31 May 2013

Aquamarine crystals, native silver wire, and amethyst stalactites

This is a lovely specimen, displaying vertical and horizontal Aquamarine crystals - both of which are gemmy blue and perfectly terminated. The top portion of the vertical Aqua is like clear blue glass it is so gemmy. Several smaller crystals are also present and all sit atop a matrix of Abite... From the Erongo Mountain, Erongo Region, Namibia.  3.2 cm by 7 cm by 3.3 cm. 
This is an amazing and quite thick wire of Native Silver curling atop white Quartz matrix. Silver Islet is a prized locale for collectors and one that is now under water and inaccessible. The mine itself was actually located on an islet in Lake Superior and as one would expect, eventually the water rose higher and flooded the shaft. Authetic Silvers from the Silver Islet Mine date back to as early as 1868 when ore was first discovered by Thomas MacFarlane to as late as 1884 when the mine was finally closed after yielding over $3 million in Silver. The above specimen displays a beautiful antique patina, which is indicative of its age, over strong luster. From the Silver Islet Mine, Silver Islet, Sibley Township, Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada.  4 cm by 3 cm by 2.5 cm.
This is definately not a common thing to fnd. I can't recall seeing another specimen that featured three stalactites of nearly the same size rising up from a single matrix. The middle Amethyst finger rises 7 cm and the others are close to the same. The surfaces of the specimen are very glassy and reflective with a great deal of light play and sparkle. There is no damage or contacts to speak of and the stalactites are all in excellent condition. Very well trimmed also. From the Santino Quarry, Artigas, Uruguay.  10.4 cm by 16.3 cm by 11.5 cm. 
Three more jaw-dropping specimens from The Tucson 2013 Showrooms.  Many more at the link.


  1. Gemmy. I've not seen this usage before. Does it mean gem-like in quality? And is this a common term in rock collecting?

    1. I've heard the term used that way - when a crystal is free of inclusions, surface contaminants, etc.

  2. I'm enjoying the recent geology posts!

  3. This reminded me of a documentary i've seen a while back .. not the National Geographic one though




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