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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


Inesite
Inesite. 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




Order
Neptunite and Natrolite
Neptunite and Natrolite

NV56AH4: Neptunite crystals with very well defined terminations, very bright and on a rock matrix coated by white Natrolite. 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.
California State Gem Mine (Benitoite Gem Mine), Dallas Gem Mine area, San Benito River headwaters area, New Idria District, Diablo Range, San Benito County, California  USA

Specimen size: 4.8 × 3.3 × 1.8 cm = 1.9” × 1.3” × 0.7”

Main crystal size: 1.7 × 0.5 cm = 0.7” × 0.2”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Neptunite and Natrolite. Neptunite and Natrolite.
Order
Gold with Quartz
Gold with Quartz. Gold with Quartz.
Gold with Quartz

CM86AH6: Group of much flattened Gold crystals on a Quartz matrix. They have very neat contour, well defined faces and edges, and are very bright. The sample is from the first (1989) of the Gold at the Eagle’s Nest mine. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Eagle's Nest Mine, Sage Hill, Michigan Bluff District, Placer County, California  USA (±1989)

Specimen size: 1.5 × 1 × 0.8 cm = 0.6” × 0.4” × 0.3”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order
Tetrahedrite with Sphalerite and Quartz
Tetrahedrite with Sphalerite and Quartz

MT11AH4: Very sharp and bright tetrahedral Tetrahedrite crystals with twinned caramel-colored Sphalerite crystals and on a matrix of Quartz crystals. 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.
Concepción del Oro, Municipio Concepción del Oro, Zacatecas  Mexico

Specimen size: 4.7 × 3.9 × 2.6 cm = 1.9” × 1.5” × 1.0”

Main crystal size: 0.7 × 0.6 cm = 0.3” × 0.2”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Tetrahedrite with Sphalerite and Quartz. Tetrahedrite with Sphalerite and Quartz.
Order
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


Calcite (variety cobaltoan)
Calcite (variety cobaltoan)

CM12AI3: A matrix coated by Calcite (cobalt-rich variety) with an aspect clearly more crystalline than usual for the locality (a result, perhaps, of further recrystallization) and with a very intense color.
Solita Mine, Peramea, Baix Pallars, Comarca Pallars Sobirà, Lleida/Lérida, Catalonia  Spain

Specimen size: 6.2 × 5.8 × 1.9 cm = 2.4” × 2.3” × 0.7”

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:70 / US$79 / Yen:9000 / AUD$109

Calcite (variety cobaltoan).
Reservado
Calcite (variety cobaltoan)
Calcite (variety cobaltoan). Calcite (variety cobaltoan).
Calcite (variety cobaltoan)

CH9AH4: Botryoidal pale pink growths with recrystallized deep pink coralloid formations. 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.
Solita Mine, Peramea, Baix Pallars, Comarca Pallars Sobirà, Lleida/Lérida, Catalonia  Spain

Specimen size: 4.1 × 4 × 2.2 cm = 1.6” × 1.6” × 0.9”

Fluorescent long & short UV

Former collection of Carles Curto




Order
Aragonite (variety cuprian)
Aragonite (variety cuprian)

CT36AH6: Coralloid and botryoidal growths with micro-acicular surfaces. The nice blue color is due to copper salts inclusions. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Mina La Profunda, Collada de Cármenes, Cármenes, León, Castile and León  Spain (04/1970)

Specimen size: 7.4 × 6.7 × 3.9 cm = 2.9” × 2.6” × 1.5”

Former collection of Carles Curto




Aragonite (variety cuprian).
Order

Europe


Brookite with Quartz
Brookite with Quartz. 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




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

Africa


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


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
Andradite with Epidote
Andradite with Epidote. Andradite with Epidote.
Andradite with Epidote

CX12AI3: Very sharp dodecahedral Andradite crystals, one of them clearly dominant. They are well centered on the matrix, translucent with a deep olive green color and on a matrix coated by small Epidote crystals with a lighter green color.
Marki Khel, Spin Ghar Mountains, Khogyani District, Nangarhar Province  Afghanistan

Specimen size: 4.7 × 4.4 × 3.2 cm = 1.9” × 1.7” × 1.3”

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

Former collection of Carles Curto


Euro:70 / US$80 / Yen:9170 / AUD$113

Reservado
Beryl (variety aquamarine)
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




Beryl (variety aquamarine). Front
Front
Beryl (variety aquamarine). Rear
Rear
Order


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