Sunday, August 28, 2016


Emerald with Pyrite, Calcite
In geology, beryl is a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3). Beryls come in a number of varieties including the blue-green aquamarine, yellow-green heliodor, pink morganite, deep green emerald and the extremely rare red beryl.

The name comes from the ancient Greek word beryllos describing a blue-green stone the color of the sea.
Emeralds are a form of beryl, showing the deepest and richest green which is caused by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Emerald has been a favorite of royalty and the wealthy throughout history and was worshiped by Incas and Aztecs. Its attributes include the ability to foretell the future, bring good luck and protect against illness.

Emeralds in antiquity were mined by the Egyptians and in Austria, as well as Swat in northern Pakistan. A rare type of emerald known as a trapiche emerald is occasionally found in the mines of Colombia. A trapiche emerald exhibits a "star" pattern. It is named for the trapiche, a grinding wheel used to process sugarcane in the region. Colombian emeralds are generally the most prized.

Golden beryl can range in colors from pale yellow to a brilliant gold. Unlike emerald, golden beryl has very few flaws. The term "golden beryl" is sometimes synonymous with heliodor.

Both golden beryl and heliodor are used as gems.
Morganite, also known as "pink beryl", "rose beryl", "pink emerald", and "cesian (or caesian) beryl", is a rare light pink to rose-colored gem-quality variety of beryl. Orange/yellow varieties of morganite can also be found, and color banding is common.

Pink beryl was first discovered on an island on the coast of Madagascar in 1910. In December 1910, the New York Academy of Sciences named the pink variety of beryl "morganite" after financier J. P. Morgan.
Red beryl (also known as "red emerald") is a red variety of beryl. It was first described in 1904 for an occurrence at Juab County, Utah.

Red beryl is extremely rare and has only been reported from a handful of locations. The greatest concentration of gem-grade red beryl comes from the Violet Claim in the Wah Wah Mountains of mid-western Utah, discovered in 1958. While gem beryls are ordinarily found in pegmatites and certain metamorphic stones, red beryl occurs in topaz-bearing rhyolites. It is formed by crystallizing under low pressure and high temperature from miarolitic cavities of the rhyolite.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

1891 US Silver Certificate worth plenty

The certificate was issued in 1891, at a time when silver miners, Western mining companies, and some Western banks were objecting to the government's decision to essentially adopt a gold standard.

A law passed in 1878 required the government to buy several million dollars' worth of silver bullion and mint it into coins. Because the silver was so heavy, the government decided to issue certificates like this one that could be exchanged for the same face value in silver dollar coins.
The US government no longer prints silver certificates, and it hasn't exchanged existing ones for silver since the 1960s. But even now, those that remain outstanding are still legal tender and can be spent, according to the federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

$ 1000 in silver is a bargain. The note is one of only 2 known in existence and sold at auction in 2013 for $2.6 million.
William L. Marcy (1786 - 1857) was a 19th century politician and statesman who served as secretary of war, secretary of state, a senator, and governor of New York.

He is also noted for saying, during a congressional debate over a nomination, “To the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.”

Friday, August 26, 2016

Billy the Kid photo, bought for $2 - appraised at $5M

Billy the Kid, the Wild West gunslinger, is usually associated with a Colt single-action.44 not the genteel English elegance of a varnished oak croquet mallet. However an extremely rare photograph of the legendary outlaw leaning on a croquet mallet has emerged – only the second known photo of The Kid, whose real name is Henry McCarty, known to exist.

The photo shows McCarty playing croquet with his gang of Lincoln County Regulators in late summer 1878. It was bought by collector Randy Guijarro for US$2 from a California junk shop in 2010.
The photo was authenticated by a San Francisco-based Americana company, Kagin’s, which identified Billy the Kid along with several members of the Regulators, as well as friends and family. It was taken after a wedding in the summer of 1878, just a month after the gang took part in the brutal Lincoln County war.

The only other known photograph of McCarty was sold for US$2.8 million in June 2011. Florida billionaire William Koch placed the winning bid in person at Brian Lebel’s annual Old West Auction in Denver, Colo. The metallic photo, taken outside a Fort Sumner, N.M., saloon in late 1879 or early 1880, depicts the outlaw gripping the upright barrel of a Winchester carbine, with a Colt .45 pistol strapped to his hip.

Born Henry McCarty, but also known in New Mexico as William Bonney, the Kid was shot dead at age 22 by lawman Pat Garrett in 1881, months after a jailbreak in which Bonney reportedly killed two deputies.
Henry McCarty (September 17, 1859 – July 14, 1881) was a 19th-century gunman who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier outlaw in the American Old West. According to legend, he killed twenty-one men, but it is now generally believed that he killed eight, with the first on August 17, 1877.

McCarty was relatively unknown during most of his lifetime, but was catapulted into legend in 1881 when New Mexico's governor Lew Wallace placed a price on his head. In addition, the Las Vegas Gazette and the New York Sun carried stories about his exploits.

Frank Abrams believes the photo shows Pat Garrett, at far left, and Billy the Kid, second from the right.
Four years ago at Smiley’s Flea Market, Frank Abrams bought five tintypes, including a group of cowboys and a man on horseback. All the seller knew was that the photos may have come from the famed Root family of Connecticut.

Abrams kept the cowboy photo at his office, always wondering who were those tinhorns in the tintype. “Maybe it’s Jesse James,” he joked with his wife. Five men in hats, with cigars and whiskey bottles. One of them brandishing a Colt pistol. Their cheeks have been rouged by pastel crayon and then the print varnished, preserving the brightness of the men’s faces for more than a century. Only two photographs to date have been authenticated of the man born Henry McCarty, alias William H. Bonney, best known as Billy the Kid.
Abrams is trying to build the case that Garrett and Billy the Kid could have been together on Jan. 14, 1880, at a double wedding in a town called Anton Chico, some 85 miles east of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Garrett and another rustler Barney Mason (center) were the grooms that day, and Billy the Kid was known to have attended the festivities. Garrett and Billy had not always been on opposite sides of the law, but had rode together as cattle rustlers. A year later, they became sworn enemies. The man twirling the Colt revolver on the end of the photo could be the notorious Dirty Dave Rudabaugh, who rode with the Kid.

Rudabaugh met his fate in Mexico, where he shot two men in a cantina and was then shot and decapitated with a machete. Abrams believes the fifth man may be Joshua John Webb, another outlaw and colleague of Rudabaugh.

Turquoise Hill Resources - TRQ.t

Turquoise Hill Resources - TRQ.t is advancing a 66% interest in the flagship Oyu Tolgoi Project, one of the world's largest copper-gold-silver mines.

The Oyu Tolgoi Project represents an investment of over $ 8 billion

On August 2, 2016 the company released Numbers

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. has released its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2016. (All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.)

Oyu Tolgoi achieved an excellent safety performance with an all-injury frequency rate of 0.13 per 200,000 hours worked for the six months ended June 30, 2016.
On May 5, 2016, Oyu Tolgoi received the formal notice to proceed for underground development by the boards of Turquoise Hill, Rio Tinto and Oyu Tolgoi LLC. As part of the notice-to-proceed process, the 2016 Oyu Tolgoi feasibility study was approved.
In June, 2016, Oyu Tolgoi signed a critical contract with Jacobs Engineering Group to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services for underground development.
Major contractor mobilization for the sinking of shafts No. 2 and No. 5, underground development, critical construction works, and maintenance are all progressing.
As of June 30, 2016, Oyu Tolgoi had drawn down approximately $4.3-billion of the project finance facility and used all net proceeds to pay down shareholder loans payable to Turquoise Hill.
Turquoise Hill deposited net project finance funds of approximately $4.2-billion with Rio Tinto in second quarter 2016.
Oyu Tolgoi recorded revenue of $329.7-million in second quarter 2016, a decrease of 22.0 per cent over first quarter 2016, reflecting mainly lower gold sales volumes.
Turquoise Hill generated operating cash flow before interest and taxes of $161.6-million during second quarter 2016.
For second quarter 2016, Turquoise Hill reported income from continuing operations attributable to shareholders of $29.8-million.
In second quarter 2016, concentrator throughput was broadly consistent with first quarter 2016, resulting in average throughput of approximately 105,000 tonnes per day for the quarter.
Copper production in second quarter 2016 declined 10.3 per cent over first quarter 2016, reflecting lower grades from reduced mining in phase 2 and relative lower recovery from phase 6 ore.
As expected, gold production in second quarter 2016 declined approximately 52 per cent over first quarter 2016, due to lower grades from reduced mining in phase 2. Concentrate volumes sold in second quarter 2016 increased 6.7 per cent over first quarter 2016.
For second quarter 2016, Oyu Tolgoi's C1 costs were $1.12 per pound of copper, and all-in sustaining costs were $1.55 per pound of copper.
Open-pit, cash-basis capital expenditure for 2016 (excluding underground expenditure) is now expected to be approximately $200-million.
Operating cash costs for 2016 are now expected to be $840-million.
Turquoise Hill's cash and cash equivalents at June 30, 2016, were approximately $1.5-billion.

Financial results

In second quarter 2016, the company recorded net income attributable to owners of Turquoise Hill of $29.8-million (one cent per share) compared with net income of $24.9-million (one cent per share) in second quarter 2015, an increase of $4.9-million. Operating cash flows before interest and taxes in second quarter 2016 were $161.6-million compared with $239.2-million in second quarter 2015, reflecting the impact of reduced gold production and sales in concentrates. Capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment was $53.3-million on a cash basis in second quarter 2016, attributed to both underground prestart and sustaining capital activities.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Natural Black Opal from Ethiopia - Wollo Opal

The buzz in opals these days is for gemstones from a new source in Ethiopia, discovered in 2008 near Wegel Tena, Wollo Province. The mine produces mostly white, translucent opal, much of which has vivid play-of-colour.

Researchers found the crystal opal produced at the deposits in Wollo was being darkened via a smoke treatment to resemble natural black opal.
The stones “turned out to be colour enhanced using an older method, but certainly a new method for the Ethiopian hydrophane material,” says Williams. “The nature of hydrophane allows this treatment to deeply penetrate the stone"

"Black opal is the rarest and most desirable colour of opal says Williams. A few places produce natural coloured black opal, most notably Lightning Ridge, Australia, and Mintabie in South Australia.” There’s been no natural black opal reported from Ethiopia.
Dealers say the Wollo Province opal, compared to similar white play-of-color Australian goods, is selling at steep 30 percent to 50 percent discounts.