Niobium-Rich Rutile
Inyo County, California, USA
Miniature, 3.2 x 2.5 x 2.1 cm
This specimen hosts an approx. 2.5 x 2 x 2 cm complexly terminated crystal atop a natural pedestal of matrix. Well excavated, it displays beautifully. As with most of these, there are a few very minor bits of edge wear but nothing too distracting on the display face. It is complete all around, as well. Collected in the Sierra Mountains about 1965 by a well-known field collector named Bob Raduenz, who to this day refuses to divulge the exact locality but has also failed to find more there. These are clearly distinct from the Champion Mine rutiles from Mono county in appearance, and in chemical composition as per the Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy report shown for this update (with Niobium running nearly 25% by weight) .