January II, 2013 Update

 

OKJ-952

OKJ-952    Fluorite     Treak Cliff Caverns, Castleton, Derbyshire, England.  Ex. Dr. Steve Chamberlain collection.   I will be offering this specimen on Steve's behalf.  He has decided to part with this keepsake and all the proceeds will go to him.  This very rare example is from the Blue John fluorite occurrence known since Roman times.  The fluorite is only really noted as carving material having been made into vases and other household goods of centuries.  What is not so well-known is that on top of the massive fluorite seam are occasionally found plates of fluorite crystals!  I have never seen these for sale and it appears to be because the miners simply ignore them.  This example was found with two other exceptional piece by Dr. Chamberlain when he visited the occurrence in 1981.  The specimens were simply found in the mud in the base of the tunnels going into the mine.  This is the finest of the three specimens that Steve owned.  In its own right it is a very fine fluorite specimen measuring 9 x 7.4 x 3.8 cm and composed of crystals to 5 cm on edge.  There is very minor damage to a couple crystal corners otherwise a specimen is in exceptional condition.  There are small amounts of an unknown white mineral in a few crystal intersections.  This specimen has a satin luster and the crystals are slightly translucent.  The purple is uncommonly dark and the crystal faces are unusual in that they are pronouncedly concave.  This is a very fine display piece with an important history in provenance. I’ve only found one other collector who says he knows of these and actually owns one and this would have to rank among the very best ever found at the location.  Being that these are historic sites now and that collecting is not allowed, this specimen should remain in a league of its own for the future.  $2,500

Here is the story behind the find, told in Steve's words...

For my collecting expedition to Derbyshire, Bob delegated my care to his colleague, Dr. Trevor Ford, whose patch Derbyshire is, especially the Castleton area.  We began by looking at the most amazing occurrence of hydrocarbons on top of the hill that also houses the famous blue john occurrences. This site has gooey black hydrocarbons and also pellets the shape of Good and Plenty licorice candies.  After seeing this site, I understood better why the British considered hydrocarbons to be legitimate minerals.  We then looked at the Odin vein, which is a national historical site that does not allow collecting.  It is a good place to see above ground what you’re going to see underground when you go to look at the blue john.  At the top of the vein, two little streams come together from two different geological terrains.  Where they merge, a white precipitate forms as they mix.  Very interesting.  It gave more specific meaning to the concept of mineralizing springs or mineralizing waters.

Trevor arranged with the owner of Treak Cliff Caverns, one of two commercial sources for blue john, for us to go underground and go beyond the tourist rope to the actual site where blue john is mined.  The banded blue/purple and white banded fluorite is mined by hand because blasting would just shatter the material.  At the working face, the bottom of the outcrop is knee deep in yellow clay.  As I poked around, I discovered that the original surface of the fluorite is crystallized with wonderful dark purple, almost black, curved cubic crystals of fluorite and the occasional calcite crystal.  This stuff is peeled off and falls into the clay.  I only had about 10 minutes to scrounge around in the clay and stuff my pockets and the inside of my shirt with as many pieces as I could find.  When I later showed them to Bob King, he told me that two of them were as fine as any specimens from either Treak Cliff Caverns or the adjacent Blue John Caverns he’d ever seen.  Wow. 

 

 

Lowville Specimens

 

Joe Polityka’s recent Springfield Review in The Mineralogical Record (vol. 43, no. 6, p. 721) notes a new locality being simply called Lowville that has recently been producing specimens seen for sale on the mineral market over the past two years. The location and details of the find have been kept secret due to the occurrence supposedly being on private land.  The other rumor says it is on public land and it has now been closed to collecting.  Whatever the case this location is in Lowville, Lewis County, New York. Several pockets to half a meter in diameter have produced specimens include Herkimer style quartz to eight centimeters with noteworthy variety: skeletal crystals, scepters, and black crystals have all been found. One other dealer had a few good examples from this find and a second dealer has many examples (all of poor quality) this past year. I managed to find the collectors and acquire all the material they had horded away in several large purchases.

 

I’ve received many requests for good specimens from this find that are not priced at several thousand dollars or more as the original pieces were.  I will offer here numerous specimens from the find that are good quality specimens of various species.  A number will be exceptional thumbnail sized specimens in all price ranges, many of competition grade, and of the highest quality found.  A number of them are of the quality that we would expect to see as cover specimens on our most popular periodicals.  My photographs will not approach that level for these descriptions, but to not underestimate the quality of this material.  It is everything it is billed to be and more.  I can safely say that all the specimens are much better in-hand than the images will indicate.  There will be a few more in the next listing, as well.

 

It appears that the crystals that exceed several centimeters are nearly always skeletal in form and usually smoky colored. The smallest of the crystals are virtually indistinguishable from the small crystals found at the localities within the traditional Herkimer diamond region.  Because of this I won’t offer the little ones.  The crystals to follow can be found on matrix and as floaters, free of any attachment to rock. Calcites of various colors are present in combination with many of the specimens making them truly unique for New York State and exceptionally aesthetic for quartz from anywhere.  Multiple forms and several generations are present in some specimens.  There are even twinned calcites from this find that I believe represent the only twined crystals of calcite to come from any Herkimer or Herkimer like formation known! 

 

 

 

OKJ-940

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OKJ-940    Calcite on Hydrocarbon    Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  This domical ridge of dolostone matrix is crystallized on all sides.  It measures 8.1 x 4 x 3.6 cm.  Lustrous black hydrocarbon coats much of the matrix providing a dark colored matrix for the clear, yellow, to light red crystals.  The luster is very high the crystal for ice and there is no damage.  A very fine example of this unusual material.  $120

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-942

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OKJ-942    Dolomite and Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A plate of matrix with nice gray dolomites with partial pyrite coatings and gemmy yellow calcites.  Some of the calcites have a flow texture and are more red in color.  8 x 6.6 x 3.6 cm overall.  A floater with only a couple of healed areas that must once have been attachment points.  Very nice.  $65

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-943

OKJ-943    Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  Lots of well formed single and double terminated barrel shaped calcites cover all sides (except base).  The piece sits up beautifully for display and only has a couple very minor dings that are really tough to notice even when searched for.  A wonderful example of this unusual material measuring 6.8 x 4.5 x 3 cm.  $180

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-944

OKJ-944    Quartz     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  This grouping of crystals measures 4.8 x 3.9 x 2.2 cm and is a very aesthetic miniature composed of four primary crystals closely joined side by side.  There are a coupe minor contacts but damage.  Main contact is on one edge.  Nice smoky color, high luster and attractive diverging crystal alignment.  $195

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-946

OKJ-946    Calcite, Dolomite on Hydrocarbon     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A very three dimensional specimen with multicolored calcites and gray dolomites on black hydrocarbon coated dolostone.  A floater with no contact, no damage, and no problems of any form.  Sits great, couldn’t display better and is superior in hand.  Images don’t do this one justice.  5.8 x 4.4 x 3 cm.  Top quality miniature in every regard.  $225

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-947

OKJ-947    Calcite, Dolomite, Quartz, Pyrite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  This fine floater has all the primary species for which the site is well noted.  It measures 7.2 x 5 x 3 cm, sits nicely and is attractive from all sides.  Good luster for all species.  Two tiny spots of damage on very edges but they are really minor.  Not noticeable at all.  A fine specimen that shows the great mineral diversity that existed in these few pockets.  $195

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-948

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OKJ-948    Calcite, Dolomite, Quartz, Pyrite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  Another fine floater with all the minerals notable from the occurrence.  A couple very minor contacts.  Excellent example.  8 x 6.5 x 4.8 cm.  Sits nice and displays well from any side.  Largish quartz sits central to specimen in a concave opening.  Attractive piece for only $175

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-949

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OKJ-949    Dolomite with Unknown coating     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.    A plate with nice dolomites exhibiting selective coatings of a tan colored, fluorescent mineral.  8.2 x 7.2 x 2.5 cm.  Stands on edge.  $45

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-400

OKJ-400    Calcite on Quartz    Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A beautiful single crystal with clear to slightly yellow/ milky calcites on a few of the skeletal surfaces.  Some calcite damage but the quartz is very nice.  Nice smoky tint and fine transparency.  4.8 x 3.5 x 3.3 cm.   Excellent miniature for the occurrence.  $490

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-401

OKJ-401    Quartz      Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  Several parallel growth crystal with great luster smoky tint and attractive form.  Base contact and one tip ding which is noticeable from back.  4.3 x 2.5 x 2.2 cm.  A good piece for those liking attractive quartz miniatures.  $390

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-947

OKJ-947    Calcite, Dolomite, Quartz, Pyrite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  An attractive miniature measuring 4.3 x 3.7 x 2.1 cm.  Great color, skeletal form and luster.  Minor base contact and chip on back that blends in with skeletal form and appears free of damage unless scrutinized under high magnification.  Very nice example form this find that is difficult to get at this level of investment.  $380

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-929

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OKJ-929    Calcite, Dolomite, Quartz on Hydrocarbon     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  This is the largest specimen I have to offer measuring in at 12 x 10 x 5.5 cm.  All the minerals show well on the hydrocarbon coated dolostone (black).  Largest quartz is approximately 2.5 cm.  Everything is in very good condition thought there are a couple of minor contacts to his amazing floater.  A fine display piece.  $350

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-930

OKJ-930    Calcite and Quartz     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  This is one of those large (7.1 x 4.8 x 4 cm) attractive pieces that cost thousands from those specimens first released.  This one has a bad tip ding on the backside and so is going for almost nothing in comparison. Highly skeletal.   Only a minor contact on the bottom.  Nice calcites and the fantastic luster these specimens have become known for.  The damage is noteworthy (thankfully on the back) but I found that most of these were damaged, even the early ones.  This is simply an unbelievable price… $250

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-931

OKJ-931    Quartz      Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A skeletal quartz crystal measuring 5.5 x 4.8 x 2.8 cm.  Small base contact and small, healed tip contact.  Very nice smoky color… nice in all regards.  $225

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-932

OKJ-932    Quartz      Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A skeletal quartz crystal measuring 4.6 x 4 x 2.3 cm.  Small base contact and really tiny tip ding (Wilbur) that is not distracting at all.  Nice in all regards.  $235

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-933

OKJ-933    Quartz and Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  Several smoky crystals intergrown and covered for about 50% of their exposed surfaces by nice double and single terminated multi colored calcites.  One backside chip on the biggest crystal not visible from the best views.  Outstanding aesthetics similar to the finest pieces from the find.  5.2 x 5.2 x 3.8 cm.  I have seen worse specimens sold at four times this price.  $750

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-935

OKJ-935    Quartz      Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A skeletal quartz crystal measuring 6.5 x 4.6 x 4.4 cm.  Base contact and two small rubs on upper edges.  Very nice smoky color in base but CLEAR in upper regions.  This is one of only a few large crystals of this clarity that I’ve known of from the find.  Highly skeletal.   $225

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-934

OKJ-934    Quartz and Calcite      Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A skeletal quartz crystal measuring 6.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 cm.  Both terminations show damage and one calcite, as well.  As with any skeletal crystal these are tough to distinguish, so I’m going to offer it for sale despite the obvious drawbacks.  Very nice smoky color and attractive skeletal surfaces.  $195

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-937

OKJ-937    Quartz and Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A skeletal quartz crystal measuring 4.9 x 4.2 x 2.8 cm.  Specimen is broken on backside but views nicely with no visible damage from front and sides. CLEAR, which is very unusual for these specimens.  Small clear calcites coat a lower region of the crystal on right hand side when viewed from front.  Highly skeletal.   $195

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-939

OKJ-939    Quartz      Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A skeletal quartz crystal measuring 6.8 x 5 x 3 cm.  Base contact only.  No damage but on backside there is an internal fracture, small, that is visible.  Very nice smoky color throughout.  Unusual shap to crystal, slightly skeletal on most faces.  Very nice!  $400  

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-494

OKJ-494    Quartz and Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A large thumbnail sized specimen measuring 4 x 3 x 2.5 cm .  Excellent form, luster, and damage free except for a couple very, very minor chips to calcites.  This, hands down, is the finest TN sized specimen I have seen come from these few pockets of material.  It is large so will not make the 1 inch maximum as a competition specimen but it does just barely fit into a perky box.  Fine, colorful calcites aesthetically placed on a rich, smoky colored pair of quartz crystals.  Small area of base contact indicative of a scepter stem.  All views are fantastic.  Great piece for anyone wanting the best quality small specimen from the find.   $475

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-482

OKJ-482    Quartz and Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A thumbnail sized specimen measuring 3.6 x 3.2 x 2.4 cm .  Excellent form, luster, and aesthetics.  One tiny chip on one crystal on backside base of specimen.  You’ll have to search to find it!  The piece is a complete floater group with what appears to be two generations of calcite on numerous surfaces.  All views are fantastic.  Certainly among the few very finest from the find in this size range.   $450

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-481

OKJ-481    Quartz and Calcite  with Enhydros   Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A thumbnail sized specimen measuring 3 x 2.5 x 1.4 cm.  Excellent form, luster, and damage free with only a base crystal contact.  Very visible (not with my photograph, however) enhydros with gas bubbles.  This characteristic appears to be very rare for these as I have only seen three and have closely inspected most of the material.  Attractive, small calcites coat one side.  All views are fantastic..  $400

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-478

OKJ-478    Quartz and Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A thumbnail sized specimen measuring 3.5 x 3.5 x 2.4 cm.  Excellent form, luster, and great large calcites.  Only damage is a tiny tip ding which id too bad but this is small and not distracting.  Fully formed, attractively balanced and a top specimen for the find.  $390

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-466

OKJ-466    Quartz  and Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  Another large thumbnail sized specimen measuring 4 x 3.4 x 3 cm.  Excellent form, luster, and aesthetic.  Some healed surfaces and a small area of chipping on side.  The specimen is dominated by a small plate of dolostone coated by colorful calcite and a double terminated slightly prismatic hydrocarbon included quartz.  Very high quality and desirable.   $375

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-492

OKJ-492    Quartz      Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  Another large thumbnail sized specimen measuring 3.8 x 3. x 2.3  cm.  Excellent form, luster, and aesthetic.  Very tiny tip scrape otherwise fantastic condition on all surfaces.  Internal scepter shaft nin smaller base crystals.  Slightly skeletal, great color!  Very high quality and desirable.   $360

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-495

OKJ-495    Quartz      Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A thumbnail sized specimen measuring 4 x 3 x 2.1 cm.  Excellent form, luster, and damage free.  A wonderful diverging collection of double terminated crystals with deep dark hydrocarbon phantoms and inclusions.  Minor cluster of micro pyrites in one small area on back.  A floater except for a tiny contact area on base/back.  Quite amazing aesthetics that are difficult to convey in the images.   $450

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-476

OKJ-476    Quartz Scepter and Pyrite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A thumbnail sized specimen measuring 3.3 x 2.5 x 1.8 cm.  Excellent form, luster, and a rare scepter form.  Short, deep black stem.  Minor chipping isolated to back.  Clear for a specimen from the location.  Well developed skeletal growths that are selectively filled by thin lines of pyrite crystals…really unusual for any Herk or Herk like location.  Fine aesthetics.  $350

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKJ-479

OKJ-479    Quartz, Pyrite, and Calcite     Lowville, Lewis County, New York.  Recovered summer 2011.  A thumbnail sized specimen measuring 4.1 x 2.1 x 1 cm.  Excellent form, luster, and damage free.  An absolutely amazing floater!  Amazing phantom, great calcite, black and metallic gold pyrite, and super aesthetics.  A beautiful example that does fit in a perky box.   $350

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-867

OKH-867    Turquoise     Campbell, Virginia.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.  Micro crystals on a small plate measuring 2 x 1.6 cm.  Nice color, uncommon material.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $85

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-868

OKH-868     Quartz     Pecos R., Texas.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.  2.3 x 1.3 x 1.2 cm cluster.  Good luster and light pink color.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $20

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-869

OKH-869    Ripidolite pseudomorphs after Garnet    Spurr Mine, Marquette Co., Michigan.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.  Looks to be a floater, opaque, matt luster and measures 2.6 x 2 x 1.5 cm.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $45

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-871

OKH-871    Fluorite    Galena King Mine, Bernalillo Co., New Mexico.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   Nice purple cubes to 1.4 cm on edge with minor sheet like silicate overgrowths along one side.  3.2 x 2.1 x 1.8 cm.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  Nice piece form an interesting location.  $40

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-872

OKH-872    Fluorite     Cooks Peak, Luna Co., New Mexico.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   Very cool specimen showing tiny white quartz crystals selectively aligned along face contacts on the fluorite crystals.  VERY unusual!  2.5 x 2.1 x 1.2 cm.  Minor edge contacts, no damage and mounted in a perky box.  $95

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-873

OKH-873     Topaz     Utah.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   I do not know the specific location on this one, but given how attractive the crystal is it should be readily recognizable to someone.  Small but gemmy measuring in at 1.2 x .8 x .7 cm.  one thin internal fracture.  Very clean and clear overall.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $50

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-874

OKH-874    Uranophane    Faraday Mine, Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   Small bright yellow spray of crystal that is approximately 1.3 cm long.  Nicely mounted and easy to see.  $70

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-899

OKH-899    Vesuvianite    Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   A typical crystal of normal green color that measures 2.5 x 1.4 x 1.2 cm.  Great luster and form.  No damage.  $200

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-876

OKH-876    Vesuvianite    Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   A typical crystal of normal green color that measures 2.1 x 1.1 x 1 cm.  Great luster and form.  A couple of attractive rider crystals.  No damage.  $150

 

 

 

 

OKH-877

OKH-877    Fluorite    Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   A good quality, light purple, transparent group of cubic crystals to 1.4 cm on edge.  The piece measures 3 x 2.2 x 2 cm and has minor matrix present on back.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  Very nice example.  $65

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-878

OKH-878    Pyrite and Calcite     Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   A fine plate of crystals in an aesthetic combination measuring 2.7 x 2.1 x .7 cm.  Attractive and desirable.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $30

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-879

OKH-879    Wulfenite and Vanadinite    Rowley Mine, Maricopa Co., Arizona.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   An attractive cluster of thin, transparent tabs of wulfenite on barrel shaped vanadenites.  Everything is aesthetic, colorful and of high luster.  2 x 1.8 x 1.6 cm with crystals to.8 cm on edge.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $45

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-880

OKH-880    Quartz    Auburn, Maine.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   A gemmy smoky colored crystal measuring 3 x 1.5 x 1.1 cm.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $40

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-881

OKH-881    Azurite     Halifax Co., Virginia.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   Small micro crystals on a matrix measuring 3 x 2 x 1.5 cm.  Mainly a reference piece.  $25

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-882

OKH-882    Fluorite    Buckskin Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   Large octahedrons to 2.2 cm on edge make up this 3 x 2.7 x 2.1 cm piece.  Small white quartz in a bunch on the back of the specimen.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $45

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-883

OKH-883    Fluorite    Cook’s Peak, Luna Co., New Mexico.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   A nice group of translucent to transparent, slightly frosted octahedra on matrix.  Measures 3.7 x 3.3 x 2.3 cm overall but still fits in a perky box.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $50

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-884

OKH-884    Libethenite     Old Reliable mine, Copper Creek District, Pinal Co., Arizona.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.  Well formed beautiful emerald green gemmy crystals but very small on light green matrix.  Reference specimen.  Piece is 3 x 2.5 x 2 cm.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $25

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-885

OKH-885    Tourmaline     Newery, Maine.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   1.5 x .6 x .5 cm gem crystal with a steep termination.  No damage and mounted in a perky box.  $60

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-886

OKH-886    Tourmaline    Minas Gerais, Brazil.  Ex. Paul and Dawne Dunning collection.   Blue rimmed, hollow and red cored crystals to 1.4 cm each.  Specimen measures 2.2 x 1.5 x 1 cm.  Terminations appear natural with magnification.  I’m not positive however and they might be broken off.  I will sell as if they were damaged although I believe this is just the way they have naturally formed.  $20

 

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