Museum Class Mineral Specimens

 

    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 inventory 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, important provenance, 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.

Plenty more to choose from...Pages     2      3     4

 

 

 

 

OKO-739

FIGURED SPECIMEN

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OKO-739    Quartz     2nd Sovietsky Mine, Dal'negorsk, Primorsky Kray, Russia.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  FIGURED SPECIMEN from the book, Quartz: An Introduction to Crystalline Quartz, page 10, by Harold Dibble.  This is the nicest example of this fine beta-form quartz that I have seen outside a museum.  The large plate measures 15.5 x 15.2 x 4.2 cm.  The crystals are both the recognizable light green and white.  Most of the smaller crystals are clear.  The largest crystals are up to 3 cm each.  One crystal near the center of one face (the one most individuals would consider the front and the side that was photographed in Harold's book) has a chip.  Other than this the piece is in amazing shape on both sides and even the edges.  Minor edge contact on one side.  Great example of this uncommon material.  $3,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-703

Front view

Back view

Back side with heavy tourmaline encrustation

Base with watermelon tourmalines

Top termination showing green and watermelon tourmalines

OKN-703     Tourmaline with Quartz      Minas Gerais, Brazil.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  One of his finest specimens this huge crystal cluster measures in at an impressive 58 cm long.  It probably weights in at approximately 100 to 150 pounds as I can just barely lift it waist high.  The main quartz crystals are double terminated and heavily encrusted by and included by large green tourmalines to 16.5 cm long and over 3 cm wide each.  The base termination and what I would call the top (top in the first two photos with myself) have very attractive watermelon crystals that are among the largest crystals in the quartz.  The back side is more heavily coated with a thick aggregate of tourmalines of all sizes.  The tourmalines are for the most part transparent with bigger ones being translucent.  The green is quite dark by very clearly GREEN, not black.  It is likely that many more of the crystals are watermelons (having pink cores and green rinds) but unless they are broke it is difficult to tell with casual viewing.  The luster on both the quartz and the tourmalines is excellent.  I just washed the specimen before the photos were taken but the specimen IS DRY, not wet.  The photos are obviously not studio pics and this is all the photographic work I am willing to put into this piece.  It is simply too difficult to move around.

There are plenty of tourmalines that are not terminated but equally as many are.  The terminations are crude to very nice depending on the crystal.  The quartz is in excellent shape with far less damage than would be expected for a specimen of this large a size.  The top and bottom terminations each have a small area with chipping... very minor.  I will not ship this piece so it is for pickup here or at a show I do.  A reasonably close personal delivery could possibly be arranged for a small fee.  A dolly is required to move this specimen and it is very difficult to move floor to floor (but is possible with effort). 

The piece is most suited as a large home decor or museum piece.  When properly lit and backlit it glows!  Fantastic display piece.    $6,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-983

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OKM-983     Wulfenite    Los Lamentos, Mexico.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  This is the finest small cabinet specimen of this material we have handled (and we've had many!).  It is damage free with large, highly lustrous, translucent, butterscotch colored crystals to 1.3 cm on edge.  7.1 x 6 x 4 cm overall with crystals everywhere.  Bright, vibrant color with no staining.  Fantastic, desirable, aesthetic example.  This specimen will include a custom engraved acrylic base.      $2,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-484

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OKH-484      Rhodochrosite        RESERVED         N’Chwaning Mines, Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field, North Cape Province, South Africa.  Ex. Thomas G. Fowler collection, circ. 1970s.  This closed manganese mine once owned by Assoc. Manganese Mines of South Africa, Ltd. has produced what many consider to be the finest rhodochrosite specimens ever found.  Due to their rarity they remain one of the most difficult collectable mineral specimens to find in quality pieces.  We have available a limited quantity of these rare rhodos due to the recent acquisition of the Thomas G. Fowler collection.  The ones listed here show limited or no damage (very rare for this material) and range from a very dark reddish pink to a rich, bright red.  All specimens have spectacular luster and intense color saturation, no matter what their color. 

I find this one to be the most appealing of all the specimens in the lot although it is not the classic deep red color and schalenohedral crystal form.  This miniature is a vibrant, intense cranberry (deep pinkish red?) and has pinacoid terminations.  It measures 4.3 x 3 x 2.1 cm and has no damage, less edge contacts.  Several dozen crystals compose the piece.  I can’t say enough positive things about this fine piece.  Keep in mind I am not backlighting these specimens or changing their color with any computer wizardry.  They are as one would expect the finest of this famous material to appear, in-hand.  $5,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-569

OKN-569     Herkimer Diamond Scepter      Treasure Mountain Mine, Fall Hill, Little Falls, New York.  FIGURED SPECIMEN in Collector’s Guide to Herkimer Diamonds, p. 51, Figure 33, 2014, Schiffer Publishing Company.  Collected by Paul Nuckols.  Large, 6.5 x 3.5 x 3 cm example of classic form (for the locale).  Rich, black 1.3 cm wide by 3.5 cm long stem partially surrounded by two well developed rider crystals.  Double terminated, floater with no damage.  This size, quality, and closed location make specimens like this one extremely uncommon.  Just try and find another one this good for sale anywhere, and this one is even figured!  Further… it is NOT repaired as almost all Herkimer diamond scepters or clusters are.  I really hate to give it up.  Even comes with a custom engraved acrylic base.  This is actually a rather low price for the specimen.  Someone will cherish this piece for years to come.  $4,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-712

OKN-712     Tourmaline    Aracuai, Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  Finding miss-sharpen tourmaline crystals is not all that uncommon but one of this size and high quality is truly unique.  It was one of the centerpieces of Harold's collection.  This single terminated crystal  is 28 cm long (almost a foot!) and the primary crystal is 3.5 cm wide and 2.1 cm thick on average.  It is very high in luster and one side crystal is clipped off, a likely contact.  I'd describe it as damage free.  It displays great from any direction.  The curve is not what is commonly seen, a healed break or series of breaks.  It is just simply curved... smooth, symmetrical and spread over the entire length of this massive crystal!  The termination is complex and generally fibrous in form.  All the prism faces show moderate striations.  This is one of those specimens that collectors simply go, "Wow"! and stare blindly at.  Even better in-hand.  $3,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-976

The tiny back spot at top right of this and the next image has been removed.

Scew dislocation

OKN-976     Topaz with Screw Dislocation     Virgem da Lapa, Jequitinhonha Valley, Brazil.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  This is a pleasing light to medium blue, natural topaz of very high quality.  The really unusual part is it obvious screw dislocation growth feature running its entire length parallel to the "c" axis.  More common in the beryl family of minerals these are quite uncommon in topaz crystals.  This one is only a couple millimeters wide but is much more obvious than my one image indicates.  It can be seen very clearly through the largest of the five non-etched faces.   Take my word on this one..."you can't miss it"! 

The luster on this fine specimen is exceptionally high showing no frosting or abrasion.  It is a damage free floater showing many surfaces etched to different degrees.  Some quite lightly and others heavily leaving behind razor sharp edges.  Internally all gem showing none of the typical veils or internal fracturing.  I only do point and shoot photography for these listings and this is one of those specimens that deserves better.  The crystal views great from any side and sits perfectly for display without a base.  Only one small chip on backside.  It is exquisite in hand and likely the finest specimen from Harold's collection.  7 x 6.6 x 5.5 cm overall.  $8,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-975

OKN-975    Topaz     Virgem da Lapa, Jequitinhonha Valley, Brazil.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  This is a pleasing medium blue, natural topaz of very high quality.  The luster is exceptionally high showing no frosting or abrasion.  There is one internal but shallow crack on one side that I've tried to show clearly in the fourth image.  Internally very clean for this material... almost all gem.  Great faces visible on all sides less one (the back) which is a mix of contacts that are healed, etched surfaces and a couple small chips near the base of the crystal.  Extremely good condition even on a micro level showing no minor dings, rubs or marks.  Great consistent color with no distractions from its high aesthetics.  The base is cleaved so the specimen sits great without any base.  Only one small chip on backside.  8.2 x 6.5 x 5 cm overall.  $5,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-988

OKN-988     Topaz     Southern Yunnan Prov., China.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  A very large crystal measuring 6 x 6 and 6.3 cm high.  Transparent with internal veils.  Numerous terminal faces, nice luster on all sides.  This is a more contemporary specimen (no more than 8 years old) and an excellent example of one of these.  I don't believe that I'd be able to get one this good at Tucson at the wholesale show for this price.  Only one small chip on backside.  Comes with a custom engraved acrylic base.  Great topaz!  $1,900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-982

Back.... base

OKN-982      Fluorite      Weardale, Durham, England.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection, prev. Richard Norman Kelley, perv. Lazard Cahn collections.  A large, historic specimen with wonderful provenance.  This museum sized piece measures 20 x 16 x 6 cm with nicely twinned and simple cubes to 3.8 cm each on edge.  Great purple color and transparency in areas and other zones of the crystals have that classic whitish look.  In excellent condition with only a couple very tiny corner cleaves close to the edges.  No rough edges or areas of lower luster.  Much better in person.  Tiny, clear, double terminated quartz crystals are scattered about over the display face making for more flash while the entire backside... base is coated by larger, intergrown quartz crystals of a more milky color.  Only one small chip on backside.  An exceptional quality English specimen for the discerning collector.  $4,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-196

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OKN-196      Sphalerite with Chalcopyrite, Pyrite and Quartz      Yinfengjian Mine, Dongxiang County, Fuzhou Prefecture, Jiagxi Province, China.  This is a twinned sphalerite crystal that sits on a plate of quartz crystals.  The crystal weighs several pounds and has dozens of chalcopyrites in high relief dotting its surfaces.  These chalcos are in epitactic alignment with the sphalerite's crystallography!  Next came the pyrite in a form that looks just like someone painted the material onto the surfaces of the chalcos and the sphalerite.  Next came more pyrite in well formed crystals randomly scattered about on everything!  Everything has a high to very high luster.  What an unusual and aesthetic assemblage (although the piece is far more aesthetic and interesting in hand).  Backside has a couple crystals missing but sides, top, and front are in great condition and display better than the images indicate.  This is a very impressive piece!!!  I only found three of these with all the Chinese dealers that I felt were in good enough condition to invest in.  This was the finest, by far.  This specimen will include a custom engraved acrylic base.   $1,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKN-194

OKN-194     Calcite and Heulandite on Quartz      Jalgaon, India.  A large showy partial vug of crystals dominated by a pair of intergrown, centrally located calcite twins measuring over 12 cm across in total!  The piece measures 16.5 x 14 x 11 cm.  The calcite is gemmy with some internal fracturing.  It has a pleasant light yellow color and the twinning can't be missed.  The quartz is extremely bright white making for a nice contrast.  No damage.  Beautifully trimmed, highly aesthetic display piece!  $900

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-848

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OKM-848    Barite     Indian Head Rock, Basin, Jefferson County, Montana.   By far, the finest example of this material that I have ever seen for sale.  Beautifully aggregated, not just jumbled together like most, with the largest crystal standing upright central to the piece.  Huge, measuring in at a whopping 11.3 x 8 x 6.4 cm.  the big crystal measures 7.6 cm on edge!!!  No damage and only expected edge contact.  The typical look...medium luster but bright when inspected on a micro level, amber color, good translucence, and the notable selective face overgrowths by smaller barites.  A museum grade specimen in all respects.  A thing of beauty in-hand.  $4,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKL-401

OKL-401    Mimetite with Cerussite, Quartz, and Tennantite      Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia, South West Africa.  Ex. Thomas G. Fowler collection.  From the 1971, “Gem Pocket” this mimetite is one of those exceptional crystal specimens that made the find famous.  The largest crystal is amazing for its quality.  For the find it can’t be considered exceptional in size measuring in at 1.6 cm, although it is large for the species.  It is however truly gem as the name of the find implies.  I have seen many of these hyped by other dealers as important, and they are NOT even gemmy.  This one has numerous important attributes:

  1. The crystal is gemmy and lustrous.  The largest GEM crystal from the find that I have seen.
  2. The crystal’s termination is unusual for the find.  Most of these crystals formed with a pinacoid or slightly modified pinacoid as a termination.  This one is much more complex. 
  3. The damage is negligible and not visible to the eye…the only damage is a small scrape on the backside of the mimetite’s termination visible with magnification.  All other areas of the piece are damage free.  The piece photographs nicely, although my skills at macro-photography do not show this.
  4. The primary accessory, twinned cerussite, creates an aesthetic wrap around the mimetite crystal, is very transparent like the mimetite, and is complete and damage free.

The specimen is an outstanding miniature that measures 4.4 x 3.9 x 2.3 cm overall.  The proportions are fantastic in relation to the size of this fine yellow mimetite.  Sorry for my poor photography skills.  This specimen is highly photogenic and I believe would easily exceed the Mineralogical Records cover specimens aesthetic value.  This crystal is the same size, far more interesting and GEMMY.  Possibly the most important piece in the collection.   Price on Request.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-149

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Bottom

OKM-149    Calcite on Galena        RESERVED        2nd Sovietsky Mine, Dal'negorsk, Russia.    Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection. I remember these only being available for a short time about 12 years ago.  I have always thought of them as the "iconic" Russian specimen.  They were very expensive at the time and I've only manage to ever get a few through the purchase of collections.  This is the best one that I have personally seen anywhere.  Not only is it fairly large, the galena crystals are highly lustrous and beautifully formed, almost sculptural.  The calcites are simple rhombs with white flattened rhombs as overgrowths on the larger first generation crystals.  They coat the backside of the specimen almost entirely and cap the front view as well as creeping down one side of the front display piece.  Aesthetic!!  The attachment to the matrix is all on the bottom on which the specimen sits nicely for display.  The only damage is a small chipped area to a couple calcites on the top...without magnification the spot looks like the second generation calcite crystals!  Great piece!  P.O.R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-171

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Close up of front center

OKM-171     Goethite      Florence Mine, Egremont, Cumberland, England.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  The classic location for this famous material.  "Kidney Ore"   This monster is a museum sized piece measuring in at 27 x 17 x 9 cm overall.  It is difficult to handle and difficult to display as it is probably about 20 pounds in weight.  Front and back are both damage free.  Calcite overgrowths on surfaces once attached to matrix and one small calcite cluster in the front adds some interest.  Not scuffed up, chipped or abraded in any way.  Beautiful, high quality piece.  P.O.R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-170

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OKM-170    Manganocalcite    Casapalea, Lima, Peru.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  Approximately 17 x 10 x 10 cm piece with endless clusters of beautifully terminated crystals.  Back is very nice also with sphalerite, pyrite and quartz.  With a lope some very minor damage can be found but this specimen is in outstanding shape for its size and displays as damage free unless very carefully scrutinized.  This is one of the nicest examples of this material that I have seen.  I won't ship this specimen, arrangements for deliver will need to be arranged.  It will likely need to be picked up at one of the shows I attend.  Great piece.  $2,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-809

OKM-809    Topaz     Virgem da Lapa, Jequitinhonha Valley, Brazil.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  This is a beautiful rich blue (images appear more washed out and lighter than the actual piece, also there are no green overtones, it is a true rich blue) natural topaz of very high quality.  The luster is exceptionally high showing no frosting or abrasion.  The accessory species is lepidolite and is sparse providing an attractive and not distracting highlight to this gemmy crystal.  Internally very clean for this material with no serious fracturing.  Views through to an etched backside that has some large smooth chipped regions that blend nicely with the etched regions.  One end is chipped and other fully terminated.  13.1 x 6.1 x 5 cm overall.  I've shown plenty of photos so you can determine if the backside damage distracts you.  I do not think it is distracting.  I feel it is a high quality example of rare to find material.  P.O.R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-807

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OKM-807     Spodumene with Tourmaline     Kharna-khuna, Darrah Pech, Kunar Province, Afghanistan.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  This large fine crystal is damage free, double terminated, of good color and luster.  Excellent all around!  The partial tourmaline embedded in the base of the crystal is a bonus.  A tiny tourmaline is stuck in side of this kunzite and can be seen in the third image.  Wonderful large example measuring 13.5 x 9.5 x 2.5 cm.  Aesthetic and robust.  $3,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-818

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OKM-818    Barite    Cumberland, England.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  A fine example of this classic material in an attractive matrix specimen measuring 11 x 9.5 x 6 cm.  Single and double terminated crystals of lustrous, transparent barite to 6.7 cm each are scattered nicely on the surface of hematitic matrix.  Some crystallization on back but it is minor compared to the display face.  A couple of the crystals are missing their tapered terminations due to what appears to have been contacts with other crystals or matrix.  I think the specimen is natural and is free of any human damage... an unusually thing for such an old specimen.  $3,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKM-970    Calcite with Chalcopyrite     Brushy Creek Mine, Greeley, Viburnun Trend, Reynolds County, Missouri.  Ex. Harold L. Dibble collection.  A very famous find well described in the literature (see Les Presmyk's article in Rocks and Minerals, Nov/Dec. 1997).  A large 21 x 17 x 11 cm specimen which sits at an attractive angle.  Great luster (has a wet look to it) and aesthetic form.  The luster is not so evident in my images but it is certainly of the highest luster to be obtained in the gray variety of crystals from this find.  A couple minor tip cleaves are there and not distracting and in the overall appeal of this museum class specimen.  Most would consider the piece to be in very good shape.  Easily the nicest I have owned and the nicest I have seen outside a museum.  This piece has a big visual impact.  $3,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKL-948

OKL-948     Gypsum (variety Selenite)     Red River Floodway, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  These recently acquired specimens (2015) are from the private collection of the field collector who has liquidated his best finds.  Each comes with a custom engraved acrylic base.  They view magnificently from any direction.  The large crystals are swallowtail twins, gemmy, amber in color and relatively free of flaws or inclusions (especially when compared to most material from this find). This example is huge at 13.5 cm wide and has TEN swallowtail  twins.  Two tiny tip rubs on the crystals the piece stands on (displays totally damage free), has the highest luster possible for the species, and is simply impressive!  Among the very best ever found.  Comes with a custom engraved acrylic base.   $550

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKK-662

 

OKK-662    Vesuvianite     Jeffrey Quarry, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada.   Ex. Michael Walter collection, prev. Dr. Steve Chamberlain collection.  Figured Specimen, Rocks and Minerals Magazine, 55:189, Fig. #3.  I will provide a copy of the article with the purchase of this specimen.  When this find was made in 1979 this would have been one of the best specimens recovered.  I know they get bigger as more impressive as the recent Mineralogical Record article shows but those specimens are in museums or museum bound.  For this material, this specimen is a great one and seldom available in example as nice as this.  It displays well with its two points of attachment being the bases of the largest crystals and is damage free.  Clean and natural including its fine blocky terminations.  One minor backside, healed, attachment and attractive second generation, gemmy crystals attached.  4.2 x 2.7 x 1.5 cm.  Great translucence and the fine color associated with the green variety.  I have many other smaller specimens from this find but this is the best by light years.  $900

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKH-722

These first three images are correct for color

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OKH-722      Cerussite on Smithsonite      Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia, South West Africa.  Ex. Thomas G. Fowler collection.  This monster could be the King of the collection!  It is a striking specimen, presents an attractive mineral combination, is in wonderful condition, is fully mineralized on all side, is very three dimensional…  it makes an impression when sized up with any smithsonite.  The color is not all that unusual but the form is great an the crystals attain a very respectable size.  There are some contact areas on the back but they are minimal and the front is damage free and consistently of the highest quality over its entire surface.  The twinned cerussites reach 1.7 cm in size and are gemmy.  The overall dimensions of the piece are 11.2 x 10 x 5.2 cm.  This one is a killer in all respects other than having some crazy color.  Yes, expensive but not a crazy price either.  Comes with custom engraved acrylic base. Price on Request

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKL-320

 

Back!?

Top edge

Bottom

Most likely, this is the front view

OKL-320      Cerussite     Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia, South West Africa.  Ex. Thomas G. Fowler collection.   This specimen is one of the huge “snowflake” specimens that has become a mineralogical icon and nearly impossible to find for sale.  They are well represented in the world’s important museums but seldom in most collections.  Even Tsumeb specialists have difficulty acquiring these in good specimens: their being so fragile, their rarity, their extreme expense if available, and the fact that the large ones like this were difficult to fit into the miners lunch boxes all make for specimens like this to be exceedingly rare. 

This fine example is narrower than many but is complete in showing the six rays present in the best twins clearly.  This one is unusual in that there is almost no damage, lest one small chip on the back, and it views almost equally well from both sides.  One repair also.  Magnificent is an understatement when it comes to this exceptional mineral specimen.  It could be displayed various ways… if on edge it sits well being fully stable and presentable.  The side that I am referring to as the back is just as lustrous and displayable as the front.  The backs coloration is different with the center of the crystal being a mild yellow color which grades to clear at its extremities.  The overall clarity is average to good for one of these big specimens and the luster is exceptionally strong.  There are two tiny areas of druse coated rock matrix clearly visible in the images but this specimen was clearly a floater in the pocket and has no visible points of attachment.  The base is well crystallized, as well but not as displayable.  It sits great on this base, as I am calling it, but would display very nicely in a vertical alignment.  Very nice in every regard.  Comes with custom engraved acrylic base.  Price on Request

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKL-323

OKL-323      Cerussite on Mottramite    Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia, South West Africa.  Ex. Thomas G. Fowler collection.  This is a major specimen and likely center piece for any Tsumeb collection.  All the twinned crystals are very robust and very clear with minimal inclusions and cloudiness.  Selective faces are frosted while most are glassy giving the crystal excellent contrast.  The deep green matrix also sets off these huge cerussites.  The specimen weighs several pounds and measures 10.5 x 8 x 6 cm.  The individual crystals are up to 4.8 cm in diameter.  One missing crystal directly on lower edge of piece from removal, one very small chip on a hollow crystal, a little edge chatter on one crystal, and a tiny chip in one other.  This sounds like a lot of issues but given the enormity of this important specimen it is still important and it certainly displays well as can be seen in the images.  I believe this to be a great bargain and think it should draw a lot of attention.  Comes with custom engraved acrylic base.  Price on Request.

MUSEUM SPECIMENS PAGE 2

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