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New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2014 13:41    Post subject: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

In the post Mineralogical Record News March 2014 I mentioned the recent appearance of the March-April issue of MR. There is an interesting article from the also interesting authors J.S. White and T.P. Moore. Its title is "New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom" and as you can suppose is excellent, so one more reason to buy the as well excellent Mineralogical Record! ;-)

That said, you should know that the articles for the MR should have enough time until they are published, so due the regular delay of the publication of this article along with the fact that, as quoted in the article: "The last two Decades Have Been Among The Most remarkably prolific in history" (Wendell Wilson) this create the possibility to add new species because since the article it was written the time passed and due the "prolific" situation of the mineral world with the emergence of, for example, the species of the Huanggang.Mines, many new possibilities comes out.

That is why I wanted to propose a kind of interactive idea, which from here we could try to complete the list of the "New Standard of Excellence" with those other new finds that appear in the last times and allow to complete the list that I copy below. I will participate actively in this thread, discussing the proposals if I disagree with them, and adding some more if I see it (them) was not listed before.

Come on, we will try to prepare a kind of upgrade of the new "Standards of Excellence” and then maybe the basis of a possible future new article!

This is the list of the "New Standard of Excellence" already published in the article:

- Alabandite from Uchucchacua Mine, Peru
- Anglesite from Touissit, Morocco
- Babingtonite from Qiaojia, China
- Bastnäsite-(Ce) from Zagi Mt., Pakistan
- Bornite from Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan
- Carrollite from Kamoya II, D.R. Congo
- Cavansite and Pentagonite from Wagholi Quarry, India
- Clinochlore (variety Kämmererite) from Kop Krom, Turkey
- Diaspore from Aydin, Turkey
- Diopside from Merelani, Tanzania
- Dyscrasite from Příbram, Czech Republic
- Hausmannite from N'Chwaning II Mine, South Africa
- Hydroxylclinohumite from Sar-e-Sang, Afghanistan
- Kësterite from Xuebaoding, China
- Lazulite from Yukon, Canada
- Nifontovite from San Bartolo Mine, Mexico
- Platinum from Konder, Russia
- Powellite from Nasik, India
- Realgar from Shimen Mine, China
- Rhodonite from Morro da Mina, Brazil
- Sodalite from Sar-e-Sang, Afghanistan
- Sperrylite from Oktyabr Mine, Russia
- Stolzite from Sainte-Lucie Mine, France
- Vesuvianite from Jeffrey Quarry, Canada
- Yugawaralite from Malad- Kurar, India



New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - Mineralogical Record March-April 2014.jpg
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By the courtesy of Wendell Wilson we have the right to publish the scanner of the first page of the article.
Again, it is highly recommended purchase this M. Record's issue!
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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2014 13:43    Post subject: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - Löllingite from Huanggang  

My first proposal is for the Löllingite from the Huanggang Mines.

The reason for proposing this species is that in my opinion them are largely better for size, quality and variety of associations to any other Löllingite found before. You can set a comparative watching the Löllingites from Australia the Löllingites from Morocco or the Löllingites from Spain and compare them with the Huanggang Löllingites. See: Löllingites from Huanggang in FMF Gallery and Löllingites from Huanggang in Mindat



Löllingite with Molybdenite Calcite Arsenopyrite Fluorite and Quartz.jpg
 Description:
Löllingite with Molybdenite, Calcite, Arsenopyrite, Fluorite and Quartz
Huanggang Mines, Kčshíkčténg Qí, Chifeng, Inner Mongolia A.R., China
Specimen size: 14 × 12.5 × 8.5 cm
Mined in 2013
Photo: Reference Specimens
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Löllingite with Molybdenite Calcite Arsenopyrite Fluorite and Quartz.jpg


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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2014 14:05    Post subject: Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - Helvine from Huanggang  

I would also think that the helvines (and genthelvites?) also from Huanggang would qualify here. lots of photos available in minfind and elsewhere.

bob.



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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2014 14:47    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

Jordi, both of those are excellent choices, certainly the Huanggang Mine have set a new standard for both species.
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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2014 19:22    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

The selection of the new listed species depends on personal interest. I agree with some of them, but I am also surprised with the selection of some of the other selected species.
When we are talking in terms like 'new standards' and 'excellence' then I think that the specimen and photo selection used in the M.R. article is rather poor and disapointing and does not remind me at all at any "new standards of excellence".

Peter
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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2014 19:50    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

I am not one to normally get into this type of discussion but I have to agree with Peter above. Having just gone back and looked and both the MR and Peters book I will take any of the minerals in his book over the minerals in the MR. The pictures in his book where done at a different time and place and he had set in his mind just what he was looking for. They included Crystal perfection, Matrix specimen, Aesthetics, Association, Color, Luster and Size. I also had to chance to see and/or handle a lot of the minerals in the book including tje Rhodo on the front cover. Peter built one of the best collections of minerals at the time, and I was lucky enough to have seen it at his house in Ramona, Ca. before Dave Wilber bought it. What needs to be include in any future books on this subject is going to always be up to others judgment since there is no wrong or right.
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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2014 05:12    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

I have to say that as one of the authors of the article I feel that Peter and rweaver have missed the point. Our purpose was not to provide photos of specimens we considered "best of species," we were simply trying to show examples of very good specimens from newer occurrences that we feel should be rated as classics. Perhaps the title of the article is a little misleading, and for that I apologize.
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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2014 05:28    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

John S. White wrote:
I have to say that as one of the authors of the article I feel that Peter and rweaver have missed the point. Our purpose was not to provide photos of specimens we considered "best of species," we were simply trying to show examples of very good specimens from newer occurrences that we feel should be rated as classics. Perhaps the title of the article is a little misleading, and for that I apologize.

My fault. I assumed that everybody read the article, and in fact, if they were not subscribers of MR or they hadn't receive this issue yet, then they didn't.

Luckily one of the authors (John) explained much better than me the real purpose of the article....
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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2014 18:59    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

I think the article that John and Tom wrote is excellent - and I would welcome more of such articles in the MR and have written to Wendell about this.

there is one species that was not included in their list that I would debate with John and Tom about - and that is the cuprites (many with silver and copper - see photo) from Russia. from the article, they consider these in the category of "tentatively or marginally better than older ones". I respectfully disagree. for size, luster, association, and just plain aesthetics, I don't think anything from other localities comes close.

you could argue that the "gemminess" is surpassed by a few from Bisbee or a few of the Mashamba West pieces but these are few and far between - as are gemmy ones from Rubtsovsko.

so, I would lobby to add these to the list - pointing to xl size, luster and association (not to mention SOOOO many floaters) as justification.

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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2014 22:18    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

Bob:

I find that I cannot disagree with you on the cuprites, they should have been included. And then perhaps the copper pseudos as well. Thanks for the feedback.

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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2014 23:18    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

Yes! the coppers after cuprite pseudos are excellent. the cuprite form is clear.

AND there's cuprites partially pseudoed to copper. half of a cuprite octahedron changed to copper and the other half still cuprite.

AND there's a cuprite pseudo to copper then pseudo to cuprite again (cuprite after copper after cuprite). WOW!

AND there's azurite balls and azurite balls pseudo to copper.

collecting a suite of all of these makes for a challenge and an excellent display.

the silver associated with many of the cuprites is just icing on the cake. the silver is not that attractive (foam silver?) but still a nice association.

what a great locality - I'm glad I was able to get some nice ones for reasonable prices from the Axinite PM guys. them and Ivo at KARP had - and still have - the best ones.

bob
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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 10:19    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

I thought the article was well done although but just like Bancroft's book, the mineral world marches on. As soon as an artilcle or book are published on this topic, it becomes dated. As I read the article, I did not necessarily expect the "best" to be depicted but using a thumbnail crystal as representative of the great realgars that came out of China was a bit disappointing.

As has been noted, the cuprites, certainly, and copper after cuprite, possibly, specimens deserve consideration, especially when one considers the 3" single cuprite crystals on display at the Tucson Show in 2012 or 2013. At least two localities in Arizona (the Old Dominion, Globe and the New Cornelia mine, Ajo) have produced copper after cuprite specimens of almost equal quality. There is one specimen in Harvard the size of a small head of cauliflower.

I would think the vivianites from Bolivia should be considered, along with the Ilvaites from China.
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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 10:53    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

Les Presmyk wrote:
...As has been noted, the cuprites, certainly, and copper after cuprite, possibly, specimens deserve consideration, especially when one considers the 3" single cuprite crystals on display at the Tucson Show in 2012 or 2013. At least two localities in Arizona (the Old Dominion, Globe and the New Cornelia mine, Ajo) have produced copper after cuprite specimens of almost equal quality. There is one specimen in Harvard the size of a small head of cauliflower.

I would think the vivianites from Bolivia should be considered, along with the Ilvaites from China.

I disagree a little bit with Les (which is really unusual! ;-)

The Ilvaites from Dalnegorsk are smaller but probably even nicer than the Chinese ones and the Vivianites from Bolivia are quite well known from many years ago to consider them as a "New Standard".

About the Russian Cuprites I agree that them are great, but I still consider the best ones from Zaire (R.D. Congo now) even better than the best Cuprites from Russia, due the contrast with the green "bed" of Malachite (of the best ones from Zaire / R.D. Congo)
However I believe the pseudos from Russia considering its number and the quality of the best ones could be considered the world's best as the photo below I think it shows.



Copper after Cuprite - Rubtsovskoe_Rudnyi Altai_Altaiskii Krai_Western-Siberian_Russia.jpg
 Description:
Copper after Cuprite
Rubtsovskoe, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Western-Siberian, Russia
Specimen size about 15 x 7 cm. Main crystal size about 3.5 x 3 cm.
Collection Gail & Jim Spann
Photo: Jeff Scovil
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Copper after Cuprite - Rubtsovskoe_Rudnyi Altai_Altaiskii Krai_Western-Siberian_Russia.jpg


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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 11:14    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

This is the reason this subject will be so much fun. The great vivianites from Bolivia came out after Bancroft's book and I thought that was the point of the article, to bring forth a list of those occurences since the book was published that set new standards for a particular mineral.

While Dal'negorsk began to reset the standard for ilvaite, I believe the Chinese occurence reset the bar. The Russian cuprites are dark, no question, and those from Zaire are certainly redder.

This takes us to a more basic question. Is it one specimen that resets the bar or a large pocket (or series of pockets) of high quality specimens, thus making them available to the general collecting public? Do the Russian cuprites reset the standard because of size and quantity (at a relatively high quality) or do the few great Zaire cuprites still rule the roost, so to speak? And, now because there are many copper after cuprite specimens on the market, are they the best, without taking into account the great ones from the Old Dominion mine in Globe, Arizona. I am not advocating the Arizona localities represent the best, just questioning whether the Russian ones represent that significant step up from those from the Old Dominion mine.
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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 11:17    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

Great questions Les!

As we are so lucky to have one of the authors with us, let John responds your absolutely reasonable questions and guide us through the discussion...
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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 20:18    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

One of the purposes of the article was to open up a dialogue around this subject, and that seems to have been successful, judging from the response to the article on this Forum, something that really could not have occurred without the Forum. I am not surprised that we appear to have missed at least one viable candidate for inclusion as I am inclined to agree with Les that the Bolivian vivianites certainly satisfy the requirements for inclusion. The same may be said for ilvaites from China, they do indeed appear to be worthy and I have no idea how we missed them. I have already commented on the copper pseudomorphs after cuprite, I will only add that perhaps they were missed because they are pseudomorphs and perhaps we never even considered including a pseudomorph, I have no idea.
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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 20:30    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

John,
As Les said, its a moving target, and no matter what you list, new things are always appearing, and old finds are disappearing. These kinds of lists are also very much products of their time--what may interest some folks today, like the Huanggang material, may be largely discounted later.

Thanks for taking a crack at putting any kind of list together!
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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 20:51    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

While I wouldn't consider myself a connoisseur of the species, it seems to me that the best of the vanadinites that have been coming from Mibladen, Morocco for the last I don't know how many years are much better (and more numerous) than from other past occurrences. I know other good vanadinites have come from Arizona, so perhaps Les will have something to say about this.

Cheers!



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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 21:34    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

While speaking of Rubtsovskoe and Huanggang, they have also set new standards for marshite and borcarite respectively.
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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2014 21:35    Post subject: Re: New Standards of Excellence in the Mineral Kingdom - M.R. March-April 2014  

not to speak for john/tom but the Moroccan vanadinites as well as the Tasmanian crocoites were covered in Bancrft's book so they were not included in their article.

concerning the bolivian vivianites - that I immediately fell in love with when I first saw them; for those of us who live in high humidity areas (like pretty much the entire east coast) learn from the voice of experience. these are simply NOT stable - especially the matrix if it has any pyrite in it - which most do.

first the pyrite will decrepit forming some sulfuric acid along the way then the vivianite will start to peal off or split in layers. I watched my wonderful - and expensive - specimen effectively disappear before my very eyes.

should a specimen that's unstable be included here? I would vote no but others who've bought these that I know from AZ have not seen the decomposition.

yet another issue to consider on this challenging list.

bob
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