World Class Collection of Lapidary Arts, Rare Minerals & Gems  

World Class Collection of Lapidary Arts, Rare Minerals & Gems

A Rhodochrosite Specimen, “Pincushion Pocket”, Sweet Home Mine, Colorado, $5,000-7,000


For Immediate Release – Denver, Colorado – August 7, 2014 Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is pleased to be handling the collection of 570 lots from the Estate of Mr. Cafesjian including an impressive selection of lapidary arts carvings, rare minerals and gems for its inaugural Natural History auction, which will take place on September 16, 2014 at 10AM MST. The sale will be displayed in the Denver saleroom located at 960 Cherokee Street. Colorado’s history is deeply rooted in the mining industry, which motivated the Chicago-based auction company to select the Denver facility to host this important collection. The West boasts many of the most important mines in the mineral collecting world, as well as an enthusiastic base of collectors and institutions anxious to acquire rare items.

Gerard L. Cafesjian had a passion for collecting that consumed his life for more than six decades. Born in Brooklyn, New York to Armenian immigrant parents, he served in the U.S. Navy and later graduated from St. John’s University School of Law. Mr. Cafesjian had a successful career at West Publishing Company, the world’s largest publisher of legal information. Having studied geology at university, he held a lifelong interest in minerals. As a collector, his love for color, light and form led him to collect a wide array of contemporary glass sculpture, gems, minerals and a truly impressive assortment of fine lapidary arts carvings.

The Cafesjian Collection includes an extensive group of mineral specimens extracted from locations all over the globe. The impressive selection of Rhodochrosite crystals and plates originate from the Sweet Home Mine in Colorado and the N’Chwaning mine in South Africa, two of the most sought after mines by collectors. The auction also features an extraordinary lapidary arts collection, including works by Idar-Oberstein artisans such as Gerd Dreher, Manfred Wild, Gerhard Becker and other luminaries.

An Important Carved Agate Falcon on Native Copper Base, Gerd Dreher, Idar-Oberstein, Germany $30,000-50,000
A Rhodochrosite Specimen, N’Chwaning Mine, Kuruman, South Africa $7,000-9,000
A Morganite “Sea Turtle and Reef” Carving, Gerd Dreher, Idar-Oberstein, Germany $12,000-18,000
A Gem Chrysocolla Chameleon Carving, Gerd Dreher for Asprey, Idar-Oberstein, Germany $20,000-$30,000
A Scolecite on Stilbite Specimen, Nashik Quarry, Nashik District, Maharashtra, India $2,000-3,000
A Rhodochrosite Specimen, “Corner Pocket,” Sweet Home Mine, Alma, Colorado $5,000-7,000


Highlights include an important agate carving of a falcon on a native copper base, Gerd Dreher ($30,000-50,000); a fine Rhodochrosite crystal from the “Corner Pocket,” Sweet Home Mine, Alma, Colorado ($5,000-7,000); a Morganite carving of a sea turtle, Gerd Dreher ($12,000-18,000); a fine Rhodochrosite crystal cluster, N’Chwaning Mine, Kuruman, South Africa ($7,000-9,000), a Scolecite on Stilbite specimen ($2,000-3,000) and a Gem Chrysocolla Chameleon Carving, Gerd Dreher for Asprey, Idar-Oberstein, Germany ($20,000-$30,000).

“The logistics of packing and shipping this extensive group from out of state was cumbersome, but well worth it,” said Alexander Eblen, director of Natural History at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. “It required over 250 custom boxes and crates and two trucks to transport the collection from Florida to Colorado. The interest in gems and minerals is clearly evident by the numerous gem and mineral shows held in Colorado annually. Thousands of collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world will attend the shows in September, which made Denver the obvious location for the auction.” Selected highlights from the collection will be featured at the Denver Fine Mineral Show in room 209 of the Denver Marriott West and in booth J50 at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show in the Denver Merchandise Mart.

Open to the public
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 10AM MST

Open to the public
September 2 – 15
Weekdays 10AM – 5PM
Saturdays 10AM – 3PM
Special extended hours on Thursday, September 11, 10AM – 7PM

Catalogues are available for purchase, please visit To view the online catalogue click here. For further information or to order an auction catalogue, please contact Leslie Hindman Auctioneers at 312.334.4223 or

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