Museum Class Specimens, Page 3


This fine topaz cluster might rank as one of the very best to have been found in China.    Another American classic, the fine tourmalines mined in the 1970s are now almost impossible to find at a down to earth price. 

                Topaz, China                                           Aquamarine, Pakistan                        Tourmaline, California           Tourmaline, Pakistan


Dealers refer to this top ranking of their inventor as "Vault" material, "Museum" grade material, "Top Shelf", and so on.  All of these terms are somewhat misleading.  If nothing else, you will at least find yourself  looking at the exceptional specimens in a dealer's inventory if you follow these titles.  

Included here will be specimens noteworthy for their size, form and overall quality.  Rarity will sometimes land a specimen in this category, but, that will not usually be the case.  Lack of damage will be critical here.  Mineral specimens with historic significance, pedigree, or those that have been published in a text or mineralogical journal may also be included here.  Prices may vary dramatically, but all these specimens are quite special.




Back view.

More apatites in back view. Note DT quartz.

Apatites from front.

OKF-228    Aquamarine/ Apatite/ Albite/ Quartz/ Muscovite/ and Unknown      Baha, Shigar Valley Baltistan, N.A., Pakistan.    I have recently reacquired this fine piece from a collector liquidating his specimens.  Just shy of one half a foot of aquamarine coated with a diversity of accessory minerals.  This 15 cm single terminated main aqua is truly unique with nice pink apatites, snow white albite (classic "albite jacket") climbing its backside and lots more.  The clear/ cloudy double terminated quartz is 3 cm, muscovite book a cm and the pink apatites are up to almost 2 cm each.  Some tiny black (unknown) crystals are in the mix, as well.  Several double terminated aquas in parallel growth near the termination of the main crystal.  There are two invisible repairs otherwise damage free.  This is a very special piece for both its form and the uncommon association.  This is specimen benefits greatly from the addition of a custom engraved acrylic base.  An impressive specimen to see in person.  A true centerpiece for any gem collection and not at a "stupid" price...   2,500$ 









Other side


Custom engraved acrylic base.

OKF-373    Pyrite Bar    St. Joe Lead District, Missouri.    Ex Anthony P. Dunn collection.  Now here is a really serious specimen for the collector of classic American minerals.  This specimen measures 13.5 cm in length it is 6.7 cm wide and its base.  It averages approximately 4 cm in thickness and is fully terminated on all sides including its base.  There is a single minor white dolomite crystal which is the only accessory mineral present.  The bar is very stable standing on end for display and is slightly curved in form.  I can't say enough about this piece’s rarity and aesthetics.  It is one of those amazing pieces which is seldom seen in the mineral market especially in large damage free pieces like this.  There is another collection number on the base of the piece but my guess is that this specimen was mined in the mid-1970s.  They don't get much better than this so I suspect this one should go fast even though it's an expensive piece of pyrite.  Comes with a custom engraved acrylic base.  $1600







Surface features

Octahedron modifications

OKF-225    Fluorite    Madoc, Ontario, Canada.  Ex Dr. Steve Chamberlain collection, previously and the Dr.George Robinson collection.  This is a wonderful old times specimen with a large primary fluorite crystal measuring 7.2 cm on edge with other fluorites on massive fluorite and quartz matrix.  This piece displays beautifully and has beautiful surface features unique to fluorites from this area of Canada.  Minor brown internal inclusions (hydrocarbons?)  Can be seen clearly.  Very gemmy crystals slightly modified by octahedrons which show mixed colors internally, clear to white, green and pink.  An exceptional Canadian fluorite $1600









Custom engraved acrylic base.

OKD-271    Aquamarine on Muscovite   Chumar Bakhoor, Nagar, Northern Areas, Pakistan.  Wonderful double terminated crystal aqua on a well trimmed base of muscovite blades.  The double terminated aqua measures 6 cm long by 5 cm wide.  The specimen could probably be displayed several different ways with good results.  Even light blue color with lots of veils internally.  There is a minor etched pink fluorite on the opposite side as the aqua in the mica.  It is small measuring only .7 cm.  The top termination has a couple very tiny abrasions  which are barely noticeable on a crystal of this magnitude.  Backside of plate has been trimmed and carved perfectly so it displays well.  This is a fine specimen worthy of a good home.  Comes with a custom engraved acrylic base.  A major specimen without a major aqua price.  2,000$








Barite close up.

Tetrahexahedral fluorites.

OKD-630        Fluorite (Tetrahexahedral Crystal Form) and Barite   Ana Mine, also known as Ana Berbes Location, Berbes, Spain.  Ex. Bob Borofsky Collection.  An old, rare find that is seldom represented in even the top comprehensive fluorite, Spanish or European collections.  Most collectors are not even familiar with this old mine which was once close to the Berbes locale with which every fluorite collector is now acquainted.  This one is a fine domed cluster of purple tetrahexahedral crystals to 1.7 cm on edge and white barites to 1.2 cm on edge.  The fluorite range from small and gemmy to larger with modified surfaces which take on the appearance of being etched.  Below these are other fluorites which are mostly obscured and more yellowish in color and phantomed.  This is a fine and rare specimen with only a single barite blade being partially missing.  10 x 8 x 5 cm overall size.  2,000$








Crystal Closeup

Custom engraved acrylic base with specimen in a more displayable position.

OKD-379      Copper    Phoenix Mine, Michigan.  Ex. Nancy Collins Collection.   Here is certainly the nicest copper specimen I have ever had the privilege of handling.  It measures 11.5 x 9.5 cm and is far more three-dimensional than the photos seem to indicate.  The specimen is illustrated in Teresa Kennedy's book, "Gems of Wisdom, Gems of Power".  It branches out in several directions with large crystals to 4 cm in diameter.  The piece has a wonderful light patina and is textbook in form.  I have photographed the specimen without a stand whereas it displays best with one.  When displayed the piece should be rotated 90 degree from the position in which I have photographed it (photographed correctly on base).  That way the small crystals are at its base and the largest crystals stand up and branch outward on the top of the specimen.  The specimen is a free-floating pocket specimen with only one spot that could potentially be a point of attachment to matrix.  There is no damage visible even with the aid of magnification.  It would have a hard time being better in any way.  I searched all the top dealers and the Michigan specialists at the Tucson show this year and failed to find a specimen that stacked up to this one.  I could go on and on about how nice this piece is but it really needs to be seen to be appreciated.  Comes with a custom engraved acrylic base.  Without a doubt this is of museum caliber.    9,800$







OKD-381       Prehnite on Copper in Calcite    Quincy Mine, Michigan.  Ex. Nancy Collins Collection.   Here is a smaller cluster (5 cm) with very nice copper phantoms.  One calcite tip is cleaved but difficult to notice in person or photos.  Crystals are well formed, double terminated and lightly striated.   It takes a nice, yet realistic, photograph.  The piece is one of the finest miniatures I have ever offered.  2,800$









Tetrahexahedral fluorites.

OKD-631        Fluorite (Tetrahexahedral Crystal Form) and Barite   Ana Mine, also known as Ana Berbes Location, Berbes, Spain.  Ex. Bob Borofsky Collection.  An old, rare find that is seldom represented in even the top comprehensive fluorite, Spanish or European collections.  Most collectors are not even familiar with this old mine which was once close to the Berbes locale with which every fluorite collector is now acquainted.  This specimen is simple amazing for the location.  It measures a whopping 17 x 10 cm and is a two sided plate which is about 8 cm thick.  It sits up nicely on edge for display and is mineralized on about 50% of its edges.  The purple fluorites have a high degree of modification and so the surfaces appear frosted.  Inside the fluorites are fine yellow phantoms.  The white barites approach 2 cm and the only damage to the specimen are a couple of cleaved barites which are tough to find.  This is a wonderful museum piece from a rare, old European locale.  Extremely tough to get and desirable specimen.  6,500$ firm.








OKD-550     Rhodonite on Galena    Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia.  Ex. Nancy Collins Collection.    A beautiful 2 cm crystal erupts vertically out of galena.  The crystal has gemmy regions with a good deal of internal flaws.  Although it may not appear gemmy, keep in mind that I never backlight my specimens like the competition loves to do.  You will be pleased with its color and clarity.  Double terminated with the basil termination being almost entirely buried in the galena.  The upper termination is damage free, fully exposed, complex and interesting.  Some faces are sharp and others morphed (or smoothed over) which is normal for these crystals.  Prism faces are all very clean.  3.2 x 1.6 x 1.6 overall.  Tiny rhodonite crystals climb up one side of the galena matrix.  A top, competitive thumbnail specimen.  Very rare to see these for sale and almost unheard of in this quality. Classic location, exceptionally well formed and a very rare and difficult to acquire specimen.   3,100$








OKD-378      Barite on Calcite   Elk Creek, Meade Co., South Dakota.  Ex. Nancy Collins Collection.  Certainly a classic American specimen that is uncommon to find on today’s market.  This one has a pair of parallel growth crystals which are transparent and a rich brown color.   The barites are up to 4.3 cm each rising off well formed, yellow calcites.  One crystal has a tip ding on its backside.  The specimen displays best with support so I have it attached to an acrylic plate at this time.  It is 7.5 x 5 x 2 cm in overall size and there is an exceptional luster to the barites.  950$









OKD-368     Azurite and Malachite      Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona.  Ex. Nancy Collins Collection.   This large specimen appears to be from a seam where the display face had a few minor contacts with the opposing wall. These are the brown spots where matrix shows through, not damage.  The crystals are sharply formed azurites and malachites between .2 and .5 cm each in length.  The entire specimen measures 16.5 x 8.5 x 6 cm and has the one primary display face.  It sits up well for display.  There is some mineralization on the back but there is really only one display face.  A nice large North American classic.  5,000$








OKD-369     Azurite and Malachite      Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona.  Ex. Nancy Collins Collection.   This block of azurite matrix has large regions which are hollowed out and filed by azurite crystalline druze.  Measures 8 x 9 x 6 cm.  Very bright.  1,500$








Back with minor secondary quartz.


OKB-575   Amethyst     Blue Points Mine, Near Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.  Oh my!  30 cm dome of clean hematite included amethyst crystals that I recovered and horded away in my collection for many years.  Have to part with this beauty now.  Seen below is a photo of its recovery from its home in an exceptional 10 foot long pocket.  Maybe longer...we never found the end of this huge vug!  Exceptional in all regards.  The photos do not do this specimen justice.  It has a wonderful luster and only a couple very tiny spots of damage which are difficult to detect.        3,200$

Large amethyst dome fresh out of its home, covered with mud.  By far, the best specimen of the trip!








OKD-053    Tetrahedrite, Sphalerite, Galena, Quartz    Casapalca, Peru.  Ex. Dr. Steve Chamberlain Collection.   Here is a large plate of outstanding crystals of exceptional size for the location.  The piece measures 12 x 11 cm and is up to 5 cm thick.  The sides are mineralized on much of the piece and there is no damage.  The sphalerites are largest reaching over 4 cm each.  They are nicely translucent, yellowish and complex in form.  The tetrahedrites are exceptional in luster and reach 2 cm each.  Their form is clean and attractive.  The galena are also very complex and not as lustrous as the other minerals.  All crystals are evenly dispersed on the matrix.  A real winner.  580$







OKB-601    Fluorite   Madoc, Ontario, Canada.   Ex. Dr. Steve Chamberlain Collection.  Acquired from Marion Springs.  Two big cubes with slight octahedral modifications and a single cube which is highly modified by octahedral form.  Green tint to these crystals which reach over 8 cm each.  Good solid matrix of massive fluorite.  Crystal surfaces exhibit a highly detailed patchwork texture but are rougher than OKB-600.  Outstanding, old specimen from a classic location.  700$ 








OKB-603    Fluorite   Rosiclaire, Illinois.   Ex. Dr. Steve Chamberlain Collection.   Wow!  Big cubes to 6 cm on edge sitting in an aesthetic stack on calcite crystal matrix.  Calcites are gray and show only slightly on one side of specimen.  Deep purple color, attractive form and just the right size to this classic.  600$ 









OKB-573    Fluo- magnesio- kataphorate   Tory Hill, Ontario, Canada.  Known to the locals simply as hornblende, this is a exception example of the species.  This was the best find I recovered from a 12 foot long pocket back in the 1990s which as, until now, resided in my personal collection.  This fully terminated specimen has an aesthetic display and is wonderfully elongated.  It has was recovered from the pocket in two pieces and has been repaired.  The break is in the center of the main crystal and is noticeable when looked for.  I have yet to see a hornblende crystal anywhere this impressive for sale.  An important Canadian piece.  Currently mounted on a custom glass stand with hot glue.  2,800$








OKB-574    Fluo- magnesio- kataphorate   Tory Hill, Ontario, Canada.  Ex. Dr. Steve Chamberlain Collection.  Purchased from Ward's Science of Rochester, NY.  Known to the locals simply as hornblende, this is a exception example of the species.  25 pounds of high luster, double and single terminated hornblendes to 22 cm each on feldspar.  Approx. 30 cm specimen.  Very good to rather crude terminations on these huge crystals.  Here is the type of specimen which deserves its own case.  Impressive piece.   1,700$









OKD-466     Rose Quartz on Milky Quartz    Minas Gerias, Brazil.    Second generation rose quartz crystals are set high on the matrix of crystallized milky quartz in a thick band visible from all sides of this fine specimen.  A very large specimen from this famous producer of rare rose quartz crystals which measures 9.3 x 7 x 6 cm overall with individual crystals to 1.6 cm.  There is some very minor damage which does not distract from the display characteristic which make this a highly aesthetic and very desirable specimen (but it has been taken into account when it comes to the specimen’s price).  Sits nicely for display, super luster and wonderful form.   This specimen has great views from all directions except one side.   1,400$








OKD-657   Herkimer Diamond Scepter   Treasure Mountain Mine, Little Falls, New York.  A beautiful pair of scepters which have been reattached.  One crystal has a small chip to its stem and back edge, otherwise a damage free floater.  Excellent deep black stems.  Internal skeletal form.  This fine grouping measures almost 8 cm wide with the largest crystal being 5.5 cm wide.  Highly uncommon, aesthetic piece.  I've never seen one quite like this beauty.  950$









OKD-333    Aquamarine and Muscovite   ChumarBakhoor, Nagar, Northern Areas, Pakistan.    A very nice, substantial aqua which measures 10 x 5.5 x 3.5 cm.  This piece has a wonderful rich blue color with typical inclusions.  At one point in its growth it had a slight directional change giving the specimen a slight curve from base to termination.  Nice muscovite blades which are mostly isolated to the back of the specimen.  One tiny ding to one edge of the steps in the side of crystal…you have hard to look to find it.   900$








OKD-269, Front


Top showing tourmaline inclusions

Closeup of stepped base

Back view

OKD-269    Aquamarine on Muscovite with Tourmaline and Albite   Chumar Bakhoor, Nagar, Northern Areas, Pakistan.  WOW!  This piece has also passed the 10x magnification test and showed up with no damage or contacts.  It is a fully terminated floater with lots of branching muscovite, minor white albite and acicular black tourmalines scattered among the muscovite (very noticeable on back view) and in the cap of the primary crystal as shallow inclusions.  The tourmalines which include the big crystal run parallel to and just below the surface of its upper termination.   The base of this specimen must have once been on matrix but has totally developed into a fully terminated grouping.  This base is highly complex in it multiple stepped effect.  A great contrast to the simple termination developed on the top of the primary crystal and others within the grouping.  Nice clarity near top of piece and it becomes more included toward the base of the crystals.  The primary crystal in this piece is 7 cm in length with the overall dimensions of the piece being 7.5 x 7 x 7 cm.  A fantastic specimen for any collection.    1,600$









OKD-270    Aquamarine on Muscovite   Chumar Bakhoor, Nagar, Northern Areas, Pakistan.  Here is a fine large aqua which is trimmed by muscovites along the perimeter of its base.  There are several aquas here in a tightly bunched parallel growth.  The terminations are staggered in height.  Color is an even light blue and fully included by light veils.  It takes on the appearance of blue ice.  No damage but there is a shard on one side which has rehealed in place slightly ajar from the primary crystal.  The base is crudely regrown.  By this I mean it had only begun to heal and does not present well formed parallel faces.   The piece measures 8 x 7 x 6.5 cm.  All faces and terminations are glassy smooth.  Big and attractive.   1,650$








OKD-272, Front


Other side

OKD-272    Aquamarine on Muscovite   Chumar Bakhoor, Nagar, Northern Areas, Pakistan.  Here is another fine specimen, professionally trimmed and highly aesthetic.  The big 6.2 high, 6 cm wide) primary aquamarine dominated this specimen.  It has a pleasing color and central placement with its surrounding matrix.  A couple of other aquas, nice small white albites and fine mica well placed all add to the aesthetic value of this fine specimen.  Two tiny dings are visible with magnification (both less than a millimeter) and not noticeable without magnification.  Overall dimensions are 11.5 cm wide, 9 cm height and 6 cm deep.  A real killer which I would be proud to place in any quality collection.   2,000$