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Posted by Harjo Neutkens  
Rock Currier March 13, 2011 12:17PM

I am all with you. I think your articles are really fantastic, and I agree on separate articles on varieties, and for the larger minerals such as calcite it makes perfectly sense to split articles pr. country, unless someone wants to write "best of" for cobaltocalcite or for another variety, which I think then should be in a separate article. My initial post on this was intended as a support of the pragmatic policies on this series of "best of" articles, and I think the schalenblende article definately should be within scope for this series.

My intention was to highlight how incredibly difficult it would to set a fixed structure at this stage with so many choises to be made for each article. Please don't get me wrong.

I love this initiative, and I only wish that I had more time and knowledge so that i could contribute better.

Please let me know if you would like any input on the beryl article from Evje/Iveland

& best regards

Olav Revheim <2010>

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rock Currier March 13, 2011 12:18PM
Ill try and address your various concerns here and try to make everyone understand why at this point and ultimately it doesn't make any difference how long the various articles are or how they are arranged.

When we write these articles we can be selfish and write just what we think is important and at least initially, Ill let the authors get away with that because we need to make some progress on this thing to demonstrate to the various users how interesting and valuable this best mineral thing can be to them. If the authors, myself included don't include some things of interest that others might be interested in, when others complain about the lack it it in the articles, we can always add it in. This isn't like a printed book where it, like the printed encyclopedia Britannica, can only be printed once in a generation. Ideally we should include all things that might be of interest to collectors, curators, mineralogists, material scientists and the general public.

Some people will want to know how big Allanite crystals get, so you definitely will want to include localities that have the really big ones as well as some pictures. If you are a material scientist you may want to know if you can find a 1cm transparent cube of the stuff to run some tests on or if you are interested in gems you may want to know what the largest cut stone of a mineral might be. Collectors will want to know where the best specimens of Allanite come from and those would be the ones with the sharpest crystals and those which will bring the most money from collectors. Since these best, and probably the most valuable specimens of Allanite crystals probably don't have crystals that are very sharp, we will need to include some localities and pictures of Allanites that have the best micro crystals. Of course localities that have Allanites with unusual associations should also be included. We don't need right know to worry about how long these articles get and Ill explain that a bit later.

Zircon and Hafnon. Hafnon is so rare that we should be glad to show any and all images we have of the mineral that have definitely identified as being real Hafnon.

Almandine. We should show what the best specimens from all good Almandine localities regardless of their environment, but should make sure that this is made clear which is which in the article. I should revisit this article and make those distinctions, or perhaps I can get Olav to clean that up for us. If they are from a schist, which can be a large formation with many different localities in it, well than this is a matter of judgment for the author on how he wants to talk about it. If, in the formation in the schist deposit that has produced most of the specimens, than perhaps that is the name that should be used but at the same time it should be made clear in the article that these kinds of garnets come from a number of localities in the schist and to check the full image captions for more details information which will be given if we know it. This kind of problem crops up big time with specimens from the Deccan traps and the Parana Basalts of Rio Grande do Sul and Uruguay.

For the time being I am content to let the authors write about what ever they want. If they want to write about Emerald or Schalenblende that is OK as long as they stick to the country first, then state etc. and the general format we have thus far developed. We do this so we can quickly find the things we want without having to look in an index to find out where to go. But even so, we will at least for the immediate future have indexes. Have any of you noticed and used the quick navigation index at the top of the A forum yet? That is an index of a sort and as the other forums grow beyond a page or two there will be one of these fast navigation indexes at the top of every Best Mineral forum.

Here is the reason why it doesn't make much difference right now and ultimately how we arrange what we are doing. Here is the future:

This is what I call a data block:

AzuriteAustraliaNew South Wales, Yancowinna Co., Broken Hill

Azurite & Cerussite ~14cm across
Azurite ~9cm across

Azurite with malachite, 5.5 cm tall
Azurite 4cm across

A number of mines at Broken Hill produced good azurites but collectors generally agree that the Block 14 mine produced the best. Albert Chapman’s best Broken Hill azurite was from this mine and had lustrous prismatic crystals up to 9 cm growing with a little cerussite. The Proprietary mine also produced some fine azurite specimens. A specimen in the collection of the Department of Mineral Resources of New South Wales has crystals of almost 7 cm. Cerussite is a common association of Broken Hill azurites. Crystals up to 15 cm were found.

This datablock will be placed in a database structure. It will be one record in a big database. Attached to this record and in it will be a tab that will show a table or list of tags that have been attached to that particular record. This table will be able to contain any number of tags or properties that anyone might care to tag that record with. They can be things like amethyst, smoky quartz, chalcedony agate, jasper, twinned, Japan law twin, pseudomorph, gem crystal, space group. resonates to the #7 chakra sp? radioactive, magnetic, UV short wave fluorescent green, Copper containing mineral. LIght sensitive, unstable, very unstable, Hardness etc. anything that might be of interest to anyone. If someone want to see all of the good quartz crystals from Washington or all the good amethyst specimens from Washington you only have to make the right choices in the filter and they will be presented with a report that show them images of fine examples of that particular thing and what has been written about them. You want the minerals of Washington, well just press the button.

Right now at the beginning of the digital age we are still tied to books and are still arguing about how to arrange the content of what goes in the book. But in the format we now have, the book does not even need to exist, because you can have what ever book you want just by selecting what ever it is you want to know about. This is my vision of the future.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Harjo Neutkens January 14, 2012 10:16PM
I updated the Schalenblende page with new localities and photos provided by Paul de Bondt (thanks Paul!)
Rock Currier January 15, 2012 04:27AM
It just keeps getting better. Eventually these articles should be the gold standard when someone wants to find out how their specimen stacks up against the best.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rudolf Hasler April 19, 2012 07:31AM
In Bad Bleiberg the best finds of Schalenblende were made in Mine Antoni. The exact locality is: Sechserverhau, Mine Antoni.
Also very nice specimens were collected in Max Mine and Mine Rudolf.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2012 07:50AM by Rudolf Hasler.
Eligiusz Szełęg April 19, 2012 09:41AM
Dear Harjo,
The first picture shows a specimen from my collection. The schalenblende comes from Pomorzany mine in Olkusz. As Tom wrote, the schalenblende consists of sphalerite and wurtzite and other minerals like galena, marcasite and pyrite. Some schlalenblendes are dark brown because of bitumen content. In the same deposit in the vicinity of Bytom (Orzeł Biały Mine, form. Biały Szrlej Mine) within the dark blend occur jordanite and gratonite.
Best regards
open | download - jordanite Orzeł Biały.jpg (871.2 KB)
Paul De Bondt April 19, 2012 09:49AM
Hi Harjo and Rock,

There must be an error in the topic as there aare azurite specimens in Rock's message of march 13, 2011.
Harjo, keep up the good work and thanks for using my pictures.

I hope this helps.

Take care and best regards.

Rudolf Hasler April 20, 2012 09:38PM
Hello Harjo and Rock,
Concerning Austria I can tell you that the most Schalenblende there was found in the western part of the Bleiberg mining area that means the 2 mines: Mine Antoni and Max Mine. The exact locality for the very best specimens is: Sechserverhau, Mine Antoni, Bleiberg-Kreuth, Carinthia, Austria. Some good specimens also came from Mine Rudolf.

I took your image into photo shop and and I did was to lighten the shadows. Do you think it was improved? If so, why don't you see what you can do with your image and reload it.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2012 09:35PM by Rudolf Hasler.
open | download - Schalenblenda1.jpg (190.3 KB)
Rock Currier April 20, 2012 09:51PM
See the photoshoped image above.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rudolf Hasler April 20, 2012 10:25PM
I think that on my PC all the images look quite a bit brighter and lighter. I noticed that when I looked at some of my photos at a friend's PC.
It is good that you told me now so in future I just will try to make them a little bit lighter.

Rock Currier April 21, 2012 01:36AM
I think you are right about the light/dark and even the color on many of our images. How they look depends a lot on the computer screen that we are using. At home, many images appear to be dark, butt on others not so dark. Im going to have to try and find out what is going on.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rudolf Hasler April 21, 2012 08:06AM
I have lightened it up a little bit now but I do not know if that is enough. On my computer screen it looks exactly like the specimen.

Rock Currier April 21, 2012 08:09AM
It looks better, though Harjo is the artist here. I am sure that he will soon weigh in with a more valid artistic judgement than mine.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Harjo Neutkens June 02, 2012 07:33PM
Sorry Rudolf and Rock, I completely missed these messages.
I made a white balance for your photo Rudolf, it's fine now. I added it to the article, and I also added the nice one you posted from the Prasnik collection. Thanks for your fantastic help!!
Greg Moris July 14, 2012 05:53PM

I recently purchased a specimen of Schalenblende through on Ebay that came from the Pomorzany Mine in Poland. I was wandering if you would be able to assist me in how to slab and cab the Schalenblende specimen. I have never owned any Schalenblende and am wondering how to slab it and then make cabochons out of it. My concern is will the Galena in the stone plug up my slab saw and my diamond cabbing wheels in creating the cabochons. Please give me any assistance you can.

I am a 100% disabled veteran and have just recently started lapidary for a hobby because I find it physical and mentally therapeutic. I have taken one class on making cabochons and one class on rock carving. I took the classes first to see if I will be physically able to perform all of the steps. Both classes went well and I had a lot of fun even though I was sore for the next couple of days. I had so much fun that I feel any discomfort is worth the enjoyment I get out of the process. I also have found that the overall enjoyment I get assists me greatly in dealing with my disabilities. I have had to adjust the majority of my rock hunting from the outdoors to the internet, although I do try to get outdoors and look for agates but in areas that are better suited for my mobility. I have also been able to find agates and rocks through connections with people I have met at the Minnesota Mineral Club which I became a member of.
I don’t have much experience in the lapidary field and am hoping you can assist me with creating cabochons out of the Schalenblende specimen
Thank you for letting me take up so much of your time and thank you for any assistance you can give me on my new adventure into the lapidary world of agates and rocks.


open | download - picture of chalenblende Rough 4 Pound 2 Ounces.jpg (31.9 KB)
Paul De Bondt July 14, 2012 06:18PM
Hi Greg,

Thank you for the message.
Happy to hear you purchased the Pomorzany schalenblende.
I was bidding on it but you won. Congrats.

To be honest, it would be a shame to slice this piece as ALL the Pomorzany schalenblende has been sliced and this is one of the " surviving " not sliced pieces. As the mines are closed, no rough is coming out any more.
This piece is worth more than " ordinary " sliced specimens.

I am not a slicer so I can't help you any further. Meanwhile, enjoy the specimen as it is.

Take care and best regards.

Alan Melbourne January 05, 2013 10:20AM
I have a sample which I obtained at Mount Costigan in New South Wales Australia in 1966, I now recognise that it is schalenblende. It has sat un-noticed in my shed for all these years, I was only interested in it's metallic looking interior until now. I wonder if there are specimens still to be found there?
open | download - Schalenblende Mt Costigan NSW.jpg (89.8 KB)
Rock Currier January 05, 2013 11:06AM
Did you recognize it because of the Best Minerals article on Schalenblende?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Harjo Neutkens May 11, 2013 08:43PM
Article updated with a few more interesting Schalenblende specimens from Paul de Bondt!
Alan Melbourne May 11, 2013 11:17PM
I sure did! I love your nom-de-plume by the way. Keep up the good work. Regards, Alan.
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