CHINESE FLUORITE COLLECTION of SHANGBAO AND YAOGANGXIAN FINDS from 1997-2009 |
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This bizarre specimen is from a very small mine, that I am told played out quickly and produced few specimens. I had never heard of it except for some small, inconsequential pieces a few years ago. What a distinct style! This piece, despite its size, is remarkably pristine. It is also a floater, complete all around, and even on the backside (where it broke from the pocket, and some later crystallization healed the wound). I have seen only 4 pieces from this mine, of this style, over several years. This is BY FAR the best one that I know of, and it must rank as one of the most dramatic Chinese fluorites around, I would think. It looks like a cluster of pagodas, even. The piece is a VIVID green color, as if you put food coloring into a normal fluorite by vacuum injection, and it positively glows when backlit. Our photos show it in normal lighting only, nothing fancy. In stronger lighting, it is entirely transparent. The whole display face, and all those outstanding gemmy cubes at the major octohedral points, is nearly pristine with just a few nearly invisible dings - if you look very closely. I consider this to be in remarkable condition , given its size and exposure in what was surely a narrow vein pocket. Out of all the thousands of Chinese fluorites we have seen, here is somethign entirely, uniquely, different. You can tell from the verbiage, I suspect, what i think of this piece. It was one of the previous owners' real prizes, purchased at the mining region in China in 2005.
This dramatic piece features a pristine, 3.4-cm-across fluorite with complicated, subtly layered, green-purple zoning. The crystal is pristine, complete, and totally translucent. The dolomite holding it up is very dramatic and 3-dimensional, complementing the fluorite by its very differrent shape and color. This is from a new pocket found at the end of 2008, and quietly trickled into Tucson in 2009. It should be remembered as a very distinct style, something different from any we have seen before for the mine or a fluorite combination. 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. The change is startling if you do not expect it, and quite pronounced in the right lighting.
This dramatic piece features a pristine, 3.8-cm-across fluorite with intense green-purple zoning. IT IS THE MOST INTENSELY COLORED CRYSTAL IN THIS LOT, AND I DID BUY A BIG CHUNK OF THE POCKET...No subtle phantom here! The crystal is one of the best and biggest of this style, and is really impactful. It is pristine, complete, and totally translucent. The dolomite next to it is 6 cm. It is perched on BOTH quartz and porcelain-like dolomite, making for a rgeat contrast. I got this directly from a foreign mineral dealer's private collection, and he from the mines...it has been trimmed with a saw on the backside to reduce it to a good aesthetic display, though saw marks remain on the rear and bottom (irelevant from the front display). These can be manually worked down, if desired, at some cost (and so I am offering it more cheaply first than I would afterwards, if this matters). All the quartz is good except for a few small xls at the base of the specimen. This is from a new pocket found at the end of 2008, and quietly trickled into Tucson in 2009. It should be remembered as a very distinct style, something different from any we have seen before for the mine or a fluorite combination. 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. The change is startling if you do not expect it, and quite pronounced in the right lighting.
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 a zoned, multicolored 2.8-cm 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. The dolomite has one broken crystal in the front-middle-right side, which is trivial. The piece displays wonderfully but I must say has a sawed surface on the upper-right edge (which you do not see form the display face, anyhow). So, the piece is offered at a reduced price if i do not have to go and manually work down the sawed edge to hide the flat mark facing to the rear, ad would be moreexpensive otherwise. This may not bother some people, and if so you get a good deal for it. 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. The change is startling if you do not expect it, and quite pronounced in the right lighting.
From the same pocket as the piece above, this is one of a very few such example I have seen perfectly extracted and with such aesthetics. This fluorite cluster is 5.8 cm across and looks like a floating city, perched atop the quartz like some mythical image of shangri-la on the mountains. The freestanding fluorite is complete all around the top, sides, and the back, only contacted on a tiny portion of the bottom/rear of the specimen. It is translucent, and pristine on all the faces. The sharp steppes are highlighted by a thin, intense purple phantom at all edges....mesmerizing in person! The fluorite "city" is standing upon a massive fluorite base which adheres to and extends between the two quartzes - which are also totally pristine and perfect. A sprinkling of sharp brown, translucent scheelite octohedra sparkles on the backside of the quartz. Scheelite, of course, is quite rare for this mine. In perfection and aesthetics, and color, and overall visual impact...this pocket just stands in a league of its own, I think. Nothing like it from anywhere in the world I can think of. Found in 2006
This fluorite cluster is 6 cm across and looks like a floating city, impaling itself on the quartz. The freestanding fluorite is complete all around the top and sides, only contacted a little on the lower backside. It is translucent, and pristine on all the faces. The sharp steppes are highlighted by a thin , intense purple phantom at all edges....mesmerizing in person! The photos do not do it justice. The unlikely assemblage of this combination piece screams"fake" but there you have it...it survived, somehow. The fluorite is perched on the quartzes, which are also totally pristine and perfect. A sprinkling of sharp brown, translucent scheelite octohedra, mixed with small bladed white calcites, overlays the rear of the quartz terminations and the valleys between the quartz and the fluorite itself. Scheelite , of course, is quite rare for this mine. In perfection , aesthetics, and color, and overall visual impact...this pocket just stands in a league of its own, I think. Nothing like it. Found in 2006
A 3.4 x 3 x 2.7 cm crystal that is glassy, transparent, and water-clear inside so that you can see through it to every detail of the matrix underneath, and the phantoms inside. Unusual for this mine, the crystal is not a shade of purple but rather a pale pastel-green hue. The crystal is absurdly (yes, tha tis the word I want!) pristine and perfect, and sits starkly on the edge of a matrix of quartz and muscovite.At first glance you can think its just pale and boring thus, but this is not the case...it really is superb, and stands out dramatically amongst the more common colored fluorites here for the sheer stark crystallographic perfection in symmetry.
This crystal is 3.6 x 3.5 x 2.8 cm and is, like the above specimen, so razor sharp and perfect in its symmetry that it looks fake, perhaps carved. I have seen thousands of YGX fluorites and I can tell you that this is another level, trascending even the many other expensive pieces from this mine over the years for sheer perfection. The crystal is pristine except for one single tiny ding or contct on one rear edge, but this is hard to spot in any case. The surface is glassy and lustrous, on all faces. The crystal is so transparent, with no internal flaws at all, that you can clearly see the matrix and some enclosed calcites through its entire depth. The association of a few stark white calcites, on sparkling muscovite matrix, really adds to its impact. The little daisy chain of crystals running down is more purple, and provides a bit of contrast as well. This is absolutely a pricey specimen, no question about it...but when you consider the context that in quality it represents the top 1% of 1% of a very productive mine, that has had its heyday come and go already, it really has to be a premium (and I paid a lot myself for it). I have seen a very few other specimens from this pocket (around 2005 as I recall) and they also went, quietly and out of the public eye, for huge money.
A matrix of small, sparkling muscovite crystals is host to several SHARP crystals of fluorite that are so sharp, so perfect on edge, they look carved. The largest edge is 3 cm. The color is as close to grape jelly as to any other term I could use to describe its rich hue in person. All the fluorites are absolutely pristine, except only a small contact at the back, lower periphery where the large freestanding cluster leaps up. The deep hue has to be seen in person...when backlit, incredible: and we did not overdo the photos at all by the way; so this is pale compared to real life. As a small cab, this piece does not have size impact going for it because the crystals are "normal size", but the visual impact of the combination of sharpness and color saturation is plenty impressive. As with other specimens in this collection, it is superb, among the best 1/100th of a percentile that this mine produced in its heyday for absolute quality.
This specimen leaps out at you for the sharp geometry and the intense purple phantom. It is of a quality unique in my experience for the phantom effect, from this mine. From any mine. It is absolutely pricey, no questio about it...but I cannot recall the last time a fluorite in this size range impressed me so much as so unique a critter. The crystal is 5.2 x 4 x 3 cm in size, and attached to a pristine quartz crystal that is, itself, phantomed. The edges are really, except on the closest inspection, razor sharp (the fluorite is pristine except for the very most trivial of edge wear on two spots, and a natural , shallow contact in the upper-left corner). The quartz tip is glassy and water-clear, totally pristine. The internal phantom is sharper in person than it appears here, and if anything more grape-jelly colored than appears here in our un-retouched photos. I find it amazing that the two species, side by side, should both show phantoms - and the stark contrast is visually appealing, obviously. The piece can be displayed any number of ways, as a bonus. To me, when I bought this collection, this piece was the star standout because it is just so dramatic, so different , than anything I had seen for the location among thousands of specimens. Others here are very, VERY choice. But this, it was unique to me. And I paid the price for this man's collection in some large part just to own it, and the other standouts here, however briefly. When you see a locality that literally has produced 10,000 fluorites and one jumps out at you this much, sometimes you (I) just have to suck it in. This piece, I think was special enough to do so.
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Rob Lavinsky, email@example.com
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