Sphalerite, Galena, Calcite, Quartz
Hunan Province, China
Cabinet, 14.2 x 9.1 x 6.2 cm
In the last few years, there has been a plethora of new material from China. However, this is without question one of the nicest combo pieces I have seen of ANY mineral. They came out, mostly through Dan Weinrich, in the late 1990s and really set the market on fire with the vibrant color and luster of these sharply crystallized sphalerites. The beautiful contrasting matrix is a crust of micro quartz crystals over thin rock shards, giving a uniform sparkle and luster to the background: vibrant red and white colors contrast where the quartz lifts off from the matrix a bit to be clear or takes on the red of the hematite-stained matrix underneath. Crystals of gray galena, some spinel twinned and aesthetically perched on quartz are, in turn, bracketed by two, lustrous, red, gemmy, sphalerite crystals of about the maximal size for the find. The largest displayed sphalerite crystal measures 3 cm across. The largest galena crystal is almost 1 cm in length. To top off this remarkable specimen, two, frosted, creamy white, calcite crystals poke their terminated faces straight at the viewer, midway between the dominant sphalerite crystals. These calcite crystals reach 2.5 cm long. The piece is completely covered with sphalerite around to the underside (lower-left), as well. This specimen has a huge WOW factor! 14.2 x 9.1 x 6.2 cm