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Fine Mineral Specimens

The price of mineral specimens have risen rapidly over the past few decades especially from 2017, as minerals collection has been seen as the next big investment boom due to its risk resistance capacity. Fine mineral specimens and precious gem quality crystals have now been enthusiastically sought after by both mineral collectors and investors. This is the main reason why the specimen price is almost 10-20 times what they were 10 years ago.

Fluorite is one of the most beloved and popular specimens and when the fluorite mines in Illinois closed in the mid 1990, prices remained at about the same level for 10 years as there was still such a vast quantity of specimen in the supply pipeline. However, prices have been going up rapidly since 2009 and now top quality specimens that were once sold for a few hundred dollars are priced at US$1,000-5,000 and more in auctions. As good specimens become harder and harder to find, it is foreseeable that prices will continue to go up. The prices have been steady for a while because of similar specimens supply from China. However, it is no longer the case as the mines in China are either depleted or closed by the government.

Let’s look at some top quality specimens sold at the Beijing Poly Auction in 2017.

Spessartine Garnets on Smoky Quartz

Dimension: 8cm x 5.2cm x 4cm

Locality: Wushan Mine (Wujia Cu-Au deposit), Ruichang Co., Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China

Price Sold: US$1,415

Wushan Mine produces most of the world’s top and important spessartine garnets & smoky quartz specimens. However and sadly, due to to the over-exploitation in the past decade, the mine is almost depleted and specimens of this kind are reaching extinction level.

Spessartine Garnets and Smoky Quartz on Felspar

Dimension: 16cm x 13cm x 12cm

Locality: Wushan Mine (Wujia Cu-Au deposit), Ruichang Co., Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China

Price Sold: US$7,076

Another beautiful specimen from this world-renowned mine. The spessartine garnets on this specimen are crystal clear and some are nicely scatterd on the feldspar making such a good color contrast. The smoky quartz crystal is transparent and has excellent gloss and lustre.

Phantom Fluorite on Quartz

Dimension: 14cm x 9cm x 5.5cm

Locality: Yaogangxian Mine, Yaogangxian W-Sn ore field, Yizhang Co., Chenzhou, Hunan, China

Price Sold: US$10,615

This is an extremely rare fluorite specimen from this famous Yaogangxian Mine. Fluorite specimens from this find usually exhibit purple and blue color. The Yaogangxian fluorite is most cubic with excellent transparency and color. Again, due to depletion of resource, most part of the Yaogangxian Mine is already depleted or completely exhausted and now ceased operation.

Red Hematite Quartz with Pyrite, Chalcopyrite, Sphalerite and Dolomite

Dimension: 17cm x 11cm x 6cm

Locality: Dongxiang Co., Fuzhou Prefecture, Jiangxi Province, China

Price Sold: US$1,769

Red crystal is the rarest type of quartz and seldom forms in clusters. Jiangxi produces world-class top quality red hematite quartz and supplies are very limited.

Amethyst with Calcite and Pyrite

Dimension: 12.5cm x 6.5cm x 6.5cm

Locality: Fengjiashan Mine (Daye Copper Mine), Daye Col, Huangshi, Hubei, China

Price Sold: US$3,185

This is a representative and most known amethyst specimen from the Fengjiashan Mine, Daye, China. Specimens of this type are always featured in magazines and journals.

Calcite and Quartz Cluster

Dimension: 27.5cm x 14cm x 10cm

Locality: Tonglushan Mine, Daye Co., Huangshi, Hubei, China

Price Sold: US$15,923

This specimen was discovered in 2006 in the famous Tonglushan Mine in Daye, Hubei, China. Specimens of this combinations are very rare and only a few were found in the veins.

Mongolian Quartz with Calcite

Dimension: 35cm x 33cm x 24cm

Locality: Huanggang Fe-Sn deposit (Huanggang Mine), Hexigten Banner, Chifeng Prefecture, Inner Mongolia, China

Price Sold: US$33,615

This specimen was found in the Huanggang Mine, Inner Mongolia in 2015. Due to explosives used in mining, specimens in such a good condition and size are very rare.

Rhodochrosite and Quartz on Matrix

Dimension: 15.5cm x 13cm x 9cm

Locality: Wutong Mine, Liubao, Cangwu Co., Wuzhou Prefecture, Guangxi Province, China

Price Sold: US$12,384

In 2009, two giant rhodochrosite specimens named "Emperor of China" and "Queen of China" were discovered in Wuzhou, Guangxi which shocked the mineral world, making this a famous locale. China has now become one of the few countries in the world producing specimen-grade rhodochrosite.

Botryoidal Hemimorphite

Dimension: 13cm x 11cm x 8cm

Locality: Wenshan Mine, Wenshan Co., Yunnan Province, China

Price Sold: US$1,769

Hemimorphite are usually in the color of white, yellow or colorless and specimens from this locale is most priced due to its vivid blue color caused by the high copper content.

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