Month: November 2020

Gwindel Quartz

Alchuri, Shigar District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

In our opinion, some of the best Pakistanese alpine-type minerals come from the Alchuri area. This gwindel is a perfect example. It’s a perfect floater, fullé recrystallized and with some adularia on its base. The luster and water-clear transparency are amazing, well beyond the quality of most of the gwindels we’ve seen coming from Pakistan. The typical gwindel twist is well visible when you look the specimen from the top (see picture 2). Size : 67mm x 46mm x 30 mm

Ref. GW027 – 850€

Closed Gwindel Quartz “Sucre”

Shalman Area, Khyber Agency, (FATA), Pakistan

Here is an absolute rarity: a closed gwindel, also called “sucre” by the French alpine mineral diggers, on its matrix. These closed gwindels are extremely rare, even more on their matrix. Most of the time, you will find them as floaters or without any matrix. If they are very hard to find in the Swiss and French Alps, they are scarce in the Pakistanese mountains. This specimen is one of the very very few I’ve seen from this exotic locality. “Classic” gwindels themselves are not common in Pakistan. Size : 85 mm x 55 mm x 44 mm

Ref. GW026 – 1200€

One of the latest addition to my collection: a lovely 30 ct smoky quartz from the Aiguille Verte, Mont-Blanc. It was faceted by a local crystal hunter and friend of mine. More of its amazing work in the “links” section! Photo Copyright © Charles D.

This old specimen consists of some yellow Fluorite cubes on Calcite crystals from Engihoul-Antinne, Engis, Liège Province, Belgium. Yellow fluorite is scarce in Belgium. This one was found in 1889 !

Purple fluorite cubes on smoky quartz from the Aiguille Verte, (Arête du Moine) Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, France. While pink fluorite is rare in the French Alps, purple and green ones are even harder to find. This specimen comes from the 2016 find, related in the 50th Extra Lapis magazine.

Six faden Quartz from Sarolay, Liège Province, Belgium. These are pretty small (3cm max) but quite rare for the locality.

Crystallized gold on quartz from the Brusson Mine, Brusson, Ayas Valley, Aosta Valley, Italy. The mine is now closed and these specimens become very hard to find by collectors.

We all know about faden quartz but several other faden minerals exist. This one is a faden Adularia from the Swiss Alps. It comes from al Giuv, Tujetsch, Vorderrhein Valley, Grischun, Switzerland

Scarce gwindel quartz from a very uncommon locality: Budinarci, Macedonia. Only a handful of these were found in the early 1990’s.

Golden scalenohedral calcite on matrix from the Gralex Quarry in Beez, Namur Province, Belgium.

Pretty classic gwindel smoky quartz with light chlorite from La Dent du Geant, Mont-Blanc, Chamonix, France. The shape of this gwindel is typical of the Mont-Blanc gwindels, less aerial than the Swiss specimens.

Smoky Quartz with Amesthyst scepter from Les Droites, Mont-Blanc massif, Haute-Savoie, Rhône-Alpes, France. Amethyst is hard to find in the Alps but when you find it, it’s often sceptered.

Twisted smoky Quartz ” Gwindel ” from the famous Dodo Mine, Saranpaul, Prepolar Ural, Siberia, Russia. Dodo and Puiva mines have produced some of the best gwindels in the world, even if they are not as famous than the European specimens.

Crystallized Gold specimens from the famous Round Mountain Mine, Nye Co., Nevada, USA. Crystallized gold is probably the rarest gold form that youc an find on Earth.

While most of the gwindel Quartz come from the Swiss or French Alps, this one comes froma rather rare locality: the Sainj Valley, Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Axinite crystal blades from the Puiva mine, Saranpaul, Tyumenskaya Oblast’, Prepolar Ural, Western-Siberian Region, Russia. This locality produced some of the best known axinites.

A nice golden scalenohedral calcite on chalcopyrite-covered matrix from the Gralex Quarry in Beez, Namur Province, Belgium.

Opalized bivalvia clam shell from the Lower Cretaceous was replaced by precious opal. It comes from the world-famous Coober Pedy locality, Central North, South Australia, Australia.

Calcite form the La Sambre quarry in Landelies, Montigny-le-Tilleul, Hainaut Province, Belgium.

Scepter Amethyst on matrix from Saurüssel, Mörchner area, Zemmgrund, Zillertal, North Tyrol, Austria.

Golden Calcite crystals from the Gralex Quarry in Mont-sur-Marchienne, Charleroi, Hainaut Province, Belgium. This quarry has produced some of the best Belgian calcites but is now flooded.

A classic fluorite specimen from the well known Rogerley Mine, Weardale, Co. Durham, United Kingdom. You can see the great color change from green to blue under UV light, even if it’s simply sun-exposed. (Just move the central line to see both possible colors)

Faden Quartz

Alchuri, Shigar District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Another fine quartz specimen from the Alpine-type deposit near the Alchuri village. The quality is outstanding with great luster and transparency. This quality grade is not common, even on an international level, among faden quartz. The specimen is lightly smoky and shows a closed crystal shape, looking like a closed gwindel. Size : 70 mm x 65 mm x 50 mm

Ref. QUA99 – 650€

Apatite, Albite, Adularia & Chlorite

Arondu, Basha Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Here is a cluster of tabular and very lustrous hexagonal crystals of Fluorapatite from the alpine-type deposits in the Shigar Valley. The contrast is given by micro crystals of chlorite. This apatite-chlorite combination remembers the similar specimens coming from the Austrian Alps. Albite and adularia are also visible at the back of the specimen. Size : 103mm × 75mm × 42mm

Ref. AP011 – 240€

Gold & Quartz

Brusson Mine, Brusson, Ayas Valley, Aosta Valley, Italy

Awesome specimen of crystallized native gold in milky quartz from the Brusson mine (“Brosso” in Italian), an old mine located in the Italian Alps. The These gold specimens have become very hard to find because the Brusson mine is now closed and forbidden. This one comes with its typical quartz matrix, localy etched to make the gold veins more visible. Rare opportunity to get a nice piece from this world classic locality. Size: 53 mm x 37 mm x 30 mm

Ref. GO015 – 360€


Les Droites, Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, France

Here is a outstanding complex pink cubo-octahedral fluorite from a single find made by C. Peray near the Aiguille Verte mount, famous for its pink fluorites. These fluorite shapes are very rare. A great constrat is made by the crystal itself lying on its adularia covered matrix. Size : 61 mm x 42 mm x 25 mm.

Ref. – FL077 – 300€

Titanite & Adularia

Alchuri, Shigar District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

A gneiss matrix covered with dozens twinned titanite crystals and some lustrous orthoclase (var. adularia) crystals. You can also see some minor dark chlorite. The titanites are green to yellow-green and gemmy. This combination is very comparable to the specimens found in the Salzburg area, Austrian Alps. Size : 92 mm x 81 mm x 30 mm

Ref. TIT05 – 180€

Gwindel Quartz & Rutile

Alchuri, Shigar District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

This specimen is one of a kind. Beside the fact that the gwindel itself is water-clear and closed, which is rather scarce in Pakistan, this one shows some thin rutile inclusions (see picture 3). Combination between a gwindel and another mineral is extremely rare, even more if this mineral is an inclusion. Some rare rutilated gwindels were also found in Brazil. The gwindel itself is very lustrous but unfortunately shows some damages on one side (left side on the first picture. Size : 62 mm x 55 mm x 50 mm

Ref. GW025 – 490€

Rutile (var. Sagenite) & Quartz

Alchuri, Shigar District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Alchuri, an alpine-type metamorphic-type deposit area, is well known for its fine quality minerals. Here is a very interesting combination of reddish and partially gemmy rutile crystals lying on a big fully recrystallized quartz. Some siderite is also visible. Size : 125 mm x 95 mm x 52mm

Ref. QUA0XX – 280€


Fluorite & Quartz

Les Courtes, Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, France

This specimen consists of a single pink fluorite crystal on its granit matrix with some quartz. The main quartz crystal is actually a tiny gwindel. The fluorite itself is perfect but naturally etched, which makes it unsual for the locality. Maybe it was once a perfect octahedron, some million years ago. Size : 50 mm x 39 mm x 18 mm.

Ref. – QA047 – 275€



La Gardette (Giraud), Villard-Notre-Dame, Isère, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

A very aesthetic and aerial quartz cluster from a locality known as “mine à Giraud”, which is part of the famous La Gardette undergrounds area. Pictures don’t do justice to this specimen and its quality. The luster and transparency of the quartz are amazing. No damage. Size : 77 mm x 75 mm x 72 mm.

Ref. – QA046 – 400€



Les Droites, Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, France

Here is an other curiosity from the Mont-Blanc mountains: the granit matrix is covered with complex pink fluorite crystals. Their crystallization looks like a second generation of octahedrons was growing on the first generation fluorites. A very unusual but beautiful example of pink fluorite. The tiny black spots are hematite flakes. It comes from the amazing find of C. Peray & S. Khayati in 2016. Size : 43 mm x 35 mm x 24 mm.

Ref. – FL046 – 330€



Les Droites, Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, France

Naturally etched pink fluorites octahedrons on matrix from the south face of Les Droites in the Mont-Blanc mountains. Some microscopic hematite flakes are visible around the strange-looking fluorites that seem naturally melted. An interesting specimen from this famous locality. It comes from the amazing find of C. Peray & S. Khayati in 2016. Size : 65 mm x 45 mm x 35 mm.

Ref. – FL0XX – 200€


Fluorite & Quartz

Aiguille Verte, Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, France

Scarce purple fluorite cubes on smoky quartz matrix. The specimen is a floater and the quartz is fully crystallized. Purple fluorite is scarce in the Mont-Blanc, much more than pink fluorite. Also the cubic shape is pretty different from the “usual” octahedral pink fluorites found in the area. This specimen comes from a unique and notable find in 2016. Size : 100 mm x 65 mm x 51 mm.

Ref. – QA046 – 200€