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Gem Crystals and other Minerals from Pakistan and Afghanistan - Mineral Classics



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Epidote from Hashupa, Shigar Valley, Baltistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Pakistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61331a.JPG] Epidote from Hashupa, Shigar Valley, Baltistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Pakistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61331b.JPG] Epidote from Hashupa, Shigar Valley, Baltistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Pakistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61331c.JPG]


No. PAKAFG61331 - $ 350.00 (=~ CAN$ 458.00)

Epidote

Locality: Hashupa, Shigar Valley, Baltistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Pakistan

Specimen Size: 4.1 x 1.7 x 1.3 cm (miniature)


Here we have a wonderful non-pegmatite gem crystal specimen from the famous metamorphic “clefts” in the Shigar Valley. It has become increasingly more difficult to obtain top specimens from this locality, especially such fine quality specimens like this one. Epidote is one of the most well-known of all the Alpine cleft species in the world, and some of the finest Epidote specimens in the world have been coming out of Pakistan in recent years. These specimens are seemingly identical to the classic Alpine specimens from the European Alps, and in certain instances, have surpassed the European specimens for quality, size and gemminess. Some of the most celebrated Epidote specimens from the Alps are the highly sought after “sword-shaped” specimens, but they are typically nearly opaque and black internally. This crystal group exhibits the classic "sword-shaped" habit with high luster, very sharp faces, and a rich blending of root beer, amber and olive-oil colored hues that can be seen when the piece is rotated in the light as Epidote is strongly pleochroic. It's a very good quality specimen that displays well, and would fit nicely into any collection. Only a small amount of roughness keeps it from being pristine, but this is easily forgiven when compared to most Epidotes from this locality. This material is highly prized by collectors for its exceptional form, as it resembles the classic Alpine Epidote specimens that sell for top dollar around the world. These pieces are highly coveted by Alpine collectors, and good pieces are next to impossible to obtain from the classic European localities. From the "Alpine-type" collection ofmy father, Epidote was one of his favorite species. .

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Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) from Darra-i-Pech, (Pech), Chapa Dara District, Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61332a.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) from Darra-i-Pech, (Pech), Chapa Dara District, Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61332b.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) from Darra-i-Pech, (Pech), Chapa Dara District, Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61332c.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) from Darra-i-Pech, (Pech), Chapa Dara District, Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61332d.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) from Darra-i-Pech, (Pech), Chapa Dara District, Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61332e.JPG]


No. PAKAFG61332 - $ 1100.00 (=~ CAN$ 1439.41)

Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”)

Locality: Darra-i-Pech, (Pech), Chapa Dara District, Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan

Specimen Size: 6.6 x 5.2 x 3.7 cm (small cabinet)
Kunzite Crystal: 3.1 cm


When it comes to gem quality display specimens of Kunzite, there are only about three places in the world today (Brazil, Afghanistan and San Diego County, California), that produce sharp crystals with excellent gemminess and color. For the most part, Brazil and San Diego County only produce loose single crystals off matrix, and Afghanistan has clearly produced the finest matrix specimens extant. This is a very worthwhile small cabinet sized display specimen of this well-known material featuring a very sharp and virtually WATER-CLEAR, vibrant purplish pink color doubly-terminated TWINNED crystal aesthetically sitting on Feldspar matrix. The twin line is distinct and sharp, and the crystal has sharp faces along the prism which are a nice contrast to the elegantly etched multi-pointed termination. One does not often have the chance to purchase an undamaged matrix Kunzite specimen for a reasonable price these days, and it seems that less of them are coming out now compared to 10-15 years ago.

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Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) with Tourmaline and Microlite on Microcline from Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61333a.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) with Tourmaline and Microlite on Microcline from Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61333b.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) with Tourmaline and Microlite on Microcline from Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61333c.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) with Tourmaline and Microlite on Microcline from Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61333d.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) with Tourmaline and Microlite on Microcline from Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61333e.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) with Tourmaline and Microlite on Microcline from Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61333f.JPG] Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) with Tourmaline and Microlite on Microcline from Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61333g.JPG]


No. PAKAFG61333 - $ 4500.00 (=~ CAN$ 5888.51)

Spodumene (var: “Kunzite”) with Tourmaline and Microlite on Microcline

Locality: Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province), Afghanistan

Specimen Size: 10.3 x 6.6 x 5.4 cm (cabinet)
Kunzite Crystal: 4.5 cm long


ex.  Richard A. Kosnar


A beautiful and rarely seen MATRIX ASSOCIATION Kuznite specimen from Afghanistan. Five distinct minerals on the same specimen with good color, aesthetics and balance. The focal point of the piece is the pair of sharp, lustrous, translucent, purplish-pink prismatic crystals of Spodumene (var: “Kuznite”) (one of which shows a distinct twin line) which are aesthetically flaring off a sharp, cream/buff colored blocky crystal of Microcline with an associated “rosette” of white bladed Albite (var: “Cleavelandite”) near the base. Additionally, and most importantly, you can see a Tourmaline crystal at the base of the Kunzites which has a unique “cucumber” appearance with a dark green outer “rind” and a soft cucumber green interior. Lastly a small, sharp, lustrous bronze colored octahedron of the Microlite Group (most likely Fluornatromicrolite) is wedged between the Albite and Microcline on the reverse side of the specimen. I have only seen a handful of matrix specimens featuring Microlite crystals from Afghanistan, and this is the ONLY specimen I’ve ever had to offer with Kunzite and Tourmaline associated with Microlite together. From my father’s collection originally, he purchased it around 2001, and it was the only Kunzite from Afghanistan that he had in the collection to the best of my knowledge. He noted the significance of this hard to find association, and that was the main reason why he kept the piece for himself. There are hundreds of Kunzite specimens on the market from Afghanistan, but you don’t see pieces like this anymore, typically only single crystals, so if you’re in the market for an interesting and eye-catching matrix display specimen of this material, don’t pass this one up.

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(click on the pictures to enlarge)

Spodumene (577 grams) from Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61334a.JPG] Spodumene (577 grams) from Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61334b.JPG] Spodumene (577 grams) from Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61334c.JPG] Spodumene (577 grams) from Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61334d.JPG]


No. PAKAFG61334 - $ 1400.00 (=~ CAN$ 1831.98)

Spodumene (577 grams)

Locality: Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan

Specimen Size: 14.1 x 5.7 x 3.0 cm (cabinet)


Of all the colors of Afghani Spodumene, green is probably the most difficult to obtain. Recently, I’ve seen these crystals marketed as "Hiddenite" which is NOT correct as true Hiddenite is Chromium-bearing and these crystals, despite the color similarity to Hiddenite are simply green Spodumene. Nonetheless, this is still an impressive gem crystal of a hard to find color from what is probably the most well-known locality in the world for Spodumene crystals. This crystal is an unusual shade of green, with a slight yellowish overtone, very similar the Ukrainian Heliodor specimens I’ve seen from Volodarsk-Volynskii. The piece has good luster on the prism faces, and the clarity ranges from a milky “cat’s eye” internal appearance to nearly water-clear in areas. Additionally the crystal is actually doubly-terminated, and is not contacted, but rather recrystallized on the bottom making it essentially a floater crystal. It’s a hefty piece as well, weighing in at a noteworthy 577 grams. Great condition all the way around, with no serious damage that I can see. Very fairly priced for the size, gemminess and unique color. If you collect gem crystals, you know that green Spodumene crystals are rare, not just from Afghanistan, but worldwide.

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(click on the pictures to enlarge)

Spodumene (1,223 grams) from Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61335a.JPG] Spodumene (1,223 grams) from Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61335b.JPG] Spodumene (1,223 grams) from Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61335c.JPG] Spodumene (1,223 grams) from Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan [./pakafg613/pakafg61335d.JPG]


No. PAKAFG61335 - $ 2200.00 (=~ CAN$ 2878.83)

Spodumene (1,223 grams)

Locality: Kunar Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan

Specimen Size: 14.3. x 8.5 x 5.8 cm (thumbnail)


Of all the colors of Afghani Spodumene, green is probably the most difficult to obtain. Recently, I’ve seen these crystals marketed as "Hiddenite" which is NOT correct as true Hiddenite is Chromium-bearing and these crystals, despite the color similarity to Hiddenite are simply green Spodumene. Nonetheless, this is still an impressive gem crystal of a hard to find color from what is probably the most well-known locality in the world for Spodumene crystals. This crystal is an unusual shade of green, with a slight yellowish overtone, very similar the Ukrainian Heliodor specimens I’ve seen from Volodarsk-Volynskii. The piece has good luster on the prism faces, and the clarity ranges from a milky “cat’s eye” internal appearance to nearly water-clear in areas. Additionally the crystal is actually doubly-terminated, and is not contacted, but rather recrystallized on the bottom making it essentially a floater crystal. It’s a hefty piece as well, weighing in at a noteworthy 1,223 grams. Great condition all the way around, with no serious damage that I can see. Very fairly priced for the size, gemminess and unique color. If you collect gem crystals, you know that green Spodumene crystals are rare, not just from Afghanistan, but worldwide.

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