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Jim Houran Collection
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Jim




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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2009 17:16    Post subject: Jim Houran Collection  

While I appreciate all species and sizes, my personal passion focuses on thumbnail gem crystals (although exceptions are made!) You'll often see me with special exhibits at various shows, as well as see me write about special crystals or materials in periodicals like Gems & Gemology, Rocks & Minerals and the Mineralogical Record. The art, science and history of minerals is the draw for me. So many of my fellow members in the Mineralogical Association of Dallas (MAD) group share my philosophy and this makes for great times with friends.

So in keeping with the theme of sharing with friends, I'll post some of my favorite specimens and the stories behind them. To me, specimens are geologic stories but collections are really human interest stories. And this thread tells my own story.

Enjoy!



Diamonds-Arkansas_0746.jpg
 Description:
I am perhaps best known for my collection of diamonds from Pike Co. Arkansas, USA. These crystals range from 1.43 carats to 8.82 carats. It has taken years to track down these historic diamonds, which are some of the largest and finest ever found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. They were on display as part of the 2008 American Minerals Treasures exhibit (and book) at Tucson. Range from 8 mm to 14 mm.
 Viewed:  30303 Time(s)

Diamonds-Arkansas_0746.jpg



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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2009 17:21    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

A couple of newer acquisitions: an unusual, gemmy emerald cluster from Pakistan and a doubly terminated brazilianite from the type locality. Both are thumbnail size.


Braz_2.jpg
 Description:
An exceptionally well shaped brazilianite crystal from the type locality. I've always loved this species, and the visual impact of this crystal just spoke to me. 2.5 cm x 2.1 cm.
 Viewed:  30267 Time(s)

Braz_2.jpg



N°6 Emerald xls.jpg
 Description:
Aesthetic emerald cluster from the Swat Valley, Pakistan. The color and gemminess are outstanding for the locality. This one reminds me of a sculpture.
 Viewed:  30332 Time(s)

N°6 Emerald xls.jpg



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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2009 17:53    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Euclase is one of my favorite species; I loved it ever since I started collecting rare gems many, many years ago. But fine crystals are as pretty as any cut stone.

Gem euclase comes from only a scarce few localities in the world, Colombia, Zimbabwe and Brazil are the first that come to mind. Most mineral experts would concur that the finest crystals have historically come from Colombia - they are very rare and are found in the same mines as Emeralds.

This specimen is from Brazil (found in the same region as the great Imperial Topaz crystals), and it has the vibrant iridescent vivid blue seen in Colombian Euclase.



euclase-photo.jpg
 Description:
~3.8 cm Euclase from Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
 Viewed:  30214 Time(s)

euclase-photo.jpg



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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2009 17:58    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

My maternal grandfather's family comes from Colorado, so this specimen from the Qui-Buc No. 1 Claim, Park County, Colorado has special significance. It is a wonderful cluster of bluish-green crystals that are complete on all sides. The crystals resemble a cityscape with each crystal ascending just a little higher than the last. A lovely thumbnail of this popular material.


Amazonite - Colorado.jpg
 Description:
Microcline, var. amazonite,
2.7 x 2.5 x 2.1 cm, ex-Tom Gressman
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Amazonite - Colorado.jpg



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Ed Huskinson




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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2009 19:16    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Good rocks Jim!! I particularly like the diamonds. No wait, the euclase. No, the emerald. Ahh, they're all beautiful. I can imagine what you went through to run down the diamonds. Hearing about the find, talking to the owner, making the deal. It's the thrill of the hunt, que no? I noticed them at Tucson in 2008, and it's nice to be able to compliment you on them now.

Do you have a single crystal of vesuvianite?

Just curious.

Keep it up!

Thanks,

Ed

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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2009 21:49    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Thanks for the comments, Ed! You're very gracious. I'm also glad you saw the diamond exhibit. Tracking down some of these diamonds has been like "CSI: Arkansas," but it has been so fun. Plus, you meet so many interesting people.

It's also funny that you mention a vesuvianite gem crystal. I got a really fine one not too long ago. I'd been searching for one for years (they're actually hard to locate, yes?!!), and a dealer friend of mine had one set aside for me that was a featured specimen of Carlton Davis. It's a gem clear, flawless greenish-brown prism from Italy. I'll try to photograph it soon and post it here. Now, if you have one that needs a new, please let me know :)

Cheers!

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Ed Huskinson




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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2009 22:03    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Yeah well, John White has first dibs on all of my single crystals. I have one, a small vesuvianite, and I know that they are not easy to come by.

Look forward to seeing yours.

Keep 'em comin', y'all (there's one for Gail).

Ed

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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2009 22:12    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Ok, one more for tonight. This one will show that I'm not against cool matrix pieces. This one actually belongs to my wife Shelly, who has a background in museum studies and anthropology.

This neat piece (ex-Marty Zinn) reminded us of a pink rose blooming on a bush, so how fitting it is a rose quartz. It's not large, but we gave it high marks in aesthetics. The only rose quartz I've ever seen that I like better is a Minette thumbnail cluster that's also in our collection.



Rose_Quartz-Albite-Brazil_0622.jpg
 Description:
Miniature of Rose Quartz on albite, Pittorra Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 5.2 cm x 3.5 cm.
 Viewed:  30198 Time(s)

Rose_Quartz-Albite-Brazil_0622.jpg



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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2009 03:05    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Hi Jim!

Thank you for joining us. I hope you will keep posting your specimens here.

I especially like your Arkansas diamonds collection. Although you let us know their weight in carats, could it be possible for you to tell us the size range? And the sizes of brazilianite and emerald as well? And the rose quartz'?

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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2009 03:27    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Hi ,
Really nice diamonds,and seems that some are heavy!
I like the quartz,what is size of the entire sample?
I have a similar rose quartz,for the moment the best crystal I have ever seen,on a felspar crystal too.
Is it difficult to fint a maccle diamond(triangular shape),more than 1cm,and for affordable price?
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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2009 05:20    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Hi Jim,
thanks for sharing your specimen pictures ..
i especially like the rose quartz!
I am looking forward for more,
cheers
Roger
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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2009 09:28    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Thanks for the comments, all

My apologies if not providing full dimensions:

Diamonds: range from 8 to 14 mm

Brazilianite: 2.5 x 2.1 cm

Rose Quartz: 5.2 cm x 3.5 cm


And for the question about macle diamonds, they are not exactly rare but good ones of nice size are certainly rare on the market and can be very expensive. Macles, on the other hand, from the Crater of Diamonds (Arkansas) are extremely rare. I've seen maybe 4 or 5 that I can attest are legitimately from the locale.

The best one was a nice yellow. I include a pic of it here. From what I remember the crystal is about 1 cm.

More pics to come!

Cheers,



JH.jpg
 Description:
~1 cm macle diamond from the Crater of Diamonds (not from the Houran Collection). Diamond found by Kevin Jones, veteran miner.
 Viewed:  30110 Time(s)

JH.jpg



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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2009 09:33    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

I thought this was a great miniature-sized topaz; it was obtained at Tucson 2008 from my friend Cal Graeber.

I can appreciate large cabinet-sized specimens, but personally I go for smaller pieces. Cal trimmed the pieces really well in my opinion. Katlang topazes on matrix are not uncommon per se, but this one was different for its reddish cast. Sorry for the poor pic!

Cheers,



Katlang topaz.JPG
 Description:
4.5 x 5 cm topaz on calcite from Katlang
 Viewed:  30092 Time(s)

Katlang topaz.JPG



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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2009 09:42    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Now back to gem crystals off matrix!

This is a really cute one that my friends Dan and Diana Weinrich reserved for me. I fell in love with the aesthetics right away! Two gem-quality, doubly-terminated prismatic crystals of pink elbaite are forming a matrix-less cluster with minor purple crystallized lepidolite.

This one came from the collection of another good friend, Ralph Clark. Ralph and I have exactly the same taste or eye for specimens; it's uncanny!

Cheers,



E2055.jpg
 Description:
2.5 x 1.1 x 1.0 cm elbaite with lepidolite from the Himalaya Mine, Gem Hill, Mesa Grande District, San Diego Co., California, USA
 Viewed:  30086 Time(s)

E2055.jpg



E2055a.jpg
 Description:
reverse of elbaite cluster
 Viewed:  30087 Time(s)

E2055a.jpg



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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2009 13:48    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

This amethyst always gets people talking when I show it in person. It came from another thumbnail collector I greatly admire -- Tom Gressman.

The specimen is a pristine and highly aesthetic example from the classic Veracruz locality, which produced some of the finest amethysts ever. It is comprised of five, razor-sharp, highly lustrous, gemmy crystals hexagonal prisms (one is actually doubly-terminated) of outrageous purple color.

Besides the deep color and pristine condition, I was drawn to this cluster because it resembled a flower to me. It is also a perfect match for a rose quartz crystal cluster of similar size and shape that came from the Minette collection and now is in my array. I typically show the two together. But, this amethyst is nice enough to enjoy by itself as well!



AmethTN1081a.jpg
 Description:
Quartz, var. amethyst, Piedras Parado (Las Vigas), Mun. de Profesor Rafael Ramirez, Veracruz, Mexico
2.7 x 2.4 x 1.6 cm
 Viewed:  30053 Time(s)

AmethTN1081a.jpg



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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2009 13:53    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Red is my favorite color, and ruby one of my favorite gemstones. Therefore, I was thrilled to get this from my friend Ty Lawrence a while back. It is a wonder floater crystal obtained originally from Dudley Blauwet.

It is a deep red color and highly lustrous. My apologies for the poor photo, but you get the idea. There's a better photo of this one in the MR supplement, "Private Mineral Collections in Texas" (p. 69).



Burma_Ruby_crystal.jpg
 Description:
Corundum, var. ruby, Mogok, Myanmar, 1.6 x 1.3 x 1cm
 Viewed:  30032 Time(s)

Burma_Ruby_crystal.jpg



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PostPosted: Aug 02, 2009 09:32    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

This is another crystal I had to pry out of a private collection. It is a light but vibrant green diopside from the new finds in Tanzania. It is extremely lustrous and arguably the gemmiest of any of the new specimens, but what makes it extra nice is that it is a twinned crystal. I am color blind, but this green color I can definitely see. It may not be as saturated as many of the new diopsides, but I think the color has a neon like character to it.


Diop08 13.jpg
 Description:
Diopside, Merelani Hills, Tanzania, 3.4 x 1.4 cm.
 Viewed:  29987 Time(s)

Diop08 13.jpg



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PostPosted: Aug 02, 2009 10:16    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Here we have a greenish-yellow, spherical cluster of prehnite that is clean of damage and extremely translucent. This specimen really stands out in terms of neon-like color in person. I loved the color and the simplicity of the shape.


prehnite1.jpg
 Description:
Prehnite, Tanzania, 1.8 x 1.7 x 1.5 cm
 Viewed:  29977 Time(s)

prehnite1.jpg



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PostPosted: Aug 02, 2009 10:20    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

This is another crystal I acquired from my good friend Ralph Clark, a TN collector well known for his incredible taste in minerals. It also happens to be one of my favorite species -- quartz! It is a sharp and undamaged smoky quartz scepter with a 12 mm clear quartz crystal parallel to the scepter stem. A little jewel!


scepter smoky 1.jpg
 Description:
Quartz, var. smoky quartz, scepter crystal, Brandberg area, Namibia, 35 mm.
 Viewed:  29990 Time(s)

scepter smoky 1.jpg



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PostPosted: Aug 02, 2009 16:43    Post subject: Re: Jim Houran Collection  

Hi Jim,
Great crystals and great photo's, I especially like the Brandberg Quartz, it looks like something out of a sci fi movie. its an absolute beauty.
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