Illinois Fluorite 1

 

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Welcome to the Emineralshow presentation of the Minerals of Southern Illinois Fluorspar district. The mines here have produced what is arguably the widest variety of colorful fluorite specimens in the world. Many outstanding specimens of associated minerals have also been found. Outstanding specimens of calcite, barite, sphalerite, galena and strontianite often in combinations with each other and fluorite were produced. The world's best specimens of the rarer minerals witherite and benstonite were also found. Unfortunately the mines have now been closed for a number of years and no new specimens are coming out. The minerals on the following pages have been purchased from old collections or have been put back in my personal stash for a number of years now and represent a wide range from the World's greatest fluorite mines.

fluorite_hardin25a.jpg (49040 bytes) fluorite_hardin25b.jpg (56919 bytes) NF-IL1  Barite on Fluorite - Annabel Lee Mine, Hardin Co., IL;   12 x 7.5 cm

Super cityscape covers the surface of this blue and purple zoned fluorite.  Small white 3-4 mm barite crystals sparsely scattered on front and back of the fluorite indicating the piece is a floater.  This piece is in excellent condition and displays well.  $100 Reserved

barite_hardin5a.jpg (55427 bytes) barite_hardin5b.jpg (46243 bytes) NF-IL5  Barite - Minerva Mine?, Hardin Co., Il;  10 x 7 cm

Sharp glassy spear shaped barite crystals cover the top and bottom of the specimen.  This cabinet piece is in good condition and would make a nice addition to any Cave-In-Rock District suite.  A bargain from the A. F. Dodge Collection.  $35

strontian_calcite_hardin4b.jpg (40712 bytes) strontian_calcite_hardin4a.jpg (37486 bytes) NF-IL7  Strontianite and Calcite - Minerva #1 Mine, Hardin Co., IL;  10 x 7 cm

Large white balls of strontianite to 2 cm and smaller sprays of crystals almost cover the calcite crystals below which cover a fluorite base.  Super cabinet size piece in excellent condition.  $60 Reserved

fluorite_hardin7a.jpg (51204 bytes) fluorite_hardin7b.jpg (35806 bytes) NF-IL11    Fluorite - Denton Mine, Harris Creek District, Hardin Co., IL;  6 x 5 cm

This one has the super color zoning and luster everyone wants in their Southern Illinois fluorite.  This piece also shows the pleochroic (color changing in different lighting) properties of fluorite most people aren't aware of.  The top picture was shot in incandescent light and the bottom photo was slightly backlit in fluorescent light.  This piece is typical of many blue on yellow colored pieces because the yellow fluorite has been etched prior to the final deposition of the blue zone which is a thick 7mm.  This ones nearly perfect with the left corner being a healed corner and the only broken edge being where it sits for display on the bottom.   $100

benstonite_minerva1a.jpg (47372 bytes) NF-IL12    Benstonite - Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-In-Rock District, Hardin Co., IL;   1 x 1.5 cm

Small but choice undamaged Thumbnail of this rare mineral.  This piece consists of two spires of benstonite on calcite needles growing toward each other.  There is a little remnant of fluorite attached to the lower left.   This piece came off a larger piece I trimmed down last year and that has been the last piece I was able to purchase in the last year and a half of searching.   $45 SOLD

fluorite_barite_hardin2a.jpg (77662 bytes) fluorite_barite_hardin2b.jpg (70866 bytes) NF-IL13  Barite on Fluorite - Denton Mine, Harris Creek District, Hardin Co., IL;  6.5 x 5 cm

Nice cluster of sharp pale violet crystals with a preferential coating of barite crystals.  Spear shaped barite crystals up to 7 mm long provide a nice contrast with the fluorite.  The barite and fluorite are in excellent condition and would make a fine addition to any Southern Illinois suite.    $50 Reserved

fluorite_sph_hardin1a_small.jpg (2206 bytes) fluorite_sph_hardin1b.jpg (57682 bytes) NF-IL14   Fluorite and Sphalerite - Annabel Lee Mine, Harris Creek District, Hardin Co., IL;  4 x 3.5 cm

Superb piece with a sparkling sphalerite crystal flanked on both sides by gemmy pale blue fluorite cubes.  Some zoning of the fluorite with a purple core.  This piece is in nearly perfect condition (when I give a piece this rating most other dealers would call it flawless) and would enhance any display.   $65

fluorite_hardin24a.jpg (48008 bytes) fluorite_hardin24b.jpg (41417 bytes) NF-IL15    Fluorite - Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock District, Hardin Co., IL;  5 x 4 cm

Super lustrous piece of yellow fluorite with a thin top layer of incomplete purple.  This piece was heavily etched from below leaving just the edges and corners of the crystals.  These pieces are highly sought after by S. Illinois collectors and resemble what is sometimes called a Carthage corner from Elmwood.   $45 Reserved

fluorite_hardin23a.jpg (57999 bytes) NF-IL16  Fluorite - Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-In-Rock District, Hardin Co., IL;  6 x 4 cm

Many times the yellow fluorite from Hardin County shows signs of partial to complete etching.  Most of the time, afterward, you aren't left with a very attractive specimen.  This piece contradicts the norm by nicely retaining the original crystal form and good yellow color.  You should be able to see the rounded patterns on the face and maybe make out the few thin clear calcite needles on the surface.   A must have to complete a suite of Hardin County.  $30

calcite_sph_hardin1a.jpg (46218 bytes) calcite_sph_hardin1b.jpg (42913 bytes) NF-IL17  Calcite on Sphalerite - Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock District, Hardin Co., IL;  4.5 x 2.75 cm

Slender amber brown spike-like crystals of calcite on a base of etched sphalerite.  The spiky calcite crystals are notorious for damage and these are in much better than average condition.  $25

fluorite_hardin20a.jpg (49331 bytes) fluorite_hardin20b.jpg (55325 bytes) NF-IL18  Bitumen on Fluorite - Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-In-Rock District, Hardin Co., IL;  9 x 5 cm

The mines of Southern Illinois have a lot of natural hydrocarbons in them and sometimes they coat the specimen.  This piece has a dark black coating of bitumen covering most of it's surface giving the fluorite a shiny black look in reflected light.  With some back-lighting however, you can see the gemmy yellow fluorite lying beneath.  This coating can be cleaned off in gasoline but I think it adds adds a nice effect so I left it on.  This piece would make an excellent addition to a Southern Illinois Fluorite suite.  Minor dings to some corners keeps this under three figures.  $70 Reserved

fluorite_hardin22a.jpg (64509 bytes) NF-IL19  Bitumen on Fluorite - Minerva #1 Mine, Hardin Co., IL;  4 x 3 cm

This piece looks like black fluorite but it is actually a dark purple coated with a shiny black layer of natural bitumen.  Sharp crystal in excellent condition would help fill out a suite.  $15 Reserved

barite_flour_hardin2a.jpg (47155 bytes) barite_flour_hardin2b.jpg (56769 bytes) NF-IL20  Barite, Fluorite and Calcite - Minerva #1 Mine, Cave-In-Rock District, Hardin Co., Il;  6 x 4 cm

Very cool specimen covered on both sides by crystals.   Bright white sparkling barite crystals some in almost stalactitic form.  The back side is comprised of small pale lavender fluorite cubes sprinkled with drusy barite and a couple of calcite scalenohedron.  This piece is chioce with the only damage a couple of broken calcites on the back side with the fluorite.  $50

witherite7a.jpg (45752 bytes) NF-IL22  Witherite, Alstonite/Paralstonite, Sphalerite - Minerva #1 Mine, Hardin Co., IL;  4.5 x 6 cm

Group of witherite crystals in parallel growth which are nicely fluorescent.  This piece has good coverage of white micro crystals of alstonite/paralstonite (can't tell them apart without analysis so I list them together).   I have sold a lot of these to other dealers at the Denver show in the past so here is a chance to buy one before they do.  $70 SOLD

witherite_fluor1a.jpg (50893 bytes) witherite_fluor1b.jpg (44462 bytes) NF-IL23  Witherite and Fluorite - Minerva #1 Mine, Hardin Co., IL;  8.5 x 5.5 cm

Short stubby witherite crystals cover most of the surface.  The thing that makes this piece unusual is the purple fluorite cube in association.  I don't remember ever seeing anything except yellow fluorite that has been heavily etched with witherite before.   The fluorite is etched from underneath but still has a 4 cm edge perched above the witherite below.  Not pretty but super rare association and from my personal Southern Illinois collection.  $200

fluorite_hardin_lg14a.jpg (46433 bytes)fluorite_hardin_lg14c.jpg (49987 bytes) NF-IL31  Fluorite - Denton Mine, Hardin Co., Illinois;   13 x 14 cm

Large cabinet specimen with a deep blue (much bluer in person) zone and deep purple overgrowths (see close up).   A couple of dinged corners keep the price way down.   $100 Reserved

fluorite_hardin66a.jpg (36776 bytes)fluorite_hardin66b.jpg (42064 bytes) NF-IL34  Calcite and Fluorite - Annabel Lee Mine, Hardin Co., IL;  7.5 x 5 cm

Light blue fluorite group with a rare scepter calcite crystal (I've never seen one before from here) tucked away just off center.  The color is much truer in the close-up.  Overall in excellent condition with only micro nicks except for one edge that faces away from view.  $90 Reserved

sphalerite_hardin3a.jpg (69879 bytes)sphalerite_hardin3b.jpg (80229 bytes) NF-IL39  Alstonite/Paralstonite on Sphalerite - Minerva Mine #1, Hardin Co., IL;  5 x 4.5 cm

Superb example of this rare mineral from the district.  Long white slender double terminated crystals of alstonite/paralstonite (can't tell which without x-ray and likely both are present  contrast nicely with  deep brown sphalerite.  If that isn't enough the piece is a "floater" crystalized all around with no attachment point.  This is one of two pieces I picked up several years back and I haven't seen anything like them since.  $150

fluorite_hardin59b.jpg (40840 bytes) NF-IL42  Fluorite - Annabel Lee Mine, Hardin Co., IL; 7.5 x 6 cm

Nice blue (blue not purple in person) specimen would be much higher if not for the chip visible in the lower front.  I got it anyway because the blues are just so hard to find.  $60 Reserved

fluorite_hardin58b.jpg (46699 bytes)fluorite_hardin58a.jpg (51502 bytes) NF-IL43  Calcite on Fluorite - Minerva Mine #1, Hardin Co., IL; 8 x 4.5 cm

Super nice group of crystals with ll the qualities you seek.   Gemmy, zoning, color, and in near perfect condition.  $175 Reserved

fluorite_hardin57b.jpg (49326 bytes) NF-IL44  Galena and Fluorite - Hardin Co., IL;  7 x 5 cm

I think this one has to be from the Hill-Ledford Mine by looking at the matrix but the label didn't say.  Nice representative sample of this combination.   Minor damage to some corners.  $40 Reserved

fluorite_hardin56a.jpg (48219 bytes)fluorite_hardin56b.jpg (44414 bytes) NF-IL46  Fluorite - Denton Mine, Hardin Co., IL;  8 x 5.5

Nice pair of cubes in excellent condition which look dark until backlit.  $75 Reserved

fluorite_hardin50a.jpg (45623 bytes)fluorite_hardin50b.jpg (29339 bytes) NF-IL51  Fluorite - Denton Mine, Hardin Co., IL;  10 x 9 cm

Very nice corner with a deep blue zone over a purple core.  This one is much more blue in person.  There is a ding on the very corner otherwise in excellent condition.  $100 Reserved

benstonite2a.jpg (44379 bytes)benstonite2b.jpg (45058 bytes)

benstonite2c.jpg (39301 bytes)

NF-IL52  Benstonite on Calcite - Minerva Mine #1, Hardin Co., IL;  8 x 4.5 cm

The best specimens and almost only specimens of benstonite in the world come from the Minerva Mine.  Unfortunately all came out of the ground long ago and are only available as old collections are sold.  This one features over a half dozen spires of white benstonite crystals as epitazial overgrowths on long slender calcite crystals.  A couple of rubs but still an oustanding representative of this rare mineral from the Southern Illinois Fluorspar mines.  I have included a front back and close-up shot.  $600 SOLD

peru_fluor.jpg (58922 bytes)fluorite_qtz_peru1a.jpg (60236 bytes)

fluorite_qtz_peru1c.jpg (43843 bytes)

FL-1  Fluorite and Quartz with Mica (Lepidolite?) - Huallapon Mine, Pasta Bueno , Ancash Dept., Peru; 4.5 x 3 inches (11.5 x 8 cm)

not from Illinois but I wanted to add it here. Very attractive and unusual combination with gemmy clear purple green zoned fluorite with slender quartz crystals and a pale lavender mica (lepidolite or muscovite). The fluorite cubes also have sharp dodecahedral faces on the crystals. I know dealers like to say things are a one time find but this stuff appears to be the real deal. While at the Denver Show a couple of years ago I kept looking for more of these neat fluorites with the various Peruvian Dealers. I finally saw a piece in one of the rooms and asked if they had any more like it. They proceeded to tell me it was their last piece that had come from a unique find made a couple of years earlier and nothing like had been found since. They also wanted around $100 for it and it wasn’t nearly as good as this piece I am selling. This is a must for any fluorite collectors out there or lovers of unusual and attractive multi-mineral combination specimens. There is some minor damage but it is still a nice display piece. If you are not happy simply send it back for a full refund. I have access to a couple more pieces from my source but this is the best of the lot. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t miss this one and expect another to come down the road anytime soon.  $130

E-mail me at rgangue@yahoo.com