Fluorite on Sphalerite with radiation patterns

Elmwood Mine, Carthage, Smith Co., Tennessee, USA
Ex. Paul Zerfass
Large Cabinet, 15.1 x 12.6 x 11.1 cm
Start Time: 11/30/2023 7:00:00 pm (CST)
End Time: 12/07/2023 6:33:00 pm (CST)
Auction Closed
Winning Bid: $1,850

Item Description

An outstanding and really visually impressive combination Fluorite on Sphalerite specimen from the famous Elmwood Mine. The dazzling Fluorite has a light lavender inner color with a zoned darker purple outer edge. The solitary cube has stepped growth faces with unusual radiation patterns on the outer few millimeters of the crystal faces that are visible on all 6 sides of the cube. The striking 'radiation burn' features appear to be centered around tiny Pyrites or Chalcopyrites that are embedded into the Fluorite's faces, and are a product of the minute impurities in the crystal lattice that formed over time - seen occasionally in Elmwood material, but rarely in anything you would call aesthetic specimens. The singular well formed Fluorite cube, measuring 5.2 x 5.3 x 5.3 cm, is perched on top of numerous crystals of contrasting and lustrous "ruby-jack" Sphalerite. When backlit with a strong light, the Sphalerites are surprising translucent, given their size and thickness, exhibiting a mottled reddish-amber glow. The specimen is in great condition with the exception of some small bruising on a back corner that is not seen from the main display view. The classic combination of the dramatic single Fluorite cube on Sphalerite is very recognizable as Elmwood however the specimen is distinctive for its radiation features covering all sides making it an uncommon Fluorite specimen from the famous Elmwood Mine. One note: there is a rough spot on the back edge of the fluorite that seems to be a natural rough surface due to contact, probably with baryte or matrix now missing, but it looks good from the front regardless. Ex. Paul Zerfass Collection #120. This is an old specimen from the 1970s-1980s heyday of Elmwood production, and is valued $5000-7500. NOTE: according to multiple websites, there is a good explanation for the fluorite patterning such as here at wiki/hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu. Deep purple color in fluorite has been connected with the effects of radiation knocking out a few fluorine atoms from their lattice locations, the vacancies producing color centers.

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Bidding History

Bid Amount Bid Time
$1,850 12/07/2023 6:29:35 pm (CST)
$1,800 * 12/07/2023 10:38:36 am (CST)
$1,800 * 12/07/2023 10:38:36 am (CST)
$1,600 12/03/2023 10:50:22 pm (CST)
$1,550 12/03/2023 8:59:48 pm (CST)
$1,500 12/03/2023 8:59:48 pm (CST)
$1,400 12/03/2023 5:44:48 pm (CST)
$1,350 12/03/2023 5:36:16 pm (CST)
$1,300 12/03/2023 5:36:16 pm (CST)
$1,150 12/03/2023 5:36:07 pm (CST)
$1,100 12/03/2023 5:36:07 pm (CST)
$1,050 12/02/2023 12:33:49 pm (CST)
$1,000 12/02/2023 12:33:49 pm (CST)
$975 12/01/2023 8:49:40 pm (CST)
$950 12/01/2023 8:49:40 pm (CST)
$910 12/01/2023 1:37:35 pm (CST)
$885 12/01/2023 1:37:35 pm (CST)
$825 12/01/2023 1:12:54 pm (CST)
$800 12/01/2023 1:12:54 pm (CST)
$775 12/01/2023 8:26:40 am (CST)
$750 12/01/2023 8:26:40 am (CST)
$725 12/01/2023 7:30:26 am (CST)
$700 12/01/2023 7:30:26 am (CST)
$560 12/01/2023 7:30:05 am (CST)
$535 12/01/2023 7:30:04 am (CST)
$30 12/01/2023 7:16:24 am (CST)
$25 12/01/2023 4:32:06 am (CST)
$20 * 12/01/2023 4:31:40 am (CST)
$20 * 12/01/2023 4:31:39 am (CST)
$10 12/01/2023 2:26:27 am (CST)
* Proxy Bid Battle: In the event of two customers inputting matching proxy bids, the leading bid goes to the earliest of the two proxy bids. Tie winners are shown in bold.