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Highlights from the Marc P. Weill collection.

Euclas

13.8 cm, Gachala mine, Guavio-Guateque Mining District, Boyaca Department, Colombia. Saying that large and fine euclase specimens are rare is an understatement. Few collectors will ever have the option of owning one. Pierre Vuillet brought the specimen out of Colombia and it was then worked on by Markus Walter, who brought it to the attention of Dennis Tanjeloff and Daniel Trinchillo at the Tucson show. None of us had ever seen matrix euclase crystals before, except for a few other small pieces that had turned up at the same show. This specimen is a giant compared to the others. The main crystal stands over 10 cm tall, and is set off by a small pink fluorapatite crystal and the finely crystallized white calcite crystal matrix. It was purchased during the 2006 Tucson Show, in the parking lot of Daisy Mae's Steakhouse. In Tucson, good minerals may turn up anywhere, anytime.

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Gold

22.8 cm, Red Ledge mine, Washington District, Nevada County, California. A fine crystallized gold specimen is a quintessential part of any elite mineral collection. The Marc Weill collection has several but the one shown here is his favorite. In "leaf gold" such as this, each thin sheet actually consists of a single spinel-law twin that is flattened parallel to the twin plane. The Red Ledge mine is one of the most famous leaf gold occurrences in the California "Mother Lode."

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Emerald

(Beryl), 6.5 cm, Cosquez mine, Muzo, Vasquez-Yacopi Mining District, Boyaca Department, Colombia. Colombia is the foremost producer of quality emeralds in the world. The Cosquez mine, reaching depths of over 2,000 meters, is still in operation today and has produced hundreds of millions of dollars in emeralds. However, fine emerald crystal specimens are quite rare, because 99% of all gem-grade emeralds found are cut into gemstones. This crystal stands over 5 cm tall and is nearly 2.5 cm wide. It was pictured on the cover of the Extra Lapis issue no. 21 (2001) on emeralds. Brought out of Colombia by Jose Vesga in 1998 and sold to Daniel Trinchillo and Marcus Budil, who sold it to Marc Weill in 2004.

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Sperrylite

4.8 cm, Oktyabr'skoye mine, Noril'sk, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Eastern Siberia, Russia. Fine crystals of sperrylite are exceedingly rare. Most of the best crystals known have come from this locality, and must be carefully worked out of enclosing copper and iron sulfides. The superb crystal shown here is exceptionally large for the locality. Ex. Sandor Fuss collection, purchased from Stuart Wilensky in 2005.

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Calcite

with Stibnite, 13.2 cm, Dachang (Qinglong) Sb-Au deposit, Qinglong County, Qianxi'nan Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China

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Kesterite

10.3 cm, Mt. Xuebaoding, Pingwu County, Mianyang Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China

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Aquamarine

(Beryl), 20.2 cm, Mt. Xuebaoding, Pingwu County, Mianyang Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China

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Morganite

(Beryl), 14 cm, Urucum mine, Corrego do Urucum pegmatite, Galileia, Doce River Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Morganite (pink beryl) is perhaps the most difficult of the beryl varieties to find in specimens of world-class quality. This crystal was acquired by Dr. Ed David from Keith Proctor in 2001; Proctor had obtained it from the collection of M. Muse, Paris, France. Robert Lavinsky acquired it along with the rest of Ed David's collection in 2005 and sold it to Marc Weill. It has a wonderful rich pink color, good transparency, large size and attractive form. It is also a relatively complete crystal, which is unusual for the locality, where crystals are most often found partially embedded in matrix.

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Fluorite

8.7 cm, Cava Falcioni, Beura, Ossola Valley, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Piedmont, Italy. The most coveted specimens of fluorite are octahedral crystals with a deep pink to red color. This variety of fluorite comes from only a few localities in the world, and less than 50 superb examples are known from all of these localities combined. The specimen pictured here is the finest known example from a little-known locality. It was originally purchased from a local miner by Franco Bartolucci of Villadossola in 1982. He sold it in 1983 to Ulrich Burchard, a prominent European collector, in whose possession it remained as one of his most prized specimens until he sold his collection in 2005.

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Beryl

9.6 cm, Violet claims, Wah Wah Mountains, Beaver County, Utah. Deep red gem-grade beryl occurs only at this locality. Ex. Ed David Collection, sold to Marc Weill by Robert Lavinsky.

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Hydroxylherderite

7.8 cm, Xanda mine, Virgem da Lapa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. In 1976 around 20 superb crystals of lustrous, lavender hydroxylherderite were found in Brazil, virtually redefining the species for collectors. This is one of them. Ex. Sandor Fuss collection, Purchased from Stuart Wilensky at the Springfield Show, 2005.

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Pyrite

27.1 cm, Pasto Bueno District, Pallasca Province, Ancash Department, Peru. Very rarely a common species like pyrite transcends its stereotype and rises to the world class level. Countless tons of pyrite specimens have come out of Peru, but the truly elite examples can be counted on one hand--this being one of them. It was originally in Stuart Wilensky's personal collection, and was then sold to Bruce Oreck, from whom Marc acquired it in 2006.

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Kammererite

(Clinochlore), 5.2 cm, Kop Krom mine, Kop Daglari, Erzurum Province, Eastern Anatolia Region, Turkey. Only one locality produces high-quality clinochlore containing enough chromium to turn the crystals cherry-red to purple. This specimen is one of the finest examples known; it was purchased at the Munich Show in 2006.

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Barite

12.6 cm, Frizington, West Cumberland Iron Field, Cumbria, England. This incredible barite is one of the great classics of the Marc Weill collection. It has large size, with an attractive color, and it comes from the most renowned location for blue barite in the world. Such a large and aesthetic cluster would be unusual in any species, but the mine has been closed for nearly a century, and for a fine specimen to have survived all those years undamaged is very rare.

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Kunzite

(Spodumene), two views of the same crystal, 29.8 cm, Nuristan, Afghanistan. Kunzite, the pink variety of spodumene, is one of the two gemstone varieties of the species. The other is a chromium-colored green variety called hiddenite. Kunzite was first found in California and was named after Tiffany's gem expert, George F. Kunz (1856-1932). This specimen was acquired in 2006 from Astro Gallery of Gems.

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Tourmaline

(Elbaite), 12.6 cm, Jonas mine, Itatiaia District, Conselheiro Pena, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Jonas mine is the site of the single greatest tourmaline discovery in history. Tons of lustrous, gem-grade, cranberry-red crystals to over a meter long were removed from a single pocket in 1978.

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Opal

8 cm, Lightning Ridge, Finch County, New South Wales, Australia

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Gypsum

21.1 cm, Naica, Municipio de Saucillo, Chihuahua, Mexico. This gypsum cluster is the epitome of an aesthetic mineral specimen. The long slender crystals that seem to explode from the central point in every direction with just the right amount of space between them, as well as wonderful balance, make this a masterpiece. It isn't the most valuable specimen in Marc Weill's collection, but he enjoys it as much as any of his higher-value pieces. Acquired from the Daniel Trinchillo Sr. collection.

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Ruby

(Corundum), 8 cm, Mogok, Sagaing District, Mandalay Division, Myanmar (Burma). High-quality ruby crystals are exceedingly rare and extremely valuable; consequently they are usually faceted as gemstones. The finest cut stones as well as the best specimens have come almost exclusively from Burma. The Mogok Stone Tract has produced incredible gems and specimens for hundreds of years. This unusually large crystal is from the William Larson collection.

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Aquamarine

(Beryl), 17.5 cm, Nagar, Northern Territories, Pakistan. This giant aquamarine crystal is one of the first important pieces Marc Weill acquired at the Tucson Show in 2003. It is large and weighs over 5 pounds, but the absolute perfection coupled with size and color make it a dramatic and highly desirable specimen. Purchased from Marcus Budil.

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Tourmaline

(Elbaite), 9.1 cm, Jonas mine, Itatiaia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Jonas mine yielded the single greatest pocket of tourmaline crystals in history--a one-time find in 1978. Ex. Eric Asselborn collection to Wayne Thompson in 2001 to Daniel Trinchillo to Stuart Wilensky, to Irv Brown to Stuart Wilensky to Marc Weill in 2006.

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Gold

22.2 cm, De Maria mine, Placer County, California. Over 20 cm in height, this giant gold specimen is simply stunning. The rich yellow color reflects from the hundreds of crystal faces, making the piece come to life. The De Maria mine is located on the same vein as the famous Eagle's Nest gold mine. Acquired from Astro Gallery of Gems in 2005.

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Rhodochrosite

13.2 cm, N'Chwaning mine, Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. The N'Chwaning mine is most famous for some of the finest known rhodochrosite specimens. The crystal habit shown here is reminiscent of wheat sheaves. The dazzling red color of the rhodochrosite on contrasting, brilliant black manganese oxides makes this specimen stunning. Ex. Robert Lavinsky specimen.

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Descloizite

15.4 cm, Berg Aukas, Groorfontein District, Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

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Cerussite

21.3 cm, Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia. Cerussite specimens have long been a "must" in important mineral collections. The most coveted examples of the species come from the Kombat and Tsumeb mines in Namibia but are incredibly hard to find on the specimen market; the tight security at the Kombat mine precluded much specimen recovery work, and the Tsumeb mine has been closed for many years. Cerussite sometimes occurs in reticulated clusters of twinned crystals resembling a snowflake. Any collector would be fortunate to own a complete "snowflake" of cerussite. The Marc Weill collection includes the superb example pictured here, with five giant, interlocking snowflakes! No other museum or collector possesses a cerussite like this! Ex. Paul Heisse collection, purchased by Russell Behnke and sold to Daniel Trinchillo Sr., who sold it to Marc Weill in 2004.

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Smithsonite

18.9 cm, Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia. The rarest color of Namibian smithsonite is a rich cobaltian pink. The awesome group pictured is among the finest in the world. Ex. Ed David Collection, via Rob Lavinsky.

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Malachite

pseudomorph after Azurite, 10.4 cm, Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia. Occasionally, because of changing chemical conditions in the earth, a mineral is replaced by a different species while retaining its original crystal shape, thus creating a pseudomorph. Those from the Tsumeb mine are among the most renowned. In the specimen shown here, azurite crystals have been completely replaced by green malachite. Ex. Sandor Fuss collection, purchased from Stuart Wilensky in 2005.

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Mimetite

crystals to 2.6 cm, Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia. Several areas around the world have produced mimetite but great specimens have been found in only four localities. The most famous and sought after are the specimens from the Tsumeb mine in Namibia, which are considered to be the finest in the world.

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Dioptase

11.2 cm, Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia. Dioptase from Tsumeb is the standard against which all other dioptase specimens are measured. The Tsumeb mine has produced the largest dioptase crystals, with the deepest color and best luster. This piece comes from an early find in 1971. The deep green rhombohedral crystals are speckled with white calcites and small crystals of apple-green Smithsonite. Ex. Sandor Fuss collection; purchased from Stuart Wilensky.

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Smithsonite

3.7 cm, Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia

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Pyromorphite

17.1 cm, Bunker Hill mine, Kellogg, Couer d'Alene district, Shoshone County, Idaho. The Bunker Hill mine has produced many of the finest pyromorphite specimens ever discovered. With beautiful luster and large isolated crystals, this specimen is the piece de resistance of all pyromorphites. Ex. Wayne Sorensen collection; sold by Daniel Trinchillo to Marc Weill at the Denver Show in 2005.

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Bournonite

with Quartz, 10.5 cm, from the Yaogangxian mine, Hunan Province, China. Until recently the finest examples of bournonite were those found at the Herodsfoot mine in England over a hundred years ago. The Chinese specimen shown here totally eclipses all other bournonite specimens in world, weighing in at over a pound! It is definitely one of the finest specimens in Marc Weill's collection--his "signature specimen."

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Aquamarine

(Beryl), 18.3 cm, Haramosh Mountains, Northern Areas, Pakistan. This shockingly aesthetic aquamarine has a deep blue color and superb sculptural composition, with mirror-smooth luster. It is one of the finest mineral specimens in any collection in the world. Acquired from Astro Gallery of Gems in 2006.

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Carrollite

10.2 cm, Kamoto Fond mine, Kolwezi, Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The cobalt mines of the "Katanga Crescent" have yielded the world's finest examples of carrollite. Most crystals are under 3 cm, and the vast majority come out damaged, but the magnificent matrix specimen shown here is exceptionally large and perfect.

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Metatorbernite

5.9 cm, Musonoi mine, Kolwezi, Katanga, Republic of the Congo. Torbernite and its slightly dehydrated equivalent, metatorbernite, reach their finest development at the famous Musonoi uranium mine in the Congo.

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Rhodochrosite

7.7 cm, N'Chwaning mine, near Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. The stunning beauty and impact of rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home mine in the United States is only rivaled by one other mining area in the world, the Kalahari Manganese Field in South Africa. The deeply colored scalenohedral crystals shown here are quite different from the slightly paler colored rhombohedrons from Colorado. Ex. Dennis Tanjeloff collection.

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Ettringite

4.5 cm, N'Chwaning mine, Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. The finest examples of ettringite are found in manganese deposits in South Africa. Most such crystals are prismatic; the ones shown here are unusual in being aesthetically tapered.

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Cuprite

4.6 cm crystal, Mashamba West mine, Kolwezi, Katanga, Republic of the Congo. The greatest discovery of cuprite crystals in Africa took place at this mine in 1983, yielding huge, sharp crystals like the one shown here. Ex Sandor Fuss collection; sold to Stuart Wilensky, who sold it to Marc Weill in 2005.

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Azurite

9.5 cm, Copper Queen mine, Queen Hill, Bisbee, Warren District, Mule Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona. Bisbee azurites are among the most coveted in the world. This matrix piece, found in the late 1800's, is a perfect example. Acquired from Ulrich Burchard, a prominent European collector, who owned it for over 30 years. A hand-painted illustration of this piece appears in Eberhard Equit's The World's Mineral Masterpieces.

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Malachite

on Cuprite, 7.4 cm, Onganja mine, Seeis, Windhoek District, Khomas Region, Namibia. Malachite-coated cuprite crystals found at the Onganja mine in 1976 are considered classics. Many of the specimens were soaked in acid to remove the Malachite coating and reveal the dark red cuprite, but most collectors did not accept these as natural specimens and they were rejected by the market. The few that escaped the acid bath became the coveted examples.

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Pyromorphite

8.6 cm, Bunker Hill mine, Kellogg, Couer d'Alene District, Shoshone County, Idaho. The Bunker Hill mine has produced many of the finest quality pyromorphite specimens ever discovered. With beautiful luster and large, well-formed crystals, this specimen is a superb example.

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Mimetite

12.2 cm, Pingtouling mine, Liannan County, Quingyuan Prefecture, Guangdong Province, China. In 2003 a historic pocket of gorgeous orange mimetite in sharp, brilliantly lustrous crystals was collected from a small, quickly exhausted mine in China. The best specimens sold almost immediately, and within a short time were gone from the market. Shown here is one of the finest examples. Ex. Andrew Pagliero specimen.

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Mimetite

18.6 cm, Elura (Endeavor) mine, Booroondarra, Cobar, Robinson County, New South Wales, Australia

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Wulfenite

12.7 cm, Erupcion-Ahumada Mine, Los Lamentos Mountains, Municipio de Ahumada, Chihuahua, Mexico. Fine examples of wulfenite from Los Lamentos are always an important component of any elite mineral collection. Although specimens were quite numerous when they were being mined, fine examples were actually very rare. Very few specimens have the deep color, aesthetic crystal distribution and fine condition of the one shown here.

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Title Annotation:Part 1
Publication:The Mineralogical Record
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Words:2738
Previous Article:Introduction.
Next Article:Highlights from the Marc P. Weill Collection.
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