Deaccessions from the
University of Arizona
Mineral Museum
part 1 of 2 updates

The University of Arizona mineral collection is currently housed on the campus of UA, in the Flandreau Science Center and Mineral Museum. It received a huge boost recently, after his death in 2007 of well-known California collector Hubert De Monmonier. His collection was donated by bequest. The collection core was primarily kept for display upgrades, but many extra or duplicate specimens have been made available for sale from this collection, and from a limited number of past acquisitions or donations, to fund an endowment. This endowment is set up for the museum's operating costs in perpetuity, as a prudent foresight at a time when other museums are struggling. The endowment will cover expenses and curation of the collection, allowing the museum to thrive and grow going onward and fill the drawers and spaces opened up by judicious culling of the collection.


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UNIVAZ-35 - Quartz included by Actinolite - $ 400
Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy

small cabinet, 7.8 x 6.1 x 3.6 cm
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ex.  University of Arizona

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Quartz included by Actinolite from Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA35a.jpg]
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Quartz included by Actinolite from Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA35b.jpg]
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Quartz included by Actinolite from Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA35c.jpg]
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Quartz included by Actinolite from Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA35d.jpg]

This is an exceptionally lustrous cluster of two side-by-side gemmy, bright quartz crystals. They are complete all around the sides and only contacted on bottom. These crystals are richly included by the "byssolite" variety of actinolite, in the form of sharp green needles running through them. Hubert de Monmonier loved quartz and his collection must have had 1000 quartzes in it. He sought after all the classic included varieties, of which this was a style seldom seen here in the US market, at least. The yellow area in the bottom-right is an inclusion of iron staining within the quartz, that tints it yellow. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-30 - Quartz with Actinolite and Scolecite - $ 1200
Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy

small cabinet, 9.7 x 6.3 x 2.7 cm
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ex.  University of Arizona

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Quartz with Actinolite and Scolecite from Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA30b.jpg]
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Quartz with Actinolite and Scolecite from Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA30a.jpg]
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Quartz with Actinolite and Scolecite from Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA30c.jpg]
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Quartz with Actinolite and Scolecite from Miage Glacier, Veny Valley, Monte Bianco Massif, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA30d.jpg]

Hubert de Monmonier loved quartz and his collection must have had 1000 quartzes in it. He sought after all the classic included varieties, of which this was a style seldom seen here in the US market, at least. This is an exceptionally lustrous cluster of gemmy, bright quartz crystals that is complete all around the sides and only contacted in back (nearly a floater). These crystals are richly included by the "byssolite" variety of actinolite, in the form of sharp green needles running through them. Interestingly, on the back side are associated crystals to 2cm of the zeolite species, scolecite, something quite rare and unusual for this locality (and which I had not seen previously from here). From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-29 - Orthoclase var. Adularia - $ 750
Vizze Valley (Pfitsch Valley), Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

cabinet, 10.1 x 9.5 x 6.0 cm
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Orthoclase var. Adularia from Vizze Valley (Pfitsch Valley), Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA29b.jpg]
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Orthoclase var. Adularia from Vizze Valley (Pfitsch Valley), Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA29a.jpg]
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Orthoclase var. Adularia from Vizze Valley (Pfitsch Valley), Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA29c.jpg]
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Orthoclase var. Adularia from Vizze Valley (Pfitsch Valley), Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy [db_pics/new2011/UA29d.jpg]

This is a classic alpine style specimen: a large, fist-sized cluster of gemmy, translucent orthoclase feldspar crystals. The cluster is a floater, complete all around. It is unusually pristine and sharp, and very 3-dimensional in person. The photos show it in normal frontal lighting, though it has a better "glow" to it when backlit. Impressive, in person! From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-18 - Cassiterite (huge crystal for locality) - $ 6000
New England Range, New South Wales, Australia

small cabinet, 7.3 x 5.9 x 3.9 cm
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Cassiterite (huge crystal for locality) from New England Range, New South Wales, Australia [db_pics/new2011/UA18a.jpg]
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Cassiterite (huge crystal for locality) from New England Range, New South Wales, Australia [db_pics/new2011/UA18b.jpg]
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Cassiterite (huge crystal for locality) from New England Range, New South Wales, Australia [db_pics/new2011/UA18c.jpg]
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Cassiterite (huge crystal for locality) from New England Range, New South Wales, Australia [db_pics/new2011/UA18d.jpg]
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Cassiterite (huge crystal for locality) from New England Range, New South Wales, Australia [db_pics/new2011/UA18e.jpg]

This is a huge, sharp crystal , weighing in at over a pound in weight. It is actually complete all around the sides and back, fully terminated. It sits on a natural pedestal of matrix of muscovite and host rock. In normal case light, the tips glimmer with translucency but it is much more translucent when strongly backlit, and glows with an amber color and a tinge of red. This is surely an old piece. We have not seen a larger example. Comes with a special plastic display label indicating this was out on the Museum's display. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-07 - Gold - $ 2500
Icabaru, Bolivar, Venezuela

thumbnail, 1.6 x 1.1 x 0.8 cm
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Gold from Icabaru, Bolivar, Venezuela [db_pics/new2011/UA07a.jpg]
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Gold from Icabaru, Bolivar, Venezuela [db_pics/new2011/UA07b.jpg]
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Gold from Icabaru, Bolivar, Venezuela [db_pics/new2011/UA07c.jpg]

A stunning, SHARP thumbnail gold crystal of a quality that is so rarely seen in this material, with razor sharp and smooth, unpitted faces. Crystals this size usually show etching that mars the symmetry of the sharp ingrown hopper forms. This crystal , though, is so fine and sharp it looks carved. It is a rare, elongated habit of crystallization. Most of the octohedral crystals from here are worn, or asymmetric, or both - so this is a superb example and a major thumbnail gold specimen from finds of the early 1990s. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-05 - Gold - $ 3500
Diltz Mine, Whitlock, Bear Valley, Mariposa Co., California, USA

small cabinet, 5.7 x 4.2 x 1.1 cm
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Gold from Diltz Mine, Whitlock, Bear Valley, Mariposa Co., California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA05a.jpg]
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Gold from Diltz Mine, Whitlock, Bear Valley, Mariposa Co., California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA05b.jpg]
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Gold from Diltz Mine, Whitlock, Bear Valley, Mariposa Co., California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA05c.jpg]
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Gold from Diltz Mine, Whitlock, Bear Valley, Mariposa Co., California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA05d.jpg]

A spread-eagled, flattish but robust crystallized gold specimen from this classic old US locale. The Diltz mine was famous for these platy, hefty gold crystals. The surface area to weight ratio here is great in terms of getting a big and showy gold for the price ! The mine is now long closed and specimens with this attribution turn up only in old collections. It is complete all around and has a beautiful patina. Mass is 43 grams, or nearly 1.4 ounces of gold , here. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-X-04 - Acanthite (huge, robust crystal) - $ 20000
Rayas Mine, Guanajuato, Mexico

small cabinet, 6.2 x 3.8 x 3.1 cm
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Acanthite (huge, robust crystal) from Rayas Mine, Guanajuato, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA04a.jpg]
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Acanthite (huge, robust crystal) from Rayas Mine, Guanajuato, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA04b.jpg]
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Acanthite (huge, robust crystal) from Rayas Mine, Guanajuato, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA04c.jpg]

This is an important specimen of Rayas acanthite for the notable crystal size and robust crystal habit. It is complete and pristine all around, actually a floater specimen. The hoppered, in-drawn faces add depth and visual interest to the normally more simple crystal habit of these acanthites. This is one of the largest single crystals, not in cluster, that I am aware of, for the locale. This is a crystal that can be stood vertically and exceeds 6 cm height, but set flat and still display as a large minaiture. In person it has a bright and shiny lustre , and is not "black." Ex University of Arizona collection, by donation in the past.


UNIVAZ-X-02 - Scheelite - $ 7500
Santa Cruz, Mun. de Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico

miniature, 5.5 x 5.0 x 3.6 cm
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Scheelite from Santa Cruz, Mun. de Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA02a.jpg]
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Scheelite from Santa Cruz, Mun. de Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA02b.jpg]
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Scheelite from Santa Cruz, Mun. de Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA02c.jpg]
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Scheelite from Santa Cruz, Mun. de Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA02d.jpg]

A very gemmy, translucent, glowing crystal of scheelite from the mountains of Sonora (no specific locale was attributed, but it is classic for the region and for this mine). Nearly complete-all-around and with only minor edge wear, this specimen stands as a very fine example of the species from Mexico. In person it has a unique yellow-orange color that is really quite different than Chinese material we see today, and similar to but brighter and more gemmy than the old Korean scheelites. The surface lustre is very bright - not lustrous and smooth, but nevetheless very bright and shiny. This specimen is very similar to a famous piece from the Dr Miguel Romero collection was on loan exhibition to the University of Arizona Museum for over a decade (featured in the book "The Miguel Romero Collection of Mexico Minerals"). If you had swapped out the Romero piece for this one, they are of such similar size an dpresence that I doubt anybody would have noticed. Such pieces are extremely rarified and seldom seen on the market. I am told that they are thought to have come out prior to the 1970s but perhaps as far back as the 1940s. This specimen was donated by noted collector Rukin Jelks, to the University of Arizona Museum when it was still the State of Arizona collection. His original label is preserved, as well as the Museum label.


UNIVAZ-X-40 - Flourite with Calcite and Chalcopyrite - $ 4500 SOLD
San Martin Mine, Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Mexico

cabinet, 11.1 x 10.3 x 9.2 cm
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Flourite with Calcite and Chalcopyrite from San Martin Mine, Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA40a.jpg]
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Flourite with Calcite and Chalcopyrite from San Martin Mine, Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA40b.jpg]
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Flourite with Calcite and Chalcopyrite from San Martin Mine, Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA40c.jpg]
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Flourite with Calcite and Chalcopyrite from San Martin Mine, Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA40e.jpg]

Because we see so much more production from Naica, good Fluorite from the Zacatecas area is sometimes confused with material from the much more common locales in Naica, and I have found them on occasion mislabelled as such. This large display piece, however, has a decidedly non-Naica look to it. Naica produces octohedra, but not large purple crystals of this color; and the pagoda-like calcite is distinctive here also. This specimen is complete all around and shows off a great contrast of the small but brilliantly metallic chalcopyrite crystals perched upon the large fluorite octohedra. This is an oldtime specimen, and I have seen only smaller examples of the style for sale before. Ex University of Arizona Mineral Museum collection


UNIVAZ-X-38 - Mottramite - $ 1250 SOLD
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia

cabinet, 13.8 x 7.8 x 4.7 cm
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Mottramite from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia [db_pics/new2011/UA38d.jpg]
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Mottramite from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia [db_pics/new2011/UA38f.jpg]
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Mottramite from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia [db_pics/new2011/UA38b.jpg]
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Mottramite from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia [db_pics/new2011/UA38a.jpg]
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Mottramite from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia [db_pics/new2011/UA38e.jpg]

Mottramite in big botryoidal masses occurs in few places, Tsumeb the most well known. This is a large, showy cluster of "worms" of rounded mottramite growths covering an ore matrix. Despite its size, it is nearly pristine (with just one spot of damage on the backside, as shown). It has a matte evergreen-colored surface, and is unusually richly covered. In fact, I have not seen one quite like this, but for smaller sizes. An old piece, once donated to the University of Arizona Mineral Museum.


UNIVAZ-37 - Amethyst phantoms in Quartz - $ 2150 SOLD
Amatitlan, Guerrero, Mexico

cabinet, 12.7 x 3.9 x 2.6 cm
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Amethyst phantoms in Quartz from Amatitlan, Guerrero, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA37a.jpg]
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Amethyst phantoms in Quartz from Amatitlan, Guerrero, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA37b.jpg]
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Amethyst phantoms in Quartz from Amatitlan, Guerrero, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA37d.jpg]
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Amethyst phantoms in Quartz from Amatitlan, Guerrero, Mexico [db_pics/new2011/UA37e.jpg]

A graceful curve adds something special to this upright, elegant cluster of deep grape-juice purple amethysts. The sharpness of the crystals, and of the phantoms inside the clear quartz outer zone of the major crystal, make it a dramatic display piece. The color is intense grape-juice purple, the very best color you could want. The major crystal is pristine save for a trivial , very slight wear on the left edge of the termination. The small crystals that wreath the bottom add accents to what would otherwise be a more humble single point, however nice in quality. For the size, one of the better pieces we have had in some time, overall. Hubert de Monmonier was quite proud of his quartz suite, and within it of his large assortment of different Mexican quartz of various styles. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-34 - Tourmaline with Albite - $ 600 SOLD
Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan

small cabinet, 5.9 x 3.8 x 3.3 cm
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Tourmaline with Albite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan [db_pics/new2011/UA34a.jpg]
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Tourmaline with Albite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan [db_pics/new2011/UA34b.jpg]
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Tourmaline with Albite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan [db_pics/new2011/UA34c.jpg]
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Tourmaline with Albite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan [db_pics/new2011/UA34d.jpg]

A classic combination of tourmaline and crystallized albite, that came from many pockets over a decade of production here in the late 1980s and into the 90s. This specimen is complete all around 360 degrees , broken only on the bottom where it grew out from matrix. It is not, as are so many of these clusters, repaired. In person, the tips of the terminations have a slight pink blush of color to them. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-33 - Blue-cap Tourmaline with Albite - $ 2400 SOLD
Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan

small cabinet, 6.7 x 4.9 x 5.0 cm
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Blue-cap Tourmaline with Albite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan [db_pics/new2011/UA33a.jpg]
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Blue-cap Tourmaline with Albite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan [db_pics/new2011/UA33b.jpg]
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Blue-cap Tourmaline with Albite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan [db_pics/new2011/UA33c.jpg]
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Blue-cap Tourmaline with Albite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan [db_pics/new2011/UA33d.jpg]

The major crystal here sticks up about 3.5 cm, shooting up from the spray of crystallized albite around it. These unusual blue-tipped tourmalines came out of Stak Nala in the mid 1990s. I am aware of only one find of them, which came to Tucson at that time and was highly valued. The style itself, is classic and came from many pockets over a decade of production here. But the thick blue cap on the termination, those were few and far between. This specimen is complete all around 360 degrees and the termination is freestanding and looks good from any angle. It is not, as are so many of these clusters, repaired. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-31 - Benitoite on Natrolite - $ 1500 SOLD
Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito Co., California, USA

cabinet, 12.4 x 6.0 x 5.0 cm
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Benitoite on Natrolite from Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito Co., California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA31a.jpg]
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Benitoite on Natrolite from Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito Co., California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA31b.jpg]
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Benitoite on Natrolite from Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito Co., California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA31d.jpg]
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Benitoite on Natrolite from Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito Co., California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA31e.jpg]

The largest crystal here is not huge, at 13mm, but these ARE exceedingly gemmy and bright and there are a lot of them ! I am told that this habit of benitoite dates to very old workings at the mine, prior to 1960. I have seen only a handful of these brilliant, gemmy crystals in the past, all in old collections. This is a relatively large, display quality examnple with over a dozen fine and gemmy benitoites. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.


UNIVAZ-28 - Tourmaline - $ 750 SOLD
Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande, San Diego County, California, USA

miniature, 5.0 x 2.2 x 1.9 cm
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Tourmaline from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA28a.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA28b.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA28c.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA28d.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new2011/UA28e.jpg]

A classic green and red multicolored tourmaline from the Larson/Pala Intl mining era here. Unlike many such, it is red at both ends with a majority being green in the middle (pastel green). It is complete all around , and doubly terminated. The crystal is unusually fat to be so gemmy, and the pastel green zones like this are rarely so transparent. It masses 40 grams. From the collection of Hubert De Monmonier (1919-2007), donated by bequest to the University of Arizona Museum to add to their displays and to provide specimens for sale to establish an endowment fund for museum operations, in perpetuity.



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