CHINESE FLUORITE COLLECTION of SHANGBAO AND YAOGANGXIAN FINDS from 1997-2009 |
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This is from a new pocket found at the end of 2008, and quietly trickled into Tucson in 2009. It is a select, cherrypicked piece featuring cuboctohedral purple crystals phantomed with deep purple cores. Only a handful of specimens in this pocket were purple! The fluorite is perched on beautiful, lustrous, dolomite crystals. The dolomites have a porcelain-like quality to them and the stark contrast in texture and geometry is appealing. The larger fluorite, 3.4 cm across, is pristine and the smaller one is nearly so (with only a small contact-induced spot on the far left edge of one corner). The dolomite on the display face has excellent lustre, and is complete except for only a few peripheral crystals. I know that quality specimens from this pocket were going for prices much higher than this, under the table and privately at Tucson. It will, in retrospect, turn out to be one of the more interesting fluorite combinations from China and is really a unique combination so far as I can see.
This is from a new pocket found at the end of 2008, and quietly trickled into Tucson in 2009. It is a select, cherrypicked piece featuring subtly phantomed, green-blue fluorite perched on beautiful, lustrous, dolomite crystals. The dolomites have a porcelain-like quality to them and the stark contrast in texture and geometry is appealing. The fluorite is pristine over the length of the display face and the crystals measure to 2 cm. I know that quality specimens from this pocket were going for prices much higher than this, under the table and privately at Tucson. It will, in retrospect, turn out to be one of the more interesting fluorite combinations from China and is really a unique combination so far as I can see. NOTE: these exhibit the photographic property of metamerism. They change colors from halogen and professional bulbs (more blue) to indoor fluorescent lighting and even natural sunlight (more green). Examples from both are shown here.
This piece features a solid pedestal of fluorite with a single larger crystal atop, nicely decorated with a sugary coating of quartz on one side, and fat milky crystals on the other, with the green fluorite popping up in between! Unusual.
An unusual, thin, elongated plate of intergrown crystals. The color is varied between purple and green hues, sometimes mixed. This is from a small prospect, which has produced very little over the eyars, and was found in 2004-2005
For my taste, the best miniature I have yet seen from this pocket, and a most unusual piece for this mine, with a rich purple color. This is from the dolomite pockets at the end of 2008. The crystal is 3 cm across, translucent, and complete all around. It is SUPERBLY formed, and has a really good contrast with the lustrous dolomite matrix. The chinese dealers and sources valued these purple Shangbao pieces very high, when they came out. This pocket, with the dolomite association, will I think go down with time as one of the great Chinese fluorite finds.
An unusual speicmen from a find several years ago, with intense greeen fluorite - a single cuboctohedron that looks like it was sprinkled with sugar. It is nested in a thin plate of brilliantly sparkling quartz, with ivylike growths of quartz that invest the fluorite in 2 places. Overall VERY sparkling and pretty, from an unusual find at this less productive mine.
A pristine , fat single crystal, complete all around except for a contact in back, that is just unusually intense in color for this locale.
This plate of intergrown fluorite crystals has intense lustre and glassiness. It has a very sharp horizon line with deep color, and subtle phantoms showing. The piece is pristien on the display face, with some contacts only at the lower edge/bottom.
A huge 6-cm crystal, very nicely colored a pastel blue with phantoms, perched on quartz and a bit of matrix. The fluorite is beautiful, for its color and its unusual elongation. It is very gemmy, so that you can look deep down into it. In person it is extremely 3-dimensional, and hence the previous owner's valuation at $3750 is not insane - in person. But based on the photos and how I amortised this lot, we priced it down quite a bit for the web.
One of the few purple fluorites to ever come out of Shangbao, it seems, this is even more rarified�one of the few purples to come out in the end-2008 dolomite finds. Most of the crystals associated with the dolomite in a series of several pockets were light blues and pastel greens, with a few pinks. This features a sharply phantomed purple crystal about 2 cm across, with others, in a pristine floater cluster with quartz and sparkling pyrite. Overall, a striking combo and quite unique for the locality.
A superb miniature with a sharp, gemmy, 1.7-cm pahntom crystal perched at the apex of muscovite matrix. The purple on yellow contrast is attractive and the phantom inside really makes it more special.
This is STUNNING. The crystal is 2.7 cm across, absolutely limpi dand transparent, and stands dramatically off the matrix on full display. It has a riveting phantom, deep purple, asymettrically included. The overall effect is striking. This is a large miniature or small cab (trechnically), but is in any case one of the finest fluorites in quality I have seen around, for this mine. It is just so stereotypically perfect in its form and symmetry, in its display, but that off-center phantom adds the tweak needed to make it world class for its size range.
A massive stepped cuboctohedron to 4 cm, is perched on spiky quartz on this nice small cab. Intense purple fluorite of this color and saturation is not common for the locality. The piece is complete all around, and the association of minute pyrite bits adds some sparkle. It is pristine.
An INTENSE PURPLE PHANTOM with incredible transparency. This crystal glows with color, and is 2 cm across. It is perched on the "shoulder" of a lustrous quartz cluster , for a very dramatic piece.
A SHARP 2-cm crystal, perched on matrix. Perfection in crystal form, and a deep color, combined with the contrasting matrix, make this a superb miniature.
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