Weardale, Durham, England , UK
This is a magnificent purple Fluorite cluster from the Lead mines in the Weardale district of England. Rarely seen are large pieces from these mines with large crystals in such fine condition. Over a dozen variegated saturated purple to pale purplish-white cubes up to four inches make up this cluster. Even though they are slightly intergrown, each crystal is distinct in the cluster. The Fluorite cubes are gemmy at the exterior and translucent in the core with whitish-purple areas and have sharp edges and faces. Under long-wave, ultraviolet light, the piece erupts in bright lavender fluorescence. The very word "fluorescence" was coined from the effect miners saw in Fluorites from this district when they were brought up from the mines into the sunlight, and they glowed purple. Crystals of this size and aspect are old, probably from before 1860, and turn up only in the oldest European and classic collections. They are desirable for their large size and luster, obviously, with the fluorescence being a bonus. The display faces are almost pristine for such a large specimen, though there is minimal wear; this is important and museum-sized - stunning for either a visual or an ultraviolet light display case. Examples of this size are seldom seen for sale - and with beautiful color in both natural and UV light, it has double value to many collectors. This offering is a rare variety - a large, significant, historic specimen that is actually beautiful. To think that something like this has been carefully preserved for so many years is amazing and humbling.
Measurements: 9.45 x 8.66 x 3.07 inches (24.00 x 22.00 x 7.80 cm)
Provenance: The Collection of a Southern Gentleman
Estimated Gallery Pricing: $12,500
Buyer's Premium per Lot:
25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 15% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.