The de Monmonier Collection includes extraordinary specimens of unusual minerals as well as classic specimens from diverse locales around the globe.
Ilfeld, Thuringia, Germany
Ifleld is where manganite was first discovered and identified, and is the source for some of the world’s best manganite crystals.
Hartenstein, Saxony, Germany
Hartenstein is located in the Erzgebirge Mountains, known for their large quantities of silver, tin, and other valuable metals.
Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona
This stunning blue mineral makes an ideal copper ore, with easily extracted copper yielding up to 57% of the metal by weight.
Le Bourg d’Oisans, Rhône-Alpes, France
The mineral was first discovered in Le Bourg d’Oisans, which has been a source of fine axinite crystals for nearly one hundred years.
Altyn-Tyube, Qaraghandy, Kazakhstan
The copper silicate dioptase is highly prized for its brilliant color and scarcity, but it is rarely used as a gemstone because it is too soft and cleavable.
In 1967, a purple-blue variety of zoisite, named tanzanite after its country of discovery, was found near the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro on the border of Tanzania and Kenya.
Knappenwand Mine, Neukirchen, Salzburg, Austria
Epidote is found throughout the world. Exceptional crystals come from Austria and Alaska, and are coveted by museums and collectors.
Tsumeb, Oshikoto, Namibia
Cerussite is a lead carbonate and therefore a good source of lead.
White Cliffs, New South Wales, Australia
Located in the remote desert of Australia, White Cliffs has long been a source of gem quality opal.
Panasqueira, Castelo Branco, Portugal
While fairly common in nature as small crystals, the mineral fluorapatite is also found in the human body, composing much of our tooth enamel and bone.
Mibladen, Khenifra, Morocco
The lead mines surrounding Mibladen are worked by thousands of private miners seeking the finest vanadinite specimens in the world.
New Cornelia Mine, Ajo, Pima County, Arizona
Copper minerals found at the site of today’s open pit copper mine at New Cornelia were used originally as a source of pigment by the Tohono O’Odham tribe. Two minerals – ajoite and papagoite – were first discovered at the mine.
All pictures courtesy of Sven Bailey.