Location: Hilton Mine, Scordale, Murton, Eden, Cumbria, England, UK
Size: 48 x 39 x 36 mm
Hilton Mine, Scordale, Murton, Eden, Cumbria, England, UK
48 x 39 x 36 mm
First about the locality: The mine accesses ore-bearing veins, it was productive by the London Lead Company for galena between 1824 - 1876. Then reopened in 1896 and worked by a succession of owners for witherite and baryte until 1919. Though largely inactive since, the mine was held under lease until 1963 when it was finally abandoned. The area surrounding the mine is now within a military firing range, so field collecting is more or less impossible. This is the reason that makes Fluorite from Hilton really very special - all material is at least 55 years old. We cannot expect any new material, all good pieces are out from old collections and quantity was always very low, specimen are really hard to obtain.The crystal shows the typical (typical only for Hilton) habit, not a regular cube - more a flat crystal. The front side shows two large edges up to 39mm, but it is only about 25mm from front to back. The crystal is sharp terminated all around, also the luster is perfect even at the reverse. At the top you can see a penetration twin. At the lower base there are several smaller inter grown crystals - also sharp and lustrous and only the bottom backside was contacted (inter grown with other crystals, you still can see the negative in-print).
The color is - apologizes to Illinois - the best yellow in combination with transparency I know for Fluorite. France and Germany also have some good yellow ones - but they are not so gemmy and clear. The crystal size with 39mm on edges and 50mm across is fantastic for Hilton, most crystals are about 1 to 2cm and 2 cm on edges is already an exception. 39mm is absolutely crazy. A superb specimen for Hilton mine in excellent quality!