into three different articles. Use the links at the top or bottom of the article to navigate to the other two sections if you have the time to spend on it.
Jacaré Quartz (Window Quartz) (Water Quartz)
Minas Gerais Brazil – 5 to 15 cm
$ 8 to $ 100
Jacaré = alligator in Portuguese. This variety of quartz in Brazil is called Jacaré because of the multiple crystal points seen in specimens of this material. It is sometimes called window quartz because of triangular inset crystals faces that sometimes resemble windows and water quartz because specimens of this kind of quartz often have movable water bubbles in cavities inside the quartz that can be made to move around. They more often smoky in color rather than white and are typically found in the pegmatite region of Minas Gerais and never in the big sand stone region of that Brazilian state that produces the Arkansas look alike kind of quartz. The Germans often call this type fenster quartz. Fenster is the German word for window.
August 2011 shipment from Brazil, specimens.
Black Tourmaline in Quartz
Kyanite in Quartz
Pink Tourmaline in Quartz
August 2011 specimens from China
Pyrite balls, China
McDermitt Mine (Cordero Mine; Old Cordero Mine), Opalite District, Humboldt Co., Nevada, USA
$8 to $50 depending on size and quality.
Kleinite: I think we have most of the current worlds supply of this rare mercury mineral. There are only three localities for this rare mineral and those from the McDermitt Mine in Humboldt Co., Nevada are by far the best of the three. They are tiny little yellow, some would say yellow orange crystals on matrix. In the 80’s? Jim Puckett and Bruce Bennett (not the actor) got permission to collect in the open pit McDermitt mine and hit the jackpot of this rare mineral. This last batch we got from Bruce and I think it represents almost all of the specimens he had. When these are gone I think they will only be available as individual specimens from old collections. Our prices are very reasonable for examples of this rare mineral. You can even see the crystals with your naked eye, which is unusual today for rare mineral species.
Baotou League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region,China
Ilvaite is not exactly a rare mineral and Mindat.org currently shows 170 localities, but there are not many places that produce good crystals. It used to be that if you wanted to get a good specimens of Ilvaite you wanted one of those from South Mt., Idaho. Then the Iron Curtain fell and good Ilvaite specimens started showing up from Dalnegorsk, Russia. Now all of a sudden, there is this new locality from Mongolia that has started producing specimens of Ilvaite, the best of which are an order of magnitude better than those from any other locality. Some of the crystals from this locality are the size of beer cans. We don’t yet have any of these exalted specimens, but we recently got in a nice shipment of small mostly single crystals that we cans ell for very reasonable prices. The mine also produces good specimens of Arsenopyrite and other minerals, some of which we hope to offer in the coming months.
Aegirine, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi
We have two qualities. Small inexpensive ones and larger very fine ones.
“Mine Run” Aegirine:
These are small specimens of the black shiny prismatic crystals of Aegirine. Frequently they are associated with white to cream colored blocky crystals of microcline feldspar. Some specimens are associated with tiny to brown to yellow crystals of zircon.
Depending on quality.
Single crystals of Aegirine:
Prices depend on size and quality.
Prices depend on size and quality
Aegirine specimens of high quality:
These are larger specimens usually showing shiny black prismatic crystals of Aegirine. Some of the specimens are associated with white to cream colored blocky crystals of microcline feldspar. Some specimens have associated quartz crystals and tiny brown to yellow crystals of zircon. Sometimes other rare minerals are found on these specimens.
Depending on size and quality.
Aegirine crystals are mostly shiny black and prismatic, but there are exceptions. In the past, the best specimens of Aegirine that were found in collections came from St. Hillarie, Quebec, Canada and if you were real lucky you might rarely see a nice specimen of a single prismatic black shiny pointy crystal in matrix from Magnet cove.
Mount Malosa, Malawi
Then all of a sudden, about ten years ago the locality of Mt. Malosa in Malawi started to produce fine crystals of Aegirine like there was no tomorrow. Block shiny terminated crystals up to 30 cm or so, though often the largest crystals were not of the best quality. Some of the specimens of Aegirine from Mt. Malosa are so fine they would make a Bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window. All of a sudden, the Aegirine crystals from other localities didn’t seem all that appealing.
The crystals from Mount Malosa appear to be black, but if you grind them to a fine powder, the powder will be green. There are more than 700 localities listed for Aegirine on Mindat.org and undoubtedly many more that have not yet been listed. Only a few of them however have produced good free standing crystals and most of these you would need a microscope to fully appreciate.