Crystal Mine
P.O. Box 18941
Reno, NV  89511
775-852-6046
Jack Crowley
jcrowley@crystal-mine.com

NEWS:

9-22-15   The Paypal logo on the bottom of the New Arrivals and General Stock Pages is not working.  I'm working on it.  In order to make payment try:   jcrowley@crystal-mine.com    when you go to Paypal. 

October 11, 2019.    New Arrivals Page 2   has  been updated with a suite of mixed specimens from thumbnail to cabinet size pieces. represented in this update are specimens from a couple of field collecting expeditions this summer.  The first batch of specimens are from the Dispozitch mine, Mineral county, Nevada.  This is a "lost" or misplaced mine we have been looking for off and on for 30 years.  It is mislocated in all the literature.  We finally found it after a grueling hike in the Excelsior mountains, and to help prove we had the right location, there was an old wooden sign in the side of the main adit that said "Dispozitch lead silver mining company".   The mine has been thoroughly worked out by the miners, and very little ore was found in place.  What made this mine noteworthy, in the literature the ore was listed as linarite, brochantite and sulfides.  As we looked over the little bit of ore left in place, the minerals present are galena, chalcopyrite, and tetrahedrite as sulfides/sulfosalts.  It is all partially oxidized with linarite very abundant, with lesser brochantite.  A colorless mineral, late stage, present with the linarite, on at least one specimen is clearly leadhillite in less than 1mm colorless crystals of classic form.  On the majority of specimens it is very difficult to tell whether the colorless sparkly material is leadhillite or cerussite.  Two specimens we collected had rosasite in 1mm blue green balls and 1mm spherules of hemimorphite in classic crystal form.  Although we looked for it, we could not definately say whether there is caledonite present in the ore at times.  We found one .5 mm vug with very tiny microcrystals that appear to be caledonite, but it is uncertain of the ID...we just went by the color, that odd ambergris green that is typical of caledonite.   The mine was abandoned about 1918, and had old dynamite sticks in one adit, that look rather unstable.  

The second batch of specimens are demantoid garnet crystals, of light to dark yellow green, in small crude crystals.  These are from the Uncle Billy Rogers mine, in Hope Valley, Alpine county.  This is purported to be the 1st copper mine in California.   When collected the specimens were infested with sharp octahedral crystals up to 5mm of pale beige color.  These appear to be clay replacing scheelite.   These pseudomorphs pretty much fell apart after a few weeks out of the mine.    All the specimens had to be etched out of calcite to expose the crystals.  

The third batch of specimens are little molybdenite rosettes in quartz from Molybdenite creek in Mono county, California, south of Sonora junction on US395.  I was curious about why the creek was named Molybdenite creek, as there is no listing for it in Mindat.  So I hiked up the creek, and after two trips, managed to find the molybdenite prospect on the side of a large quartz mass embedded in the granite country rock.  Several representative specimens, typical for the locality are listed here. 

The fourth batch of specimens are several larger pieces of andradite and epidote from the Merrill prospect on the west side of Coyote flat/Coyote ridge, Inyo county.   These are reddish brown crystals with satiny luster, usually with some, not particularly nice, epidote.  One specimen had a nice epidote vug, the only one collected.    

 September 30, 2019  New Arrivals Page 3 has been updated with a suite of neptunite specimens, with a few benitoite specimens also.  I set the prices fairly low, as a quick check of the internet will show.  Specimens range in size from thumbnail to small cabinet in size.  These were collected quite a few years ago and are not new material as the mine has been thoroughly mined as well as heavily collected and cleaned out.  It is very unlikely that any decent quality material will be forthcoming  from this location in the future.  

September 6, 2019.    New Arrivals Page 1  has been updated with a mix of less expensive to somewhat more expensive mixed minerals.  I put a little bit of everything in this update, some self collected material as well as purchased specimens.   

 

August 20, 2019.    New Arrivals Page 4  has been updated with a suite of mixed minerals from around the world.  This update features superior quality minerals priced at $300 and more and most specimens are cabinet to large cabinet size specimens.  Featured are a fine Pingtouling mimetite, an excellent Milpillas azurite, a really nice Liufengshan azurite,  a great Vera Cruz amethyst, and a couple of superb epidotes from a one time limited find from Tormiq area of Pakistan; a juicy raspberry read liddicoatite from Madagascar, a fine Los Lamentos wulfenite, and several very good vanadinite/barite combos from Mibladen.   Great eye candy in this update.  

Tucson shows, 2019.   I left Tucson on February 6, so I may have missed a bit, especially at the main show at the convention center.  In general, not being rich, I generally consider any specimen over $300 as pricey, so my commentary reflects this.   It rained like the dickens on the 4th/5th of Feb...many dealers had a problem with water; on the Sunday it rained so hard, many of the outdoor dealers had to cover their stock with plastic tarps...made it tough to look at rocks.   The tents weren't' so bad, other than leaks...however in a few cases, the floors were running with a half inch or so of water.  Dealers were scrambling to get the cardboard boxes off the floor before they became water logged.   Nice to be away from Reno and all our snow this year...even when raining Tucson was in the 60's.    My focus in this review is primarily on the non-US dealers.    So, for what I saw, here goes:

Mexico; Nothing significantly new.  Barite on lime green mimetite.  A limited number of these at one dealer.  I acquired several of these as they are relatively new.  Very little adamite available.  Very little wulfenite, what I saw was mostly from Ojuela mine, and greatly increased in prices.  I saw a new batch of hemimorphite from the Ojuela mine.  Pretty, thin, white to transparent crystals.   One dealer had some nice amethyst from Vera Cruz at somewhat reasonable prices, with a $100 or so you could get pretty nice pieces, albite rather pale purple.  Crystals with the deeper color were pretty much gone from his stock.   Specimens of amethyst in general, scattered through all the motel dealers, were quite steep in price.    Milpillas azurite specimens were rather abundant.  Small specimens, miniature size or smaller, were lower in price in many dealers.  Larger pieces, small cabinet and larger,  were still quite expensive.  A lot of variance in price from dealer to dealer.   The Choix multi-color smithsonite is way less common, and pieces with nice color are now quite expensive.   The Ojuela mine mottramites from a few years ago are pretty much gone from dealers shelves.  Ones I saw were for the most part rather expensive.  Still managed to find a few for the site.    No new conichalcite at all from Ojuela.  

South America;  Lots of pyrite from the Huanzala mine at rather high prices considering there is literally tons of the pyrite scattered all through the motel dealers.  However, 90% of it has damage to some degree.   The find of epidote from Canete province, Peru which was everywhere last year, is still around, but only a few dealers had it this year, and the prices have gone up considerably.  From the same area as the epidote is axinite, in large bladed brown crystals.  Nearly all that I saw had some degree of damage.   The few that were damage free are quite expensive, well over $100 for a cabinet specimen of 7 or so cm.   The clinozoisite from Peru is still around, and plentiful.  Prices for the same quality pieces went from say $20 to well over a $100...pays to shop around for those.   I didn't note anything else as new material from South America (exclusive of Brazil).   Amethyst geodes from Brazil/Uruguay are very plentiful and still expensive. 

Morocco; Lots of vanadinite in the Moroccan dealers.  Here again, 90% is of average or low quality.  Some really pretty red crystals on white barite from a newer find by the miners there.  Very nice material.  A few pieces of the deep red crystals on black matrix were around; pricey, but quite pretty.   The brown crystals, very sharp, sort of a chocolate color, from the finds of a couple of years ago, were still present in several of the Moroccan dealers booths.    Bouismas mine silver specimens were still around, not as abundant as last year, and more expensive.  Imichil epidote specimens, with the stout green but small crystals was quite abundant, generally over priced in my opinion, considering the abundance of it and not that great of quality for the most part.   Some erythrite scattered through the Moroccan dealers, most of low quality.   Skutterudite from Bouismas was present in a few of the Moroccan dealers booths.  Quality varied considerably, and prices were generally a bit expensive.  Moroccan pyromorphites were pretty much gone.  A few dealers had a bit of it, but quality was poor in general.   Moroccan barites were plentiful, with prices, here again, all over the place.  The blue barites from Nador were far less common; undamaged, nice blue specimens were quite pricey.   Moroccan fluorite, especially the yellow cubes, were relatively common, with rather poor quality and not much eye appeal.   Moroccan azurite, other than thin drusy layers of micro-crystals on various types of matrix, were generally absent.  I didn't see any really nice specimens at all this year in the Moroccan dealers booths.   Much less than last year.   Gersdorffite, which seemed to be a relatively new occurrence from Bou Azer, was plentiful in a couple of dealers booths.  Nice large crystals with silvery luster.  Most of the pieces I saw were larger specimens, over 12 cm, etched out from a calcite matrix.  Prices varied on these, depending on damage.  Quite a few of the specimens had cracks running through the crystals themselves.  Probably some sort of stress reaction when they formed.   

From the Zaire and Congo areas, I saw lots of malachite and malachite/chrysocolla combos.  Mali garnet, epidote, and prehnite specimens were less common than last year.  One dealer, who is actually from Mali, had a table full of specimens that were brought over in barrels with no padding.  They were not cleaned, still covered with the original dirt they are found in.   Prices were reasonable, but hard to find specimens without damage.  I still managed to snag a few.   The prehnite, especially, was frequently dinged/rubbed.    Other than that, not much new.  

From China;  Pyromorphite a lot less plentiful.  Good bright green with/ without yellowish tint, crystal quality quite high, were very expensive.  All the nice small cabinet specimens I saw were $1000 or more.   Still a fair amount of plumbogummite around, with prices somewhat reduced from a few years ago.  Another one that it pays to shop around...prices were all over the place; a small cabinet specimen with nice blue color and not too much corrosion of the crystals would run anywhere from $200 to over a  $1000.     Wulfenite was relatively scarce, and specimens of any quality are expensive.    Fluorite was very abundant, every Chinese dealer had lots of specimens with prices all over the place again.  Quite often, I noticed decent pieces were priced very high.  Literally tons of the stuff everywhere.  Azurite was again quite abundant with the vast majority being of average/low quality.  Pieces with crystals over 5mm or so were quite scarce.    Not much cinnabar around.  Not much stibnite around.  Spessartine specimens were fairly common, with good quality pieces running much higher in price than a few years ago.   The Huanggang mine area specimens were present here and there in the motel room Chinese dealers; here again, prices varied considerably from dealer to dealer.  Multiple different minerals from there, too many to list.   Saw one rather neat arsenopyrite coating lollingite specimen on matrix that I purchased.    From Mt. Xuebaoding area, much less aquamarine, scheelite, cassiterite.  The prices on the scheelite and cassiterite specimens were up considerably.   There were a few specimens of hematite/quartz combos from Jinlong hill.  The majority of specimens had broken quartz crystals, usually several, which detracts considerably from them.  Ones with no damage/broken quartz were rather expensive, going for more than $100, in small cabinet size specimens.  

Asia exclusive of China;  The azurite from the Sepon mine in Laos is generally gone.  Mediocre quality specimens with small or drusy crystals were somewhat common...I think I saw maybe 3 or 4 dealers in the motels with them in their offerings.   Pieces with larger crystals, say over 5 mm or so, were somewhat uncommon, although a few of the Chinese dealers had better quality pieces, usually in large cabinet size, with prices in the $1000 or so range on up.    Damage is a problem on the mid price range specimens.  

Lots of Brucite from Pakistan, with wide range of prices.  Very light yellow pieces were cheap, darker yellow pieces were for the most part expensive.   The Tormiq,  Haramosh mountains new find of Epidote from last year was scarce.  Apparently a single pocket occurrence.  These are superb specimens of dark green, thin sprays of epidote in upright configurations up to 10 cm or so long; white albite is scattered around on the crystals for a nice contrast.   Pricey, but pretty.    Aquamarine and other pegmatite minerals are abundant and still commanding high prices; the dealers from Pakistan/Afghanistan that had these looked very bored...not much business.  

There was a lot of the "grape agate" or "amethyst agate" from Indonesia.   Good purple color specimens with no or little damage are way up in price from last year.  Considering how abundant it is, I was surprised at how expensive it has gotten.  Pieces with dull color or off color...green or whatever, are much cheaper.    

In general I thought prices were shockingly high on mineral specimens.   Anymore, it seems like any decent quality specimen is $500, and higher.   Makes it tough to get reasonably priced material.   I'm sure I've overlooked or forgotten a lot of the minerals that I saw...a week of 8 hour days looking at specimens from tent to tent and motel to motel...one tends to forget a lot.   

Also decided to take a look at the Blue Jay mine azurite occurrence we collected rather thoroughly in 2002 and 2003, where we excavated a nice breccia pipe embedded vertically in a somewhat altered granitic rock.  On this trip this summer, we were lucky enough to find another, much smaller breccia pipe, embedded in the granitic rock.  This breccia pipe is highly fractured, and had much less malachite than the 2002 find.  Specimens are mostly azurite and tenorite, with a few pieces being pure, bubbly looking black tenorite over a thin layer of malachite.  The azurite always occurs as thin layers of tiny micro crystals forming sparkly, bright blue drusy layers on the breccia fragments.  They are quite colorful.   These now reside on General Stock Page 2.   

 

    We have adjusted the site to contain more pages under General Stock.  There are now 23 General Stock Pages.   There are New Arrivals Pages 1, 2, 3, & 4, which are the same.    In General Stock there is General Stock page 1, "A thru Ay", General Stock page 2 is "Azurite", General Stock page 3 is "B", General Stock page 4 is "C", General Stock page 5 is "D", General Stock page 6 is "E", General Stock page 7 is "F and G", General Stock Page 8 is "H, I, J, K", General Stock page 9 is "L and M", General Stock page 10 is "N and O", General Stock page 11 is "P through Py", General Stock page 12 is "Pyromorphite", General Stock page 13 is "Q", General Stock page 14 is "R", General Stock page 15 is "S", General Stock page 16 is "T", General Stock page 17 is "U and V", General Stock page 18 is "W", General Stock page 19 is "X, Y, and Z", General Stock page 20 is the "Nevada" page, General Stock page 21 is "Thumbnail" size specimens at 30% off original price, General Stock Page 22 is the first "Sale Page", General Stock page 23 is the 2nd "Sale Page".  General Stock page 24 is the 3rd "Sale Page".

December 2000
  We are a mineral dealership located in Reno, Nevada.  We are ardent field collectors and have been dealing in and collecting minerals for many years.   You can see us in person every year at the following shows:   San Francisco show in August and the Tucson show in February. 

I have been a mineral collector since I was taken underground at the Clayton Silver mine in Idaho at the ripe old age of 9, by my grandfather, who worked there as a foreman.  My first look at the mine's working  face of solid sparkling galena had me hooked on minerals from that moment on.  Since then I went on to get my Masters' degree in Geology with a focus on economics and mineralogy.    My favorite mineral is pyromorphite.  I'm always on the lookout for pyromorphite specimens.  I am particularly interested in Canadian specimens.


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