This massively large, important specimen is one of the few giants removed from the famous Wuling mine by a team working exclusively for specimen recovery, in around 2003. It came to the US in its own shipping crate as a specimen perhaps 6 times the size and mass, from which this core of undamaged, pristine, remarkably aesthetic crystals was obtained. There is nearly zero damage to the specimen, and certainly none to any core crystals. No repairs, no unsightly breaks. It is a miracle that such a thing could come out intact and even at this reduced size after the trimdown, it weighs nearly 200 pounds. While too big for nearly all collectors, it is truly a "museum piece" in more than just words. Under half a dozen pieces of this size and calibre are thought to exist, including one that is actually twice the size, from the same pocket, that has now been donated to the American Museum of Natural History and resides in a place of honor in a front atrium, in its own showcase. People stand next to that piece, taking photos with the natural swords of stibnite cluster, all day long. Even my children notice the consistent line to take photos in front of it, when we visit that museum. This piece is of the same impact and , I think, even finer in overall quality and condition. Although stibnite is now perhaps all too common, this particular pocket and mine will be remembered as one of the major finds of China to date, and from it this piece will stand out. It was, until I obtained it in exchange, in the personal collection of the company that extracted and brought the pocket to the US. I do not often use the words "museum-sized" and "museum-quality" in the same description out of care because high quality does not always equate to large size (most often, it does not!). But in this case, the piece really is mindblowing and would be a prime centerpiece for any museum or major collection.
ex. American Museum of Natural History
ex. Tom Hall
This is a huge, important, historic specimen that ALSO meets modern aesthetic and quality criteria: A stunning, vertical group of shiny silver-gray crystals, 15x3x3 inches, that shows a beautiful iridescent patina in places. This is one of the most elegant large Japanese stibnites I have ever seen in a musuem or a private collection, and some experts I have spoken to on the matter rank it among the top known specimens in private hands , preserved from the 1800s era of mining here. Formerly in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, which received it as a gift from J. P. Morgan (the original museum display label, about 5 inches long and made of a heavy board paper with curved edges for brass buttons to anchor it to the display case, is included). Identifying numbers on the specimen are 32187 and 29/8. The American Museum of Natural History label accompanying the piece reads “Morgan Gift/Stibnite/large distinct crystals/Mt. Kosang, Japan.” The error in locality probably arose from an attempt to conceal the exact source of the material around the turn of the 1900s when Morgan would have obtained the specimen. It remained in the AMNH until the trading deals of the late 1960s and early 1970s when that museum exchanged duplicates to major dealers of the day. Charlie Key and Rick Smith made the exchange for the piece, and Tom Hall purchased it from Rick Smith in July 1971 at the old Washington DC show. From the Tom Hall collection. Tom is a longtime collector, recently retired from working, who since the 1960s has specialized in colorful miniatures and small cabinet pieces of high quality, trying to obtain the best he could in this size range from major, classic finds. His collection was always small but filled with choice beauties such as this. The piece here was the largest specimen in the collection and clearly did not fit for size, but it was so good and so fun to think of the history; and so dramatic in the case despite dominating others in size, that Tom kept it since his original purchase in 1971 (through several collection culls since that time). The graded background shot is a Joe Budd photo.
An extrordinarily elegant cluster of bright metallic stibnite from the now-infamous finds of several years ago which produced such an abundance of fine stibnite as to be unprcedented. Prices dropepd for awhile but they do seem to be coming back up, and I have seen clusters not this good from some further new finds go for double the old prices, already. This cluster was one of my first choices at the time, for price and quality and aesthetic balance combined. It has only trivial edge wear but by and large is in very good shape. It is complete and displayable from all 4 sides. I recently got it back from the collector who has owned it these last 3 years because it is simply too large to fit in his showcase. Keep that size in mind!
ex. Dr. Edward David
A very dramatic speicmen that is more 3-dimensional and more covered in fluorite than most such pieces, from finds in 2004-2005. The piece is complete on 3 sides, contacted in back. It features robust stibnite crystals as well as thinner ones, in cluster aggregate, all covered by a drapery of translucent fluorite. One of the best I have seen from China, and rivalling the old 1980s Thai material of similar aspect!
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