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Reference Specimens
The Curto Collection

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Photos by Fabre Minerals. Under Creative Commons license

On this page we have shown a good representation of the specimens from the Carles Curto Collection that, because of their quality, rarity or interesting locality, we wish to maintain on our web site as reference specimens although they have been sold.

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


Copper
Copper. Front
Front
Copper. Rear
Rear
Copper  

MP87AH4: Parallel growth of Copper crystals with very well defined faces and edges and skeletal growths on the back. 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.
New Cornelia Mine, Ajo, Little Ajo Mountains, Ajo District, Pima County, Arizona  USA

Specimen size: 5.3 × 2.2 × 1 cm = 2.1” × 0.9” × 0.4”

Main crystal size: 4.8 × 1.2 cm = 1.9” × 0.5”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Copper
Copper  

TC13AH6: Very aerial and elegant dendritic growth with very elongated Copper crystals that near the base become larger and more equant and have better defined faces and edges. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Ajo, Little Ajo Mountains, Ajo District, Pima County, Arizona  USA

Specimen size: 6.7 × 6.4 × 2.4 cm = 2.6” × 2.5” × 0.9”

Main crystal size: 0.3 × 0.2 cm = 0.1” × 0.1”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Copper. Copper.
Cyanotrichite
Cyanotrichite.
Cyanotrichite  

CT11AI3: Interstitial growths, in a clayey matrix, of feltered aggregates, with a silky luster, of capillary Cyanotrichite with a very intense color.
Copper Mountain Mine, Morenci, Copper Mountain District, Shannon Mountains, Greenlee County, Arizona  USA

Specimen size: 4.2 × 2.3 × 2.3 cm = 1.7” × 0.9” × 0.9”

Former collection of Carles Curto

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.
Gold with Quartz
Gold with Quartz. Gold with Quartz.
Gold with Quartz  

CV96AH6: Dendritic and parallel growths of elongated octahedral crystals on a Quartz matrix. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Olinghouse, Olinghouse District, Pah Rah Range, Washoe County, Nevada  USA

Specimen size: 1.9 × 1.6 × 0.9 cm = 0.7” × 0.6” × 0.4”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Datolite with Prehnite
Datolite with Prehnite  

CR11AI3: Two very sharp and aerial Datolite crystals, almost complete, translucent, very bright and on matrix with Stilbite-Ca and spherulitic Prehnite growths. An old American classic.
Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts  USA

Specimen size: 4 × 2.8 × 2.7 cm = 1.6” × 1.1” × 1.1”

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

Former collection of Carles Curto

Datolite with Prehnite.
Tetrahedrite with Sphalerite and Quartz
Tetrahedrite with Sphalerite and Quartz. 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

Cassiterite
Cassiterite  

CA12AI3: Round mass of Cassisterite that is brownish yellow with stripes of darker color and very well defined concentric growth (the so called “wood tin” variety). An old Mexican classic.
Encarnación de Díaz, Altos Norte Region, Jalisco  Mexico

Specimen size: 2.8 × 2.6 × 1.6 cm = 1.1” × 1.0” × 0.6”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Cassiterite. Front
Front
Cassiterite. Rear
Rear
Carletonite
Carletonite. Carletonite.
Carletonite  

MT37AG4: Aggregate of tetragonal Carletonite crystals on a Calcite matrix with very well defined faces and edges and with a deep, uniform and intense color. The sample is from the Carlos Curto collection, whose label and card we’ll send to the buyer.
Poudrette Quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec  Canada (±2002)

Specimen size: 5.4 × 5 × 2.1 cm = 2.1” × 2.0” × 0.8”

Main crystal size: 1.5 × 1.3 cm = 0.6” × 0.5”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Type locality

Fluor-uvite with Magnesite
Fluor-uvite with Magnesite  

MN86AH4: Slightly tabular doubly terminated Fluor-uvite crystals with minor prismatic faces and a very flat predominant rhombohedron. They are on a matrix of a very sharp rhombohedral Magnesite 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.
Pomba Pit, Serra das Éguas, Brumado, Bahia, Northeast Region  Brazil

Specimen size: 4.5 × 3.1 × 2.8 cm = 1.8” × 1.2” × 1.1”

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

Former collection of Carles Curto

Fluor-uvite with Magnesite. Fluor-uvite with Magnesite.
Acanthite with Proustite
Acanthite with Proustite. Acanthite with Proustite.
Acanthite with Proustite.
Acanthite with Proustite  

TV47AH6: Isolated cubic crystal, something that is very uncommon with Acanthite, deformed but with very well defined faces and edges. It is bright and on a Calcite and Quartz matrix with massive Proustite. The sample is from a historic mine, very well known for Proustite crystals but where crystallized Acanthite is rare. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Dolores Mine, Chañarcillo, Copiapó Province, Atacama Region  Chile

Specimen size: 5 × 4.5 × 2.2 cm = 2.0” × 1.8” × 0.9”

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

Calcite minor fluorescence long & short UV

Former collection of Carles Curto

Gold on Quartz
Gold on Quartz  

CB16AH5: Interstitial native Gold with hooked, laminar and granular forms, spread in a matrix of massive Quartz. We note the locality, very unusual, from which only very few specimens of collection quality are known. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full text of the collection catalog.
Magdalena River, Barrancabermeja, Santander Department  Colombia

Specimen size: 4.9 × 4.0 × 1.8 cm = 1.9” × 1.6” × 0.7”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Gold on Quartz. Front
Front
Gold on Quartz. Rear
Rear
Gold on Quartz.
Gold
Gold.
Gold  

CX16AH6: Gold pebble that on one of its sides partially preserves some of the well-defined original crystalline forms and includes small Quartz granules. The sample is from an ancient locality in the Dominican Republic that is considered as historic. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Pueblo Viejo Mine, Cotuí, Municipio Cotuí, Sánchez Ramírez Province  Dominican Republic

Specimen size: 1.1 × 1.1 × 0.3 cm = 0.4” × 0.4” × 0.1”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Weight: 1.38 grams

Spain


Copper
Copper  

CP11AI3: Arborescent growth with deformed crystals in some areas on the sample and well developed crystals with very well defined faces in others. With good color and luster, something not so usual with such samples.
Boinás Este, 360 Bench, Boinás, Belmonte de Miranda, Asturias, Principality of Asturias  Spain (20/12/2001)

Specimen size: 5.1 × 3.5 × 1.7 cm = 2.0” × 1.4” × 0.7”

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

Former collection of Carles Curto

Copper. Front
Front
Copper. Rear
Rear
Copper.
Marcasite with Calcite
Marcasite with Calcite.
Marcasite with Calcite  

CV13AH6: Cookscomb-like aggregates of flattened Marcasite crystals with very well defined faces and edges.
The Marcasite, even considering the long time passed, has been perfectly preserved.
Eugenia Mine, Bellmunt del Priorat, Comarca Priorat, Tarragona, Catalonia  Spain

Specimen size: 3.2 × 3.2 × 2.2 cm = 1.3” × 1.3” × 0.9”

Main crystal size: 1.3 × 0.7 cm = 0.5” × 0.3”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Calcite with Marcasite
Calcite with Marcasite  

CJ13AH4: Doubly terminated scalenohedral Calcite crystal whose lower termination is polycrystalline. It also has a very well defined horizontal twinning plane (perpendicular to the “c” axis) and it is with small aggregates of Marcasite 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.
Bellmunt del Priorat, Comarca Priorat, Tarragona, Catalonia  Spain

Specimen size: 9.9 × 5.9 × 4.4 cm = 3.9” × 2.3” × 1.7”

Main crystal size: 9.6 × 4.5 cm = 3.8” × 1.8”

Fluorescent short UV

Former collection of Carles Curto

Calcite with Marcasite. Calcite with Marcasite.
Calcite (variety cobaltoan)
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

Cinnabar
Cinnabar  

CA16AH5: Polycrystalline aggregates with rhombohedral forms and on a matrix of massive Cinnabar that has very bright cleavage surfaces. We note the presence of Cinnabar crystals, even not being so well defined due to that they are very uncommon at this mine. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full text of the collection catalog.
Carmina Mine, Güicivacas (Boicivacas), Maraña, Comarca Montaña Oriental, León, Castile and León  Spain

Specimen size: 5.2 × 2.1 × 3 cm = 2.0” × 0.8” × 1.2”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Cinnabar. Cinnabar.
Pyromorphite
Pyromorphite. Pyromorphite.
Pyromorphite  

CM96AH4: Strongly elongated (almost acicular) but well defined crystals, some of them doubly terminated, very bright, with a vivid green color and on matrix. 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.
El Horcajo Mines, El Horcajo, Almodóvar del Campo, Comarca Campo de Calatrava, Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha  Spain

Specimen size: 4.4 × 3.5 × 1.4 cm = 1.7” × 1.4” × 0.6”

Main crystal size: 0.8 × 0.1 cm = 0.3” × 0.0”

Minor fluorescence short UV

Former collection of Carles Curto


Europe


Sand after Calcite
Sand after Calcite  

CQ38AH6: Floater and complete aggregate of rhombohedral crystals with rough pinacoidal terminations and sand inclusions. An excellent French classic. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne, Île-de-France  France

Specimen size: 6.4 × 5.2 × 5.2 cm = 2.5” × 2.0” × 2.0”

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

Former collection of Carles Curto

Sand after Calcite. Front
Front
Sand after Calcite. Side
Side
Sand after Calcite. Side
Side
Malachite
Malachite. Malachite.
Malachite  

CP10AH6: Spray-like aggregates of acicular Malachite crystals that are translucent, very luminous, have a bright especially intense color and are on limonite matrix. A German classic. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full collection catalog text.
Wissen, Flammersfeld, Altenkirchen (Westerwald), Siegerland, Rhineland-Palatinate/Rheinland-Pfalz  Germany

Specimen size: 4.6 × 2.7 × 2.1 cm = 1.8” × 1.1” × 0.8”

Former collection of Carles Curto

Silver with Sphalerite
Silver with Sphalerite  

CF14AH5: Very elongated dendritic Silver growths on a matrix of poorly defined Sphalerite crystals. It’s very difficult to obtain Silver samples from this old mine of such quality. We’ll send to the buyer the original label and also a copy of the computer card with the full text of the collection catalog.
Rudabánya, Rudabányai Mountains, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén  Hungary

Specimen size: 1.9 × 1.7 × 1.1 cm = 0.7” × 0.7” × 0.4”

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

Former collection of Carles Curto

Silver with Sphalerite.
Grossular (variety hessonite) with Chlorite
Grossular (variety hessonite) with Chlorite. Grossular (variety hessonite) with Chlorite.
Grossular (variety hessonite) with Chlorite.
Grossular (variety hessonite) with Chlorite  

CG27AI8: Grossular crystals with the well balanced forms of the trapezohedron and the dodecahedron. They are translucent, very bright, and have a very intense deep color. On matrix with leafy chlorite aggregates. An Italian classic from the Carles Curto collection whose label and catalog card we will send to the buyer.
Becchi delle Curbassere, Val d'Ala, Valli di Lanzo, Torino Province, Piedmont (Piemonte)  Italy

Specimen size: 7.2 × 6.3 × 3.7 cm = 2.8” × 2.5” × 1.5”

Main crystal size: 0.7 × 0.4 cm = 0.3” × 0.2”


Asia - Australia


Asia

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

Andradite with Epidote. Andradite with Epidote.


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