Benstonite on Calcite, Bethel Level (attr.), Minerva #1 Mine, Minerva Oil Company, Cave-in-Rock District, Southern Illinois Small cabinet 7 x 12 x 12 cm Medium cabinet $3500. Online 6/9
Bright white benstonite rhombs epitaxially oriented on steep calcite scalenohedrons. The Minerva #1 Mine is the preeminent location in southern Illinois for benstonite and arguably the top locality in the world for this complex calcium/barium carbonate. Many superlative specimens were found during the peak production years from the mid-1940s-late 1960s. This specimen was mined circa late 1950s and shows the classic parallel growth the miners nicknamed 'Christmas Tree' calcites. In fact, most of these were purchased as calcite and re-sold as such in the early years of collecting in the area. Bentonite crystals typically 0.5-1.0 cm on calcite to 4.5 cm tall. Excellent specimen. One tipped crystal along edge.Trivial edge rubs. Provenance: ex: Boodle Lane (circa 1950s); given (?) to girl friend Lois Lane December, 1963 after Mr. Lane died in calendar year 1963; sold to Verne Swanson January, 1964; sold to Bill Metropolis 2016; acquired by North Star Minerals at Tucson Show 2017.