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Fakes & FraudsGalena lined geode

15th Sep 2019 22:55 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

This is a piece that was in a collection we were valuing for a friend.   I will add another photo of the hollow area and the two labels that were with it.

15th Sep 2019 22:58 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Closer view of the galena pocket.  When I first saw the piece, something was wrong and when I put the piece through the sonic cleaner to remove years of built up dust and dirt, the piece cleaned up nicely but the immersion in water also made some of the glue soft and the galena pieces moved when pushed a little with a pin.   They covered pretty much all the inside so no glue was easy to see.  The long protruding part we later heard they use a piece of wood.
I will also post the labels from the piece so people can see what they were being sold as.

15th Sep 2019 22:59 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

I added the "Fake" so noone down the line would be fooled into thinking this was a real geode lined with galena.   The oritinal price paid for the piece was $60.

15th Sep 2019 23:00 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

This was the second label that was with the piece.
I had never seen one in person before but had heard of these being produced.

15th Sep 2019 23:06 BSTBob Harman

I could see a small possibility of that being genuine with a coating mixture of manganese oxides (wad).....not galena.....and being from the hi Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Other than that, most probably fake.  I have an Atlas Mountain Moroccan example with goethite needles on quartz with a similar appearing rind.

 ALFREDO P knows Bolivian minerals so maybe he knows more.  CHEERS.....BOB

15th Sep 2019 23:15 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Hi Bob, 
I was not asking "whether it is fake" I was posting because I know for sure it is a fake.  Only wanted to post so people could see what had been made and sold as "real".

15th Sep 2019 23:22 BSTBob Harman

Well ROLF, If you are absolutely positively sure the coating is galena and nothing else and the example is be it!    Just know  that some, somewhat similar appearing Atlas Mountain examples are genuine.     CHEERS.......BOB

16th Sep 2019 00:19 BSTBen Grguric Expert

About 25 years ago a dealer in Moroccan minerals showed me these fakes. They take a geode, coat the inside with glue and shake around crushed galena cleavages. As well as being fake, I'm guessing the geode was not even from Bolivia but from the Atlas Mtns.

16th Sep 2019 00:33 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Hi Bob,
I have collected a ton of galena at the Hilltop mine in the Chiricahuas and broken a lot of it up and that is exactly what the material inside reminded me of, the debris I had.
Both Mary and I assumed as you had said, it was probably from Morocco and had nothing to do with Bolivia, just the labeling they choose to put.  Seems that the mine doesn't even exist.
This piece came into my knowledge base about 25 years ago, when the collection I was assessing had it in it.  It was my wife Mary who immediately thought of Morocco and I kind of agreed with her.  I had never seen one like it before this one and thought I post it if there are any still floating around.  Thanks for mentioning the ones you had seen.

16th Sep 2019 08:56 BSTAlfredo Petrov Manager

I agree with Ben that the locality is just as fake as the specimen ;))
Def not from the Vicuñita mine, and as others have said, most likely Morocco. I wonder who R.C. Gillespie got it from?

16th Sep 2019 15:11 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Hi Alfredo,
Have no idea where Richard got the piece from.  The reason we did the work with his collection is that he had passed away and his son asked us to do a thorough check of his collection.
I posted the two labels but knew the last label was probably the one that he saw when he got the piece.  His label gives no more information.
I was hoping that showing the piece would let people know these are out there and if they see one, they are fake.
Thanks for the input all.
Bob, didn't mean to sound so stuffy with the knowing it was fake but I did all the research and as I had said, the cleaning softened the glue and poking a galena piece made it move from side to side a bit so I was absolutely sure it was a fake.

16th Sep 2019 17:03 BSTDonald B Peck Expert

My son brought me one of these from Morocco about 25 years ago.  He thought it was genuine.  I never told him it wasn't.


16th Sep 2019 22:46 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Guess these have been around a while and you are one of the few I have heard of that has one also.  
When I first got it a fellow was in the shop and wanted to buy it really bad.  I told him it was not for sale since it was a fake.  He was convinced it was real but I refused to sell it to him.
Thanks for adding to the thread.

17th Sep 2019 04:35 BSTGareth Evans

I have seen galena geodes from the Cadjebut mine. Voids in the host rock containing small (ca. 5mm) but splendent crystals of galena. I have one in my collection and when I find it I will upload a few pictures.

17th Sep 2019 13:08 BSTGary Morse

Don Edwards reported on these so called "skutterudite" geodes from Morocco in an article in the UK Journal of Mines & Minerals No 23, 2003 page 6. The stalactites inside the geodes were formed by gluing crushed galena to the bristles of an old brush. Later ones were not even created using real geodes but plaster casts from round a tennis ball, or similar, and painted on the outside. They were never really taken seriously and sold for a few pounds. People bought them for their curiosity value as fakes.
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