Contact me directly to learn more about available specimens. I have many more specimens than can be shown here, so if you are seeking something in particular, ask. I often have other specimens of the species shown, but in different sizes and prices. I enjoy getting to know my customers and believe that learning about you and your collection will help me find specimens that will enhance your collection.
I accept PayPal, credit cards, and checks on US banks. Payment is required prior to shipping. Insured shipping within the US is free. Prompt insured returns of unaltered specimens (at your expense) will result in full immediate refunds.
Cabinet specimens are larger than fit into a 5-inch cube. Small cabinets (s-cab) are under the 5-inch cube but larger than miniature. Miniatures (min) fit within a 2-inch cube, Toenails fit within a 1.5-inch cube, and Thumbnails (TN) fit within a 1-inch cube.
Many of my best specimens come with custom bases by The Sunnywood Collection, the industry standard. For information about having your collection mounted contact them at www.sunnywood.com.
Here is some eye candy as I work on Tucson plans
Left: Dennis Durgan in the pocket. Above: Freshly washed garnets in the wall.
Leonard Himes Dealer in Fine Mineral Specimens
Two specimens of Mt. Marie tourmaline and apatite that I prepared in my lab a few years ago. Both are toenail to small miniature size.
Many of you know me from my early days dealing from Florida as Minerals America. I started my business selling what I dug around the US and still love American locality specimens. I was working in my storage ares and came a cross the remains (pretty nice ones) of a large purchase Cal and I made when the Philadelphia Academy collection was disbursed. Here are some of the classic pieces we have for sale. These are excellent quality and very hard to come by, particularly with he museums display labels. I remind you that my labels are 2 inches wide at the borders, for a size reference.
An Exciting Discovery of a soon-to-be American Classic
During the last year and a half, Dennis Durgan, the owner of the Mt. Marie Mine in Paris Township east of South Paris has encountered and collected a sizable pocket of almandine garnets. The crystals are very dark red, appearing almost black, but are surprisingly sharp and large. If you are familiar with the historic specimens from Russell, MA, these specimens are similar in many ways, but distinguishable by their more complex crystals and in many cases, by their larger size.
The Mt. Marie complex covers many acres and has several diverse pegmatites. Previously, Dennis has found tourmaline rough in an amazing array of colors and converted it into fine gemstones. That collection of faceted tourmaline is now part of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel and will be on display when the museum opens in 2019.
The garnet pocket was unusual for Maine in that the crystals could be separated from the surrounding quartz and feldspar producing sharp crystals. There were no quartz crystals found with the garnets, but a few of the specimens have muscovite crystals attached. My prior experience at nearby Mt. Mica has been that all of the garnets were frozen in the margins of the pegmatite zones and could be extracted only in pieces.
I was privileged to visit the Mount Marie in the summer of 2017 while the pocket was being excavated and saw some of the garnets in place. Dennis asked me to take some broken material to my Colorado lab to determine how best to clean it. I returned to the mine in the summer of 2018 and was able to see the product of his work. We also arranged for me to be the sole source of these crystals in the market place. Dennis has provide me with about thirty specimens, representing the best from the mine and a few reference pieces. I have been busy in my lab doing additional trimming of matrix and cleaning of the crystals. Dennis has moved on to other areas of the property in search for more gem material. We can hope that he encounters fine crystals, too.
The almandine specimens made their world debut in Tucson in February at the Westward Look Fine Mineral Show, Feb. 7-11 in the Graeber and Himes room. The number of specimens of high quality is limited. We expect these crystals to set a new standard for almandine from Maine and become American classics. Some of the finest pieces now reside in major museums. But we will have a nice display of specimens priced from around $500 to $20,000 for your consideration at. the East Coast Gem Mineral and Fossil sow in Springfield, MA in August. I will be visiting the mine prior to the show so there could be some new surprises there, too
The mine is not open to collecting or visitors. But I am happy to share some photos of the property and the garnets.
A 3-inch and a 2-inch crystal showing varied habits. Prices on request.
All of my specimens are larger than miniature.
The above photos reminded me that I also have another 'black ugly' but exceedingly fine with the largest known crystals (so says the miner). This miniature is Corkite (yes I had to look it up , too) from the type locality in Ireland. POR
My galleries show specimens that are currently available for purchase.
I advertise regularly in Rocks & Minerals and sometimes in the The Mineralogical Record and other publications. My ads show either exceptional specimens from my inventory or excellent specimens that coordinate with articles in the current issue. Please support these journals with your subscription if you don't already. It will enhance your mineral knowledge. You can contact them at www.tandfonline.com/vram and www.MineralogicalRecord.org. I know that most serious collectors take the MR but I'm surprised at how many do not subscribe to R&M. If you haven't for a while, you should give it another look, over the past decades it has become a very good publication, frequently rivaling the MR for content and it is often more readable for non-scientists. Let me know if my encouragement caused you to subscribe and I'll credit it you with your first-year subscription amount on your next mineral specimen purchase of over $200.
Here are my recent and current Rocks and Minerals ads. The featured specimens were available at the time the ad was submitted. However, specimens often sell prior to the magazine's publication due to the long lead time for ad submissions, but it never hurts to ask if they are still available. Predicting when a specimen will sell is impossible!
Note that because ads must be submitted months in advance, show information might have changed.
Legrandite, Mexico Azurite, Tsumeb Spinel. Burma Torbernite, Zaire
Rocks & Minerals. Sept-October 2020. Rocks & Minerals Nov-Dec 2020 Rocks & Minerals Jan-Feb 2021
A long-range view of Mt. Marie and a close-up of the wild blueberries that cover the open space adjacent to the mine. The blueberries alone were worth my trip!