DescriptionWILLEMITE AND CALCITE PATTERNS FROM TWO LOCALITIES
Miller Canyon, Arizona and Franklin, New Jersey
This lot contains three well-matched and highly desirable specimens of the aesthetic combination of fluorescent red-orange calcite and green willemite from the two best localities in the world for this pairing. While this is an abundant combination in the Franklin mining district of New Jersey, a specimen such as the 3½ x 2¾ x 2 inch wedge-shaped example here becomes extremely desirable due to the rare pattern of relatively evenly spaced bands of the two minerals in about ½-inch straight and parallel formation; making for a very visually striking piece. While fluorescent willemite and calcite are a duo found in other localities in the world including quite a few in Arizona, the willemite found at most of the other localities more commonly fluoresces in colors ranging from buttery yellow to yellow-orange and is typically found only in thin veinlets. But located in a canyon near the top of Miller Peak in the rugged Huachuca Mountains of Cochise Co, Arizona is the second best locality for this red-orange and green fluorescent pair. The larger of the two pieces from Miller Canyon in this lot is a 5 x 3¾ x 1¾-inch hatchet-head shaped piece showing the typical green fluorescing and ore-rimming pattern in red-orange fluorescent calcite, itself showing brighter streaks and veins typical for this locality. However, this piece also exhibits stringers of bright butter-yellow fluorescing powellite, a red/green fluorescent combination not known from any other locality. In addition, this piece also displays a minor amount of deep-blue fluorescent hydrozincite, technically making it a 4-color short-wave ultraviolet fluorescent specimen and thus highly rare and collectible! The third piece is a 5 x 3 x 1½-inch somewhat arrowhead-shaped specimen also from Miller canyon and shows large mottled/veined areas of mostly green-florescent willemite across about three-quarters of the piece, the other quarter being mostly red-orange fluorescent calcite. It is a specimen atypically rich in willemite for any non-Franklin area piece and also highly desirable in that it too is dappled with deep-blue fluorescing hydrozincite. Two of the most energetic field collectors active in Arizona in recent decades have said that Miller is in such inaccessible terrain that, what with the exertion of hauling in ultraviolet lamps and regular hand-tools such as hammers and chisels for collecting, little room and energy is left for bringing out specimens. The surface is quite picked over and transporting even shovels, heavy rakes or sledge hammers to collect below the surface is too arduous to be worth any prospector's while. Thus the likelihood of more large specimens such as these appearing on the market in the near future in any real quantity is highly unlikely. These two Arizona pieces were found by one of these collectors, Charles Grogan, and received from him by Hugh Ronemus for his collection. The Franklin piece was received in trade from the dealer's stock of eminent Franklin/foreign fluorescent collector/dealer Claude Poli.
Provenance: Ex Charles Grogan, Claude Poli, Hugh Ronemus Collections
Condition report available upon request.
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