This Pyrite, from the great Sweet Home Mine, is amazing no matter where it is from. It is composed of bright, golden striated cubes intergrown with Tetrahedrite and Quartz. The largest Pyrite cube is 2.1 cm, and the Tetrahedrite crystals range up to several mm and the Quartz crystals up to about 7 mm. At the time of the mining of the Rhodochrosite, other species were only seldom encountered, so many collectors in the mid-1990s snapped up specimens with Pyrites, Fluorites, and Tetrahedrites. They remain coveted, as are the Rhodos from there. A "Toenail" in size.
This plate of Tennantite and Galena is populated with dozens upon dozens of lovely, dusty-pink rhombs of Smithsonite. The Smithsonites are classic - curved rhombs with beveled edges, pearly luster, and finely undulating crystal faces. The Smithsonites are quite gemmy, and you frequently see pearly internal reflections emanating from the crystals. A beautiful effect, testimony to the quality of the Smithsonites. The rhombs are commonly 6 mm on edge. They are in excellent condition. Very aesthetic.
Black Pine Mine, Philipsburg, Granite County, Montana, USA
Small Cabinet, 5.8 x 4.6 x 3.2 cm
Very rare for this locality, this one surprised me when I saw it! This tetrahedrite specimen features a large crystal with one huge face, 5 cm in length, which has a smaller crystal perched on it. There is moderate luster, and the crystals exhibit a dark gray color. Overall, a significant piece from this old mine. I had never seen one larger than a 1 cm sized crystal from this deposit. This is from the personal collection of Josef Vajdak.
Large, pyramidal, slate-gray crystals of Chalcopyrite coated with Tetrahedrite, to 3.5 cm in length, have grown in and around translucent, pastel gray, crystals of quartz which reach the same length. There does not appear to be any damage or contact except at the extreme periphery of this matrix specimen. The cluster just floats up there, perfect as can be! Very rare in such aesthetic form!
An exceptional specimen from old finds here, probably in the 1980s, which features huge tetrahedrite crystals to several inches on size in combination with aesthetic quartz crystals. The specimen is in very good shape, nearly pristine and complete most of the way around the back even. It is a piece of high significance, I would say, for both the locality and the species. Most that you see from here are either smaller crystals of no significance or, in some occasions still today, large crystals to this size and more but very flattened. I rarely see any with such 3-dimensional geometric form, much less in association with these great quartz crystals which really convert the piece from "just" an important tetrahedrite into a display specimen on another level entirely to my eye. Ex. Francis Allegra collection.
This specimen has a metallic golden brightness to it that looks manmade-brighter and more metallic even than modern Peruvian material can be. It is an old specimen from the collection of the late Dr. Richard Heck. Displayed one way, there is a large twin to the left, and the piece balances standing up like a triangle. Displayed on its side, the large, complex chalcopyrite twin graces the bottom, and smaller crystals rise above it to form a pagoda of sharp, golden-brassy color. So bright is it, that it leaps out of a case as the most metallic mineral in the Heck collection, amongst sphalerites, pyrites, and other species. It is just vividly colorful and brilliantly lustrous. One of the highlights of this fine old Mexican mineral collection. Joe Budd photos.
This is a rare tetrahedrite from China, from a new find apparently. It has sharp, textbook crystals to over an inch, some coated on oriented faces by incredibly metallic, bright chalcopyrite in a micro-thin layer. It looks like the tetrahedrite crystals were dipped in gold plate, on those faces. Small calcites are also attached for texture. The piece is nearly complete all around, with just a small contact area on bottom. Although a fine specimen in its own right, I bought this in part because it was a freak piece, to my eyes, just a single nice specimen from "a new mine" in the rich Nan Dan area where so many calcites have come from. Time will tell whether more come, or none...
Thumbnail – Maximum 3.0 cm
Toenail – A “gut feeling” but often overlaps between a large thumbnail and a small miniature
Miniature – Maximum 5.0 cm
Small Cabinet – Maximum 9.4 cm
Cabinet – Maximum 18.0 cm
Large Cabinet – Over 18.0 cm
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