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Mineral Specimens - page 19
The Carles Curto Collection

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Carles Curto Text: Carles Curto (formerly curator of the Geology Museum, Barcelona) & Jordi Fabre
Assistance from John S. White (former Smithsonian curator) John S. White

 


Born in Barcelona in 1950. Right from my early childhood, at the age of ten, and thanks to the mountaineer and naturalist who was my maternal grandfather (who gave me my first collection in 1960), I got in touch with the world of minerals, a hobby that was still a little unknown back then but that was clarified by frequent visits to the Geology Museum in Barcelona and the "old style" shop of Soler Pujol, in the Plaza Real of downtown Barcelona city. In both places I had the opportunity to get to know, along with other newcomers to the hobby, the most expert and highest level collectors, such as D. Josep Cervelló and D. Joaquín Folch.

Between 1962 and 1965, after many Saturday mornings in the Geology Museum in Barcelona, with the ineffable presence of the concierge, D. Francisco García Espino, who sold us modest specimens, always accompanied by some interesting explanation, and with visits to other private collections I was made aware of what could really interest me and I made a qualitative first selection among the wide mix of various objects that I had accumulated and I eliminated a good number of them from a jumble of massive minerals, rocks and fossils (and, why not say it: "pebbles")

In 1969 I decided to start my university studies in the Faculty of Geology of the University of Barcelona, requesting, at the same time, a scholarship from the Municipal Museum of Geology, entering, in 1973, as an interim curator. It was not until years later the 1978 that I became -after examination- to the position of curator.

At the beginning of the seventies, coinciding with an era of special mineralogical activity, the collection continued to grow based on a "classic" (systematic-crystallographic) model, but with more attention to aspects of documentation and genetic interest than to other more "aesthetic" aspects . I was particularly struck by the crystalline morphology and the mineralogical "curiosities", with the final result being an eclectic collection, maybe very irregular, but full of suggestions and surprises and that ended up branching into a section of miniatures.

 

Carles Curto

With the arrival of computerization, in the early eighties, I decided to seriously address the cataloging and bibliography, which I took advantage of to donate a large part of my collection to the Geology Museum of the School of Mining Engineers of the Polytechnic University of Manresa and, many of the most beautiful and significant specimens, to the Museum of Geology (now Museum of Natural Sciences) of Barcelona. It was also at this time that I developed more academic activity and started to inform other people, with numerous publications and collaborations.

In 2017, retired, I decided to make a new start (is it a matter of age?), take a mineralogical break, limit what really interests me and go about reducing things that no longer fit, which is what I have time to do.

Be kind with my selection and enjoy it.

 

America


Rutile with Muscovite
Rutile with Muscovite. Rutile with Muscovite.
Rutile with Muscovite  

CG76AJ7: Reticular aggregate of twinned crystals that are translucent, bright, with a very intense red color and on a matrix of tabular Muscovite crystals.
Boiling Springs, Cleveland County, North Carolina  USA

Specimen size: 3.4 × 2.9 × 2 cm = 1.3” × 1.1” × 0.8”

Main crystal size: 1 × 0.3 cm = 0.4” × 0.1”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:170 / US$189 / Yen:20950 / AUD$275

Reservado
Inesite
Inesite  

CT96AI3: Groups of Inesite crystals with very well defined simple forms, bright and with a very intense pink color, on a matrix of the same Inesite with minor Calcite. The locality is an American classic for the species. The sample is from a J. Fabre exchange with the collection of duplicates of Joaquín Folch in the year 1987, when this collection was not well known under this name.
Hale Creek Mine, Mad River Rock, Coastal Range, Trinity County, California  USA (1973)

Specimen size: 6.4 × 4 × 3.5 cm = 2.5” × 1.6” × 1.4”

Main crystal size: 1.2 × 0.4 cm = 0.5” × 0.2”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Inesite. Inesite.
Order
Silver
Silver. Front
Front
Silver. Rear
Rear
Silver  

CB47AJ7: Dendritic aggregate on matrix of very elongated Silver crystals that form parallel growths and have very well defined octahedral terminations.
Batopilas, Andrés del Río District, Municipio Batopilas, Chihuahua  Mexico

Specimen size: 4.1 × 3.5 × 2.3 cm = 1.6” × 1.4” × 0.9”

Main crystal size: 1.2 × 0.1 cm = 0.5” × 0.0”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order
Quartz (variety amethyst) with Calcite and Sphalerite
Quartz (variety amethyst) with Calcite and Sphalerite  

CE37AJ7: Elongated amethyst crystals with slightly curved faces and edges. They are translucent, have a very intense and uniform color, are on Sphalerite matrix and are partially coated by white scalenohedral Calcite crystals. The amethyst of such quality is very uncommon at Naica.
Naica, Municipio Saucillo, Chihuahua  Mexico

Specimen size: 7.5 × 5.4 × 3.9 cm = 3.0” × 2.1” × 1.5”

Main crystal size: 2.6 × 0.6 cm = 1.0” × 0.2”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Calcite fluorescence short UV & minor fluorescence long UV

Euro:240 / US$268 / Yen:29580 / AUD$389

Quartz (variety amethyst) with Calcite and Sphalerite. Quartz (variety amethyst) with Calcite and Sphalerite.
Reservado
Paravauxite
Paravauxite. Paravauxite.
Paravauxite  

MV14AH4: Very sharp Paravauxite crystals on a rock matrix. The crystals are pearly white, translucent and very bright. The sample is from the type locality for the species. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full text in the collection catalog.
Siglo Veinte Mine, Llallagua, Rafael Bustillo Province, Potosí Department  Bolivia

Specimen size: 4.6 × 4.1 × 1.6 cm = 1.8” × 1.6” × 0.6”

Main crystal size: 0.6 × 0.1 cm = 0.2” × 0.0”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order

Spain


Azurite
Azurite  

CT9AJ7: Equant Azurite crystals with a thick lenticular shape. They are bright with a very intense color and are on matrix with Quartz crystals.
Berta Quarry, Can Domènech Hill, Roques Blanques Mountains, Sant Cugat del Vallès-El Papiol, Comarca Vallès Occidental / Baix Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia  Spain (05/1971)

Specimen size: 1.8 × 1.7 × 1.7 cm = 0.7” × 0.7” × 0.7”

Main crystal size: 0.2 × 0.2 cm = 0.1” × 0.1”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Azurite.
Order
Azurite
Azurite.
Azurite  

CV11AJ7: Equant Azurite crystals with a thick lenticular shape. They are bright with a very intense color and are on matrix with Quartz crystals.
Berta Quarry, Can Domènech Hill, Roques Blanques Mountains, Sant Cugat del Vallès-El Papiol, Comarca Vallès Occidental / Baix Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia  Spain (05/1971)

Specimen size: 2 × 1 × 1.3 cm = 0.8” × 0.4” × 0.5”

Main crystal size: 0.4 × 0.4 cm = 0.2” × 0.2”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order
Quartz with Cinnabar
Quartz with Cinnabar  

CC12AJ7: Clear Quartz crystals with very well defined faces and edges. One of them is clearly dominant with an an evident Cinnabar inclusion. They are on matrix, with crystals and foliation surfaces of Cinnabar.
Distrito Minero de Almadén, Almadén, Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha  Spain

Specimen size: 2.6 × 2 × 1.2 cm = 1.0” × 0.8” × 0.5”

Main crystal size: 1 × 0.3 cm = 0.4” × 0.1”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:70 / US$78 / Yen:8620 / AUD$113

Quartz with Cinnabar.
Reservado
Cinnabar
Cinnabar. Cinnabar.
Cinnabar.
Cinnabar  

CP97AJ7: Parallel growths of rhombohedral shaped Cinnabar crystals, large for the locality, with slightly curved faces and edges, with Quartz and on matrix.
Almaden Mine, Almadén, Comarca Valle de Alcudia, Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha  Spain (1968)

Specimen size: 6 × 5.7 × 5.4 cm = 2.4” × 2.2” × 2.1”

Main crystal size: 1.1 × 1 cm = 0.4” × 0.4”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:280 / US$312 / Yen:34510 / AUD$454

Reservado
Pyromorphite
Pyromorphite  

CC49AJ7: Distorted Pyromorphite crystals, with prismatic and pyramidal faces displaced during the growth process. They are very bright and have the best intense grass-green color, typical of the mine.
El Horcajo Mines, El Horcajo, Almodóvar del Campo, Comarca Campo de Calatrava, Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha  Spain

Specimen size: 4.1 × 2.7 × 1.6 cm = 1.6” × 1.1” × 0.6”

Main crystal size: 0.7 × 0.5 cm = 0.3” × 0.2”

Minor fluorescence short UV

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:440 / US$491 / Yen:54230 / AUD$713

Pyromorphite. Front
Front
Pyromorphite. Rear
Rear
Reservado
Bismuth
Bismuth. Bismuth.
Bismuth  

CD37AJ7: Parallel growths of skeletal faces and foliation surfaces of native Bismuth, very bright and on a Quartz matrix. A Spanish classic.
Dolores Mine, Dolores Mining Group, Las Lomas, Pozoblanco, Comarca Los Pedroches, Córdoba, Andalusia  Spain

Specimen size: 5 × 3.6 × 2.9 cm = 2.0” × 1.4” × 1.1”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:220 / US$245 / Yen:27110 / AUD$356

Reservado

Europe


Freieslebenite
Freieslebenite  

CF96AJ7: Aggregate of short prismatic Freieslebenite crystals, a typical shape for the locality. They are very bright and have a fine growth striation. The crystals are not perfect and this is noted on the price, even considering the rarity of the species, coming from the type locality and the crystal size
Himmelsfürst Mine, Brand-Erbisdorf, Freiberg District, Erzgebirgskreis, Saxony/Sachsen  Germany

Specimen size: 1.6 × 1.4 × 0.8 cm = 0.6” × 0.6” × 0.3”

Main crystal size: 0.6 × 0.5 cm = 0.2” × 0.2”

Type locality

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:190 / US$212 / Yen:23420 / AUD$308

Freieslebenite.
Reservado
Pyromorphite
Pyromorphite.
Pyromorphite  

CD14AJ7: Parallel aggregates of elongated prismatic and doubly terminated Pyromorphite crystals, with slightly curve edges. They are bright and have a pale brown, slightly pinkish, color. A German classic.
Friedrichssegen Mine, Frücht, Bad Ems District, Lahn Valley, Rhineland-Palatinate/Rheinland-Pfalz  Germany

Specimen size: 2.7 × 1.6 × 1.2 cm = 1.1” × 0.6” × 0.5”

Main crystal size: 1.2 × 0.5 cm = 0.5” × 0.2”

Minor fluorescence long & short UV

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order
Quartz
Quartz  

CR86AJ7: Parallel aggregate of doubly terminated clear Quartz crystals. They are very bright and some of them have fluid inclusions and window (fenster) growths. The sample is from a locality that is a classic for Italian mineralogy.
Porretta quartz sites, Reno Valley, Alto Reno Terme (Porretta Terme), Bologna Province, Emilia-Romagna  Italy

Specimen size: 9 × 5.5 × 3.5 cm = 3.5” × 2.2” × 1.4”

Main crystal size: 4.7 × 3 cm = 1.9” × 1.2”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:170 / US$189 / Yen:20950 / AUD$275

Quartz. Front
Front
Quartz. Side
Side
Reservado
Silver
Silver. Front
Front
Silver. Rear
Rear
Silver  

CT86AJ7: Spongy aggregate of native Silver with clearly enhanced very elongated and hooked Silver crystals with octahedral terminal faces. The sample is from a classic Czech Republic locality.
Uranium Mine number 21 (shaft number 21), Háje, Příbram, Central Bohemia Region, Bohemia  Czech Republic

Specimen size: 5.6 × 3.3 × 2.6 cm = 2.2” × 1.3” × 1.0”

Main crystal size: 1 × 0.1 cm = 0.4” × 0.0”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order
Opal (variety hyalite)
Opal (variety hyalite)  

CC10AI3: Clear and colorless botryoidal aggregate that is very bright, on matrix and is fluorescent with an UV lamp. A precursor of the current hyalites from Central Europe.
Valeč, Doupov, Karlovy Vary Region, Bohemia  Czech Republic

Specimen size: 4.2 × 3.4 × 2.6 cm = 1.7” × 1.3” × 1.0”

Fluorescent short UV

Former collection of Carles Curto




Opal (variety hyalite). Opal (variety hyalite).
Order
Brandtite
Brandtite. Brandtite.
Brandtite  

CH13AJ7: Very well defined fan-like growths, on matrix, of white crystals of Brandtite, a very rare calcium and magnesium arsenate. The sample is from the type locality for the species.
Harstigen Mine, Pajsberg, Persberg District, Filipstad, Värmland  Sweden

Specimen size: 4.4 × 2.8 × 1.2 cm = 1.7” × 1.1” × 0.5”

Type locality

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:90 / US$100 / Yen:11090 / AUD$145

Reservado
Brookite with Quartz
Brookite with Quartz  

CD16AI3: Very sharp laminar Brookite crystals that are transparent and bright with an orange brown color. They are implanted on a group of doubly terminated Quartz crystals with polycrystalline growths.
Puiva Mount, Saranpaul, Khanty-Mansi Okrug, Tyumenskaya Oblast', Polar Urals, Western-Siberian Region  Russia

Specimen size: 7.8 × 4 × 2.9 cm = 3.1” × 1.6” × 1.1”

Main crystal size: 1.8 × 1 cm = 0.7” × 0.4”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Brookite with Quartz. Brookite with Quartz.
Order

Africa


Arfvedsonite with Orthoclase
Arfvedsonite with Orthoclase. Front
Front
Arfvedsonite with Orthoclase. Side
Side
Arfvedsonite with Orthoclase  

CB46AJ7: Very sharp Arfvedsonite crystal with good terminal faces and with parallel growths. It is very aerial and implanted on a matrix of twinned Orthoclase crystals. The sample is one of the first well-known examples found of this species at Malawi, at the beginning of the XXI century.
Mount Malosa, Zomba District  Malawi

Specimen size: 4.2 × 4.2 × 4.1 cm = 1.7” × 1.7” × 1.6”

Main crystal size: 3 × 1.9 cm = 1.2” × 0.7”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:160 / US$180 / Yen:19560 / AUD$258

Reservado
Senegalite with Turquoise and Crandallite
Senegalite with Turquoise and Crandallite  

CR27AJ7: Spheroidal growths of very sharp Senegalite crystals with very well defined faces and edges, bright with intense yellow color and on matrix with pale blue Turquoise and reddish brown Crandallite. The sample is from the type locality for the species.
Kourou Diakouma Mount, Saraya, Tambacounda Region  Senegal (2007-2008)

Specimen size: 5.2 × 3.3 × 3.6 cm = 2.0” × 1.3” × 1.4”

Main crystal size: 0.1 × 0.1 cm = 0.0” × 0.0”

Type locality

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:220 / US$245 / Yen:27110 / AUD$356

Senegalite with Turquoise and Crandallite. Senegalite with Turquoise and Crandallite.
Reservado
Gold
Gold.
Gold  

CA86AJ7: Spongy aggregates and small acicular Gold crystals tha are very bright and on matrix with white Quartz.
Sheba Mine, Barberton, Ehlanzeni District, Mpumalanga Province  South Africa

Specimen size: 3.5 × 2.5 × 1.7 cm = 1.4” × 1.0” × 0.7”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:180 / US$201 / Yen:22180 / AUD$291

Reservado
Germanite
Germanite  

CA14AJ7: Typical granular Germanite aggregate with a polished surface to better appreciate the characteristics of this rare copper, iron and germaniun sulphosalt. With a pinkish gray color and is with Renierite that has a more intense pink color, and black Tennantite. The sample is from the type locality for the species.
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region  Namibia (±1981)

Specimen size: 6.2 × 3.8 × 2.3 cm = 2.4” × 1.5” × 0.9”

Type locality

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:100 / US$111 / Yen:12320 / AUD$162

Germanite. Front
Front
Germanite. Side
Side
Reservado
Smithsonite
Smithsonite.
Smithsonite  

CR46AI3: Druse of rhombohedral Smithsonite crystals on matrix. They are well defined with fine growth striations and are translucent, bright and have a uniform and attractive pinkish color.
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region  Namibia

Specimen size: 4.2 × 3.7 × 3.1 cm = 1.7” × 1.5” × 1.2”

Main crystal size: 1 × 0.7 cm = 0.4” × 0.3”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order

Asia - Australia


Asia

Babingtonite with Prehnite
Babingtonite with Prehnite  

CB69AI3: Very aerial group of very sharp and flattened crystals, a lot of them doubly terminated. They are bright with a deep black color and are on a matrix of botryoidal Prehnite. These Chinese Babingtonites have almost disappeared from the mineral market and the best are those that first appeared.
Babingtonite occurrences, Qiaojia, Zhaotong Prefecture, Yunnan Province  China (±2008)

Specimen size: 8.3 × 4 × 3.2 cm = 3.3” × 1.6” × 1.3”

Main crystal size: 2.3 × 1.7 cm = 0.9” × 0.7”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Babingtonite with Prehnite. Front
Front
Babingtonite with Prehnite. Rear
Rear
Babingtonite with Prehnite.
Order
Beryl (variety aquamarine)
Beryl (variety aquamarine). Front
Front
Beryl (variety aquamarine). Rear
Rear
Beryl (variety aquamarine)  

MV87AH6: Parallel growth of two doubly terminated Beryl (aquamarine variety) crystals, with a flat termination on one end and very well defined acute pyramids on the other end. They are transparent, very bright with a pale and uniform blue color and are on a matrix of tabular Albite crystals. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Shengus (Shingus), Haramosh Mountains, Skardu District, Baltistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas)  Pakistan (±1985)

Specimen size: 3.6 × 3.5 × 1.7 cm = 1.4” × 1.4” × 0.7”

Main crystal size: 3.6 × 1.2 cm = 1.4” × 0.5”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order

Australia

Atacamite
Atacamite  

CX13AJ7: Groups, on matrix of elonagated Atacamite crystals with very well defined faces and edges and perfect terminal faces. They are bright and have a very deep color. The sample is from one of the more classic, even mythical, localities for the species.
Wallaroo Mine, Kadina, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia  Australia

Specimen size: 2 × 1.4 × 0.9 cm = 0.8” × 0.6” × 0.4”

Main crystal size: 0.3 × 0.1 cm = 0.1” × 0.0”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:70 / US$78 / Yen:8620 / AUD$113

Atacamite. Front
Front
Atacamite. Top
Top
Reservado


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