Saffordites (Arizonaites) 2016

Email us with your wants in order to get on a waiting list for new stones. Demand is so strong that I have been selling out to listees before I can get any posted to the website





Note: Sorry, but this page is now completely sold out.

Self-collected at the original locality in February, 2015. The best material we've ever handled (if we did find it ourselves!). This stuff looks really, really good!. I went there last year hoping to find geological context to help formulate and defend a position on their origin, but Alas!, the Saffordites were found in moderately- to well-rounded alluvium (which WAS mostly of felsic volcanic origin---) far from its definitive bedrock source. We tried again this year with the same results. Maybe we'll find the answer next year---

The amazing pitted ornamentation of these stones is really tektite-like. And absolutely unlike any Apache tears I have collected or seen (Classic Apache tears are perlite cores). I am wondering if this might be
very old obsidian or glass that was exceptionally unstable in its weathering environment. All glass is geologically metastable and does hydrate and decompose into clays over a few tens of millions of years. Logically, the last bits of remnant glass geological moments from obliteration must have a corroded or even skeletal appearance. It would be really interesting to know what the oldest known obsidian looks like. Let me know if you know the answer! This might explain the skin, but wouldn't directly help explain the unusual color pale gray with a hint of lavender--- (Incidentally, the gemmy pure pieces devoid of internal banding facet into beautiful jewels. I have seen some faceted specimens, and they are gorgeous. I will try to note potentially facet-grade specimens in my descriptions below).

For the record, I personally think this
is terrestrial volcanic glass, but I struggle with the lilac-brown-gray transmitted light color and the remarkably tektite-like pitting. I have reports from others of torch-tests (a poor man's evaluation of volatile content) going both ways. Some pieces foam or explode; others reportedly do nothing but get orange. If the latter is true (I haven't yet tried it---), they sure could be real in my book! Lots of questions and controversy remain. I don't think this to be the case, but you might be buying a new tektite at silly cheap prices!

Here are specimens that I can promise are amongst the finest Saffordites you will ever see. And I can guarantee that they are for sure, the real deal, Saffordites, in the purest sense of the word. Safford, Arizona is the nearest town, and we are the original finders of every piece listed below.

There is a family of remarkably similar (and usually controversial) natural glasses, including Colombianites, Healdsburgites, and Philippine Amerikanites. Placed side by side, it seems clear that these share a common mode of origin. If we solve the puzzle for any one of them, there is a good chance we will have the answer for all of them!

P.S., I have new Colombianites to post soon and am dealing for a stock of Healdsburgites. Check back periodically. Each of these will be listed on their own page

2/18/2015: New Colombianite page now up.

Here's a transmitted light close-up to show you the distinctive smoky lavender tint that characterizes good Colombianites and to a lesser degree, Arizonaites. This color is unlike Apache Tears or any other definite terrestrial obsidians that I have known. The observed color varies according to your light source. With LED lights, it is a smoky brownish gray. Sunlight seems to bring out the rosy, lilac, or lavender tints.





Folks, I warn you now. I wax a little verbose and lyrical in the descriptions that follow, but if you will come along for the ride and read through the descriptions in order, you will find it is an educational sequence building precept by precept. By the end, you will know more about the Saffordite conundrum (and by extension, Colombianites, Healdsburgites, Amerikanites, and other like glasses) than you could learn in any academic course currently offered on planet earth

Sold items and pending sales updated 5/12/2015

This should be absolutely current

Table 1: Here is the AA list!

These are some of the finest Saffordites you are ever likely to see. In our experience, specimens with this quality of skin ornamentation make up about 5% of what is typically found. These bright little gems of dimpled palest gray crystal-pure glass have an internal icy diamond quality. Their appeal is such an inviting and universally curious thing as to cause me to believe that any of our ancestors back to the dawn of human consciousness would have bent over, picked up, and marveled at one of these.

12.8 gms: A neat little piece about the size of a small black olive, this has the look of the cratered surface of an asteroid. The corrosion of its very birth usually deeply frosts and dulls the surface of the glass, but in this case, the sand-blasting of the desert pavement has polished away the frosted skin of one face. In transmitted light, it consists of two domains partitioned by several close bands of magnetite fog. A monster! sold

11.4 gms: A sweet little oval patty, richly dimpled all over but gouged by wide and deep U-shaped furrows of rapidly advancing battle-fronts of corrosive devitrification. A very special piece. In transmitted light it looks to be quite a pure and gemmy palest smoky gray throughout. $185.sold

9.1 gms: An exceptionally glossy-skinned plano-convex dome, this is richly dimpled like a miniature golf ball. On the flattish basal face there are some deeper u-shaped furrows. The interior looks to be of very gemmy purity. Maybe a faceting candidate? $200sold

8.8 gms: Wind-polished to a pleasing satin sheen on all surfaces. Pinched into the form of a three-sided jellybean. A nice stone to handle. Inside, planar clouds of magnetite float at several levels along one face of the object. $150sold

7.9 gms: An highly symmetric little inflated oval disk; dimpled all over and gouged by multiple u-shaped furrows. Looks to be gemmy-pure inside. $250 sold

6.8 gms: A fattish cone-shape, one face of this specimen is flattened by wide faceted furrows, like the fluting in the windward face of a ventifact.. Gemmy crystal purity glowing with the characteristic smoky brownish gray light. $125sold

6.4A: The shadows in the image result in a poor depiction of this gem. A roughly triangular irregular dome, this one has it all. Satiny all-over semi-gloss skin. Pronounced and varied all over pitting, including a "saw-cut" trench carving through a third of the width of the object. Inside, thin whispy layers of magnetite fog lay closely spaced and parallel to the basal face. When viewed at right angles to these laminae, hazy clouds of darker gray fog dapple the space. $300 sold.

6.4B : This resembles a slightly flattend small black olive. Nice satiny all over skin polish. Richly dimpled all over. Inside, this one is nearly opaque. $70 Sold

5.7 gms: A slightly triangular dome, quite uniformly dimpled all over. Skin is a bit frosted to a fine matte finish. Quite opaque. Transmits light only around thin edges. Very pleasing overall geometry. $70sold

5.5 gms: A thin biconvex oval lens. Decorated all over by large pits and deep gouges. This one is in a very advanced stage in its journey towards glass oblivion. Hazy cold gray inside dusted with tiny magnetite grains just at the threshold of visual resolution. sold

4.8 gms. A somewhat tongue-shaped rounded, inflated trangle. Much of skin has a satiny gloss. Pitting more small and delicate than average. one tiny glassy chip. Inside, bright and gemmy clear. $75sold

4.7 gms: A slightly flattened jelly-bean with small-scale dimpling and a big u-shaped transverse trench. Nice satiny skin all over. I get a hint of green to the gray in this translucent but not transparent specimen. $85sold

4.6 gms. Thickly trangular both in front face and in profile, this is richly and sharply decorated with pits Satiny frontal gloss, duller frosted base. Displays well. Inside is bright, gemmy clear, and glowing with smoky brown-gray. Small glassy chip on backside top edge. $100 Sold

4.3 gms: A diagonally-halved oval patty with a long-wide dished flute along the halving face. small glassy chip on one edge. Semi-gloss skin polish. Looks to be gemmy-clear inside. $70sold

4.2 gms : Thickly inflated triangular blog. Curved backside. A deep wide transverse trench cuts across the nose. There is a small glassy chip along the edge of the trench. $60 sold

4.1 gms: One of the highest-gloss specimens we've seen. Delicate dimples and little u-shaped trenches seem both to be appropriately scaled to the size of the object. Shaped like a moderatedly-flattened jellybean. Inside bright and crystal clear. $80sold

4.0 gms: Shaped like a broad orange-segment, this has a satiny upper faces and a duller matte curved base.Thin magnetite-dusted planes visible in the interior are emphasized in low relief on the corrosion surfaces. $60 Sold

3.4 gms: A sub-triangular thick patty with one rockered surface. Delicate pitting and trenching seems scaled to the size of the pellet. Nice satin-gloss all over.Crystal clear with a pale brownish gray haze inside. $45sold

3.3 gms: A thick pie-wedge with nice satiny skin and dimples and tranching scaled to the size of the pellet. Inside dark, mottled, translucent gray. $30sold

3.2 Small matte to semi-satin triangular dome with delicate dimpling, a couple of pronounced trenches and a deep saw-cut. Grain of desert sand stuck in the trench. Inside a series of thin planar laminae occupy one side, the other is a clear but smoky brown. $20sold

2.6 gms: An exceptionally glossy pellet with delicate overall dimpling. Inside mostly clear with a couple of very thin planes of magnetite fog. Moderately strong brownish tint. $20 sold.

2.2 gms: A glossy mini-jellybean with tiny, delicate dimpling. $10sold

   
Email us at nlehrman@nvbell.net to order. Please specify "2015 Saffordites", the table number, and specimen weight when referencing specimen.

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Table 2

21.0 gms: Our biggest patty ever. The back side has a heavy silicious caliche coating that I have been unable to remove, but the features of the front face, presented with impressive size, tell key parts of the story. Corrosion/hydration/devitrification cores will alwys tend to be frosted and dull unless polished by some outside force. Most of the specimens in table one have been wind polished. But frosted is the base state. This specimen illustrates several aspects of the corrosion process: overall frosting, pitting craters resulting from uneven advance of the alteration front. Differential alteration picks out the physical and chemical differences of internal magnetite-rich laminae, converting them to topography on the weathering surface. Inside this is a medium dark gray translucent stone with magnetite fog laminae. sold

16.5 gms: Frosted and pitted like 21.0, but no planar laminae. Interior looks to be gemmy and pure. Very pale brownish-gray. Might be a faceting candidate. sold
16.2 gms. ditto to everything in 16.5 above. These really big ones are not abundant. Another faceter? sold

8.6 gms: A very nice cratered asteroidal-shape with all over satiny gloss. Superb example. High clarity inside cut by quite a few thin whispy magnetite fog planes$100sold

7.0 gms: frosted pitted, and gouged. Basal surface has inconspicuous silicious crust. $85sold

6.9 gms. I blew the photo-posing on this one. It has a good, honest navel, like some razalites! And a second less-perfectly developed one. Nice satin-gloss skin overall. Bright crystal clarity inside, blushing pale brownish gray. $125sold

6.4 gms : A nice bulbous piece, frosted on the base, but sand-blasted to satin gloss on top. Dimpling scaled to the size of the object. Looks gemmy pure inside save for one thin magnetite fog-rich plane near an edge. This could be another faceting candidate. $115sold

6.2 gms deeply frosted, pitted and locally gouged. A nice typical example of baseline features. Looks to be gemmy clear inside. Might facet a decent stone. $75sold
5.8 gms. A slightly irregular low plano-convex dome. Nice dimpling and gouges. Lightly polished top side, matte base. Interesting closely spaced thin planes of misty magnetite fog merge into a glowing gray haze when viewed at right angles. $70sold

5.4 gms. A sub-spherical pellet with delicate dimples, small gouges and a sub-satin skin. Inside, numerous parallel thin planes of magnetite fog. $35sold

5.1A gms: Like 6.2; a nice example of base case character. Mostly clear smoky gray inside bisected by one thin plane picked out by corrosion. $30sold
5.1B gms: A plano-convex oval dome, dimpled all over and sub-satin in skin character, this one is crowded with dark hazy clouds of magnetite fog in parallel planar array. A few clear glass planes peek through the fog. $20 Sold

5.0 gms: A satin-polished and highly transparent low dome. Backlighting reveals very high clarity, and the cratered surface plays with the light. $30sold

4.9 gms: One of our best examples of sand-blast polish, this pleasing piece is mostly crystal clear, but is bordered by a couple of thin dark megnetite fog laminae along one corner. $35sold


4.7 gms: frosted, pitted, and gouged. Another good base-case example. High purity smiky interior.sold

4.6 gms: A traingular plate with rounded corners, and sub-satin frosty skin. Good clarity inside. $20 Sold

4.5 gms A nice little half-clam with satiny polish. Bright and gemmy pure inside. $25sold

4.2A gms: This one presents quite a mixture. Part satiny-gloss from wind-polish, part frosted-matterwith silicious scale. Inside, part finely banded, part gemmy clear. Corrosion has accentuated the magnetitic bands in the skin topography. $20sold

4.2B gms: An elongate pellet with a triangular cross-secion. Finely dimpled all over with a couple of deep, bigger gouges. Nice satiny skin gloss. Gemmy purity within. $ 20sold


4.1 gms: A satiny pellet with corrosion accentuating magnetitic laminae within. Quite dark brownish gray within, mostly translucent. $15 available

4.0 gms: A thin, irregular oval plate. Mostly matte-finished, but not deeply frosted. Good and varied pitting. Looks to be high clarity inside. $15sold

3.8 gms: Nice glossy pellet with remnant frosting in pits and grooves on basal surface. Mostly high clarity with a single thin plane of magnetite fog. $15sold

3.4 gms: Gemmy little pellet of dimpled glass. Nice satin gloss. High clarity inside. $10sold

3.3 gms: Like 3.4 gms, but contains an unusual irregular sploth of magnetite fog. Satin gloss skin. $9sold
Email us at nlehrman@nvbell.net to order. Please specify "2015 Saffordites", the table number, and specimen weight when referencing specimen.

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Table 3: Still "A" quality pieces, but getting smaller and more typical in size---note that 3.6 gms is the average weight of the Saffordites we have self-collected.

This Table Sold Out. Sorry.

3.9A gms: Satin all over. Medium gray, high clarity interior. $7sold

3.9B gms: High-satin gloss, irregular shape. Delicate pitting. Bright, gemmy interior. $8sold

3.5A gms: Irregular satiny gloss pebble with high clarity medium gray interior. $7sold

3.5B gms: Elongate prismatic rod. Nice satin gloss all over. delicate pitting. Bright crystal clarity inside. $7sold
3.4 gms: Nice thin oval patty with pleasing symmetry. Moderately frosted skin. Delicate pitting. Mostly clear inside, but cut by a couple of whispy planes of magnetite dust. $9sold

3.3 gms: Lightly frosted skin. Nice form. Gem purity within. $7sold

3.1A gms: Good satiny gloss on all surfaces except matte base.Lightly ornamented. Gemmy interior. $5sold

3.1B gms: Triangular plate with large furrows. Matte base, satin top. Some small glassy chips on basal edge. $5sold
3.0A gms: Matte-skinned disk. High-purity interior. Nice overall shape. $5sold

Sorry, I am never going to get this job finished if I keep doing blow-by-blow color commentary. From here on I'll post nothing but prices unless some special comment is required.

3.0B gms: $5sold

3.0C gms: $6sold

2.9A gms: $4sold

2.9B gms: $5sold
2.9C gms: $5sold

2.7A gms: small glassy chip on back edge. $4sold

2.7B gms: $4sold

2.7C gms: $4sold

2.7D gms: small glassy chip on one edge. $4sold

2.6A gms: something of a flattened teardrop shape---$4sold

2.6B gms: $8sold

2.6C gms: $4sold

2.5 gms: An M&M candy. $5sold

2.4A gms: $5sold

2.4B gms: $4sold

2.3 gms: $3sold

2.2A gms: series of glassy chips in straight line along one edge. Chance of cultural modification. $5sold

2.2B gms: $4 available

2.2C gms: Nice saw-cut trench.$6sold

2.2D gms: $4sold
2.1 gms: $3sold

2.0A gms: $3sold

2.0B gms: $3sold

2.0C gms: Small glassy chip on one corner. $3sold

2.0D gms: $4sold

1.9A gms: $3sold

1.9B gms: $3sold
1.8A gms: Tiny glassy chips on one edge. $2sold
1.8B gms: $3sold

1.7 gms: $4sold

1.6 gms: $2sold

1.5A gms: $2sold

1.5B gms: $3sold
1.2 gms: $2sold
0.9 gms: $2sold
Email us at nlehrman@nvbell.net to order. Please specify "2015 Saffordites", the table number, and specimen weight when referencing specimen.

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Table 4: Big, mostly strongly frosted, mostly lightly pitted. Maybe some great faceting stock---This Table Sold Out---

18.7 gms: Huge. Gemmy-clear interior. Facet a whopper! sold

11.9 gms: Gemmy-clear interior with rosy blush.Faceter. $90sold

11.1 gms: Gemmy clear. Quite smooth frosted skin.. $ 90sold

11.0A gms: Gemmy clear. $45sold

11.0B gms. Gemmy clear interior. $45sold

10.9 gms: Pretty gray internal banding at 45 degrees to long axis. larger glassy chip on one edge. $35sold

9.9A gms: Somewhat irregular splotchy magnetite "moss" in clear glass. Try for a cab? sold


9.9B: Some faint internal bands. Delicate pitting. $20sold

9.8A: One dark plane inside. Not a faceter. Decent fine pitting. sold


9.8B: Splothy, mossy dark gray inclusions. Nice skin pitting. sold

9.5 gms: Very dark, gray, barely translucent around the thinner margins. sold


9.0A gms: About half of interior is occupied by hazy clouds of magnetite dust. Good pitting. $15sold

9.0B gms: Smoky interior with curved streak of magnetite fog. $15sold

8.2 gms: High clarity interior, nice ornamentation. Could facet.sold


7.9 gms: Contains mossy splotches of magnetite fog. Small cab? $10sold

7.7 gms: Mostly clear, but cut by several thin dark planar bands. $10sold

7.6 gms: Gemmy clear, but getting too thin to facet. $8sold

7.4A gms: Mostly clear, but has hazy bands. nice ornamentation. Good base-case example. $10sold

7.4B gms: sold

7.3 gms: $9sold

7.1 gms: $10sold

6.8A gms: $9sold
6.8B gms: $12sold

6.8C gms: Clear interior. Possible faceter. One curved wedge glassy ship. $9sold

6.6A gms: $8sold

6.6Bgms: $7sold

6.5A gms: $7sold

6.5B gms: sold

6.4A gms: $7sold

6.4B gms: $5sold

6.3A gms: sold

6.3B gms: $5sold
Email us at nlehrman@nvbell.net to order. Please specify "2015 Saffordites", the table number, and specimen weight when referencing specimen.

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Table 5: Same as Table 4, but getting smaller (approaching average size---) This Table Sold Out---

6.3 gms: Strongly layers and opaque. $3sold

6.2 gms: Tiny glassy chip. sold

5.9A gms: Nearly opaque. $2sold

5.9B: Peculiar mossy magnetite splotches. sold

5.3A gms: Opaque. $2sold

5.3B gms: Clear. $3sold

5.2 gms. $3sold

5.1A gms: finely banded, corrosion-accentuated. sold

5.1B gms: clear. $3sold

5.0 gms: Very finely and densely banded. Dark gray interior.sold

4.9 gms: Opaque, maybe almost non-glassy. Includes two peculiar ?devitrification? rosettes. Only example in over 400 pieces.sold

4.6A gms: Very clear, Satin skin. $5sold

4.6B: $3sold

4.4 gms: mossy internal magnetite. $3sold
4.3 gms: $3sold

4.2 gms: $3sold

4.0A gms: $3sold

4.0B gms: $4sold

4.0C gms: $3sold

3.8 gms: $3sold

3.7 gms: $3sold

3.6A gms: $3sold

3.6B gms: $3sold

3.5 gms: $2.50sold

3.4A gms: $3sold

3.4B gms: $2.50sold

3.3 gms: $2.50sold

3.2A gms: $2sold

3.2B gms: $2sold

3.1A gms: $2sold
3.1B gms: $2sold

3.0 gms: $3sold
Email us at nlehrman@nvbell.net to order. Please specify "2015 Saffordites", the table number, and specimen weight when referencing specimen.

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Table 6 This Table Sold Out---

Mostly 2-3 gms and a little over a centimeter in diameter. Your choice, $2.50 Specify coordinates (A1,D5, etc.)

sold pieces:

All Sold
Email us at nlehrman@nvbell.net to order. Please specify "2015 Saffordites", the table number, and specimen weight when referencing specimen.

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Table 7: Bargain basement SOLD OUT

The little ones in the center average about 1 gm and 1 cm. Priced at 6 for $5, my random selection. 12 0 sets available. all sold

At the far left are some freshly broken specimens that would be perfect for destructive analysis. $5 for the lot.sold.
At the far right is a group with a heavy silicious caliche coating on the bottom side (one example shown). All have a good display side, but I haven't found a way to clean the crust off the back. $5 for the lot. A real deal.sold
Email us at nlehrman@nvbell.net to order. Please specify "2015 Saffordites", the table number, and the desired group when referencing specimens on this page.

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