This month we feature a massive quartz from Pakistan. It's an impressive size even for a fine quartz crystal, but this one has an added dimension that makes it quite unique. From its original crystalized state an exsolution process has created beautifully etched crystal faces with wild jagged patterns. The crystal has maintained its transparency on the inside but the surface has been transformed into a complex geometric puzzle. There is even a linear vug wrapping around the crystal like a cliffside cavern (see photos here).
Malachite with Azurite
This month we feature a malachite and azurite from south of the border that seems to take on a symbolic holiday form of (all) sorts. The evergreen mass is a fibrous chatoyant malachite. Dangling from the bottom left are four main azurite clusters: pristine well-formed crystals that even show some transparency. The rest of the specimen has then been magically hung with spherical pyrite ornaments from China and topped with a complex penetrating spinel twin from Burma. A dazzling array for the season upon us.
Gold from Brazil
Pala International's featured mineral this month is a fine gold specimen from a relatively new find in Brazil. The majority of this material came to the market in early 2016, with some specimens only trickling out recently. This month we can offer one of our fine crystalized golds for a collector interested in a beautiful small miniature for their collection.
Smoky Quartz from Switzerland
This specimen appeals to the connoisseur on so many levels. Matrix gwindel specimens of this caliber are quite rare. What is very nice about this piece is it has a double-terminated single crystal smoky in front of the gwindel. The clusters of quartz crystals surrounding it are all terminated and sit on a white feldspar matrix. The gwindel itself is perched on the side, bending and twisting toward the center. It is well viewed from every angle.
Tourmaline from Afghanistan
This is a very fine pink tourmaline with a green cap from a unusual locality in Badakshan, Afghanistan. The tourmaline is from the Deodara Mine and sits on a nice matrix bed of feldspars and has a beautiful quartz crystal balancing the specimen on the opposite side. This is one of the largest and finest specimens to come out of this locality. The tourmaline is repaired at the base but it is a lock fit. This is really a choice piece for those collecting fine quality tourmalines/pegmatite minerals.
Apatite from North Carolina
This crystal of apatite is perched right on top of the quartz matrix. Measuring 2.6 cm x 1.5 cm x 2 cm, the main apatite crystal is 1.5 cm x 1.3 cm. This is rather large for the locality and is quite a deep purple. The apatite is ex John C. Medici Collection. It comes from Foote Lithium Co. Mine, Kings Mountain District, Cleveland Co., North Carolina, USA. It would be great for any collector of American rarities.
Azurite and Malachite from Laos
This specimen was offered to be in sync with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show theme, "Shades of Blue: Minerals of the World." This beauty hails from the Sepon Mine in southern Laos, an open pit copper and gold mine. (Gold production was suspended in 2013.) Its azurite blades range from deep blue to brilliant, and the malachite features bulbous apricot-like blobs, berry-like rounds, and even a pseudomorph at lower right. It's a beautifully complex specimen that calls out for consideration.
Goethite from Andalusia
First we feature another iridescent rainbow goethite found about 27 years ago. The perfection and coloring of this specimens is fantastic. Formerly in the collection of Emilio Rodenas.
Rutile from Madagascar
Our second featured specimen is a beautifully complex rutile from central Madagascar.
Prehnite and Tanzanite from Tanzania
This is a rare and remarkable specimen of well crystallized greenish prehnite in a fine cockscomb specimen. This beautiful group was found earlier this year at the Merelani Mine, Arusha, Tanzania.
To make the piece even more exciting and interesting, a well terminated bicolor (yellow and blue) tanzanite (3.0 x 2.5 cm in height) has grown into the side of this prehnite.
Goethite "Rainbow Castle" from Spain
This goethite growing in columns with vivid iridescences sparkles with all the colors of the rainbow. The sample, from a very unique find in the 1980s, was in a Spanish private collection.
Calcite with copper inclusions
Calcite with copper inclusions from the Keweenaw Peninsula, Copper District, Michigan, 3.5 x 2.5 x 2 in.
It has a beautiful scalehedron structure, a massive white calcite in the core and a clear outer layer including the peak of the crystal, which is transparent. The center layer is a brilliant copper phantom that scintillates in the light.
With impressive size, shape and color this specimen is definitely an icon in the mineral world. No damage, no repairs, just a pristine beauty.
This specimen was collected by Ben Williams’s father, John Williams, in the 1860s. During this time period the elder Williams worked at the copper smelter in Hancock, Michigan. Ben would have been a young teenager at the time. These pieces were likely passed on from father to son and pre-date Ben’s arrival at Bisbee, Arizona by about 15 years.
Most of these copper-in-calcites came out in the 1800s and early 1900s. The two main mines that produced this rare blend were the Quincy Mine and the Franklin Mine around Hancock, Houghton Co., in Michigan.
Erythrite from Morocco
Erythrite from the Bou Azar District, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco, 4 x 3.2 cm.
This aesthetic bouquet of erythrite crystals is from Morocco. The crystals are undamaged and sharp, with intense color. Great for any miniature collector!
While other examples of erythrite in the Pala International catalog are perched on matrix, this featured specimen seems to stand on its own. Its lovely crystals exhibit 'red' in all its hues.
Just as rhodochrosite takes its name from the Greek rhodokhrōs (rose-colored), erythrite is from the Greek eruthros/erythros (red). Its combining form erythr- is used in many a medical term, from erythrocyte (red blood cell) to systemic lupus erythematosis (the autoimmune syndrome sometimes characterized by a red butterfly-shaped rash thought to have resembled the bite of a wolf, lupus in Latin).
Benitoite from San Benito County, CA
This specimen is an exquisite benitoite on natrolite. The benitoite crystal itself is huge for the species, 3.5 cm in length. It features a striking trigonal crystal, but a little rough around the edges. This large crystal displays a beautiful color pattern radiating from a white core to brilliant blue edges. To top it all off the benitoite is in front of an equally striking white natrolite background, showing the ideal association of minerals from San Benito County.
Tourmaline from Brazil
Tourmaline on quartz from Santa Rosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 6.5 x 6.5 x 2.5 cm.
This specimen is a well perched multi-colored tourmaline on quartz. A fine crystal on its own, this tourmaline displays brilliant pink to mint into evergreen gradation of color. It's very pristine with virtually no damage besides the base. It features an admirable complex termination with gemmy sections running throughout. This bright tourmaline is well contrasted on a nice chunk of quartz.
Aquamarine from Vietnam
Aquamarine on quartz from Thuong Xuan, Vietnam, 10 x 4.5 cm.
This specimen features multiple, unrepaired, beautiful blue and gemmy aquamarine crystals on quartz crystal. Matrix is very hard to obtain from Vietnam's Thuong Xuan area near the Laos border. Pala International has good contacts from Vietnam via visits in the late 1990s and obtains specimens directly from Vietnamese miners through friends.
Silver from Kongsberg, Norway
This specimen is a lovely silver from a classic locality: Kongsberg, Norway. It is a beautiful horn thick wire silver that has great luster and patina. These types of silvers are very hard to come by. (Might that have anything to do with the fact that Kongsberg also happens to be home to the Mint of Norway?)
Green Beryl from Brazil
Green beryl from the Mimoso do Sul Mine, Espirito Santo, Brazil, 6 x 4 x 4.5 cm
This fine green beryl is from a find in Brazil dating back to the 1980s. The specimen is a beautiful cluster of doubly terminated beryls all with very fine luster and color. To have so many beryls together and in great shape is truly rare! This specimen would do well in anyone's beryl collection or world-wide collection as well.
Beryllonite from Afghanistan
Beryllonite, a rare species, from Afghanistan, 11.5 x 7.5 cm.
This fine specimen is a great rarity—a large, double-terminated, very complex beryllonite from Paprok, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. This is a specimen for an advanced collector or museum.
Calcite with Emerald from Columbia
Calcite with emerald, 8 x 6 x 3 cm, from Colombia.
We call this fine specimen "The Emerald Sail Ship," with its concave calcite catching the ocean's air. This is an aesthetic, large calcite crystal with no damage and a lively green emerald crystal attached at the bottom. The emerald has a fine, etched termination that adds to its beauty. The sail hails from the locality of La Pita Mine in La Pita, Mun. de Maripí, Vasquez-Yacopí Mining District, Boyacá Department, Colombia.
Chrysoberyl Twin from Brazil
This mineral is a chrysoberyl twin that dates back to the 1970s when they hit one large pocket full of great specimens like this very one. The surface of the crystal has very nice striations and the transparency can be seen in the tips of it. This V-twin chrysoberyl is quite large for the species and is in very good shape with no damage. A prize for any major collector!
Rough & Cut Diopside
On our way out the door and on the road to Tucson, we feature a rare and beautiful green gem. Diopside ranges from brown to yellow to olive green to intense green. This month we feature a couple of stunning cut diopsides from Burma. The larger yellow cushion is 17.45 carats and the smaller green one is 4.90 carats. These gems are paired with an exceptional evergreen crystal from China, measuring 5.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm.