Rutile on Quartz

Mount Kaputjugh, Paragachai, Orubad District, Syunik Province, Armenia
Small Cabinet, 8.3 x 6.3 x 5.7 cm
Start Time: 11/18/2021 6:45:00 pm (CST)
End Time: 11/27/2021 6:45:00 pm (CST)
Auction Closed
Winning Bidder: Private Bidder

Item Description

A gorgeous matrix rutile specimen from a rare locality - At Mount Kaputjugh in the late 1990s, two brief mining runs in these high, snowy mountains brought forth what must be the most amazing Rutile find since the Graves Mountain heyday. The balance of this small cabinet piece is excellent, with three rutile groups spread evenly across the Quartz crystal pocket. The Rutiles have superb luster, and complex, varied form, with the largest being 1.8 cm. There are a few dings shared among the crystals, but that is not unexpected, and they certainly do not detract from the fine aesthetics. I saw much of the high grade from the best production here laid out on a pool table in Bill Larson's San Diego home in about 1997, and this piece compares favorably to those, and indeed may have been among them as good as it is. He was the US outlet for much of the production, which came out through a Russian mineral dealer now fondly remembered by his nickname "Niki The Tank:" a former KGB soldier who got into mineral collecting and dealing after the Wall fell. We have seen nothing of such quality come out of this deposit since those first few years. Previously in the collection of Ernie and Vera Schlichter. A superb example from this find. The old Conklin label from the 1990s shows it at $500 AT THE TIME they came out. Now, try finding a good one. We have seen lesser examples at shows, sometimes, priced $2500 (as on a second and more recent dealer label from Don Olson, also accompanying). It is worth it, too! From the collection of East Coast collector, George Elling, specializing in historic minerals of the East Coast and minerals from the development of old European mineralogy.