Shine On: Photos of Dazzling Mineral Specimens

Donate Button 1

Donate Button 2

Post 1995

Shine On: Photos of Dazzling Mineral Specimens

LiveScience Staff
Date: 14 May 2013 Time: 10:35 AM ET
The Snow Angel
The Snow Angel
Credit: Heritage Auctions
This mineral beauty, dubbed the “snow angel,” was discovered during the digging of a well in India. The specimen is a silicate mineral called apophyllite-(KF), which appears in volcanic rocks. The snow angel is one of dozens of gorgeous minerals up for auction June 2, 2013.
Gold Sculpture
Gold Sculpture
Credit: Heritage Auctions
The opening bid on this natural gold “sculpture” is $15,000. This specimen comes from the Eagle’s Nest Mine in Placer Co., Calif.
Linarite
Linarite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
A specimen of a copper mineral called linarite contains unusual large crystals and could, conceivably, fetch more than $100,000 at auction, according to the auction house. All of the proceeds from the sale go to benefit Dallas’s new Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
Tourmaline
Tourmaline
Credit: Heritage Auctions
This 16-inch (40 cm) tourmaline goes up for auction June 2, 2013 with a starting bid of $30,000. Tourmalines are boron silicate minerals that get their rainbow-like colors from various elements such as iron, sodium or magnesium. This specimen comes from Brazil.
Cumengeite Crystal
Cumengeite Crystal
Credit: Heritage Auctions
Tiny but super-rare, this cumengeite crystal perches on a throne of brecca, or broken-up rock and mineral naturally cemented together. Cumengeite is closely related to boleite, which forms cubes of a similar blue hue and is found in lead and copper deposits. This cumengeite measures just a centimeter across and comes from Mexico.
Stibnite Swords
Stibnite Swords
Credit: Heritage Auctions
This stibnite “swords” are made of the elements antimony and sulfur and are up for auction on June 2, 2013 with an opening bid of $32,500. This frozen firework of a mineral was found in the Lushi Mine in Henan, China and measures 9 by 10 by 4 inches (23 by 25 by 10 cm).
Rhodochrosite
Rhodochrosite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
These stunning red rhodochrosite crystals are made of manganese carbonate. The largest of the crystals measure about an inch (2.5 cm) in length.
Opal Egg
Opal Egg
Credit: Heritage Auctions
The smooth egg shape of this specimen isn’t natural, but the rainbow-colored opal vein inside is. This specimen was mined in 1985 in Oregon. The brown areas are rhyolite, a volcanic, igneous rock. Opals are made from silica (the same stuff as sand or quartz), but are infused with water molecules. The arrangement of the silica diffracts light, causing opal’s multicolored sheen.
Cubanite
Cubanite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
Copper, iron and sulfur combine to make cubanite. This specimen, up for auction June 2, 2013, may be the largest cubanite crystal on record at 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) across. This cubanite was discovered in a copper mine in Quebec, Canada.
Wulfenite
Wulfenite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
The buyer of this wulfenite crystal (starting bid: $10,000) will also get a complete history of the specimen since discovery. Found in Mexico and first bought for $40, the chunk of wulfenite was owned by some of the early luminaries of the mineral business, according to Heritage Auctions. These crystals are made from lead, molybdenum and oxygen.
Strontianite
Strontianite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
Delicate strontianite crystals top a Sphalerite (zinc ore) in this specimen from Hardin Co., Ill. Strontianite is made of the element strontium mixed with carbon and oxygen. Yellow and blue cubes of fluorite add a flourish to this otherwise black-and-white bit of geological art.
La Madona Rosa
La Madona Rosa
Credit: Heritage Auctions
“La Madona Rosa,” a rose quartz specimen from Brazil, gets its name from a supposed resemblance to the Virgin Mary. Mary’s body is formed out of smoky quartz with a halo of pink rose quartz outlining her. This sparkling beauty stands 15.5 inches (39 cm) tall, taller than other known rose quartz specimens. Quarz is made from silica, and titanium, manganese or iron lend rose quartz its pink hue. Smoky quartz’s color comes from free silicon in the mineral. The starting bid for La Madona Rosa is $100,000.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: