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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.

 

Spain


Calcite with Marcasite
Calcite with Marcasite. 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


America


Copper
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. Front
Front
Copper. 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  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.


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