A single sharp crystal to 1.9 cm, perched atop massive alabandite and accented by a sharp rhodo rhomb, make this an appealing display-quality specimen. THIS IS A VERY SHARP crystal, way above average for this already near-miraculous find for the species. This is one of the sharpest pieces I saw - many crystals approaching this size show etching or cracking on the major surface planes. Not this.
Sharp crystals including one major sharp 1.6 cm crystal , embedded in matrix of alabandite and manganoan calcite.
An extremely sharp 1.25-cm freestanding crystal, perched dramatically upon a fine miniature matrix, and accented with rhodochrosite.
Two very sharp crystals to 1.3 cm, perched on alabandite and accented by unusual striated pink rhodochrosite crystals. Fine example for this new find, which is settign a world's new standard for the species without being crazy in price. A superb display quality miniature, anyhow, beyond its rarity
From a recent find, these are by an order of magnitude the world's best examples of the species. And, this piece is, from what I have seen, about an order better than most any other to date. The sharp twinned crystals reach 2 cm in size and are both sharp and lustrous, really unprecedented for the species. The size and overall richness of the piece, its lack of damage and pristine condition all around, and its association with sparkling white calcite, all combine to make it the best piece we are yet aware of from this highly important find here. Notably, the mine has been worked for something like decades, and YET NEVER BEFORE have crystallized alabandites been found here. The find is thus, in context, probably a freak occurrence. Although lesser specimens from the find are themselves world class examples, this one stood out from the very beginning and was held back in Lima with "an investor" who helped the miners (and asked a higher price than this initially), holding out for an admittedly high number. Nevertheless, it was the best (we think), and was too important to leave down there. Had to have it...
4.3 x 2.5 x 2.2 cm. An incredibly beautiful and aesthetic specimen of interconnected plumose sprays of alabandite from the Broken Hill deposit of Australia. Alabandite is a rare manganese sulfide from this locale, and was not discovered until 1965 and described until 1971. This elegant, wing-like specimen is from Level 17 of the NBHC Mine.
Alabandite has surfaced in world class crystals from this old silver mine. But, out of all the trickle now coming for a year, I had seen nothing else of the magnitude of this monster. It is simply over the top, the pics say it all. Crystals to nearly 2 inches, and SHARP , with lustre! Joe Budd Photos
A rare example of seemingly octohedral crystals of alabandite, from the Chiurucu Mining area and NOT from the Ucchuchaccua rhodochrosite mine in Lima Dept. The large 2.5-cm (an inch!) crystal is complete and sharp despite an internal fracture that started but did not continue through the piece. This is a huge crystal by any standard for the species and among the largest fine crystals from this smaller find (certainly the best that we saw of the lot...) ! An association of gemmy quartz really makes the specimen aesthetic. A small bit of rhodonite on the bottom is present as well. Only one dealer had a very few of these specimens at the Tucson 2011 show alongside pieces from the Uchuchaccua Mine. What are the odds of two new finds of the best alabandite crystals in the world coming out of different mines in Peru at the same time, after decades of nothing like this? near zero? I am very sure of this locale, though: one of these specimens has a smidge of rhodonite on the bottom of the matrix, confirming its mine of origin. Joe Budd photos
A rare example of seemingly octohedral crystals of alabandite, from the Chiurucu Mining area and NOT from the Ucchuchaccua rhodochrosite mine in Lima Dept. The crystal, 2 cm on edge, is complete and sharp, and world class for the species . The piece overall is a "toenail" or small miniature size. Only one dealer had a very few of these specimens at the Tucson 2011 show. What are the odds of two new finds of the best alabandite crystals in the world coming out of different mines in Peru at th same time, after decades of nothing like this? near zero? I am very sure of this locale, though. One of these specimens has a smidge of rhodonite on the bottom of the matrix, confirming its mine of origin. Joe Budd photos
ex. Dr. Edward David
This rare arborescent habit of crystallization was found in only one pocket at Broken Hill, and specimens are quite uncommon. This is an elegant, branching example of large crystals for the species. Formerly in the collection of Dr. Ed David. I was later told that these were found in the 1960s on the 18th level of the mine, and that they are now considered to be pseudomorphs after the worlds largest rammelsbergite crystals (see Rock Currier's MINDAT forum on "best minerals - Alabandite" for more info including a photo of another piece from this notable pocket). Joe Budd photos
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