Niobium-Rich Rutile
Miniature, 3.9 x 3.1 x 2.3 cm
Inyo County, California, USA

This is a huge crystal for the find, in fact one of the biggest! Tragically, it has some damage on several edges, and a sliver of the front seems to have been chipped off in collecting, and later repaired (with some gap). So it is a big crystal, and worthy for research purposes, but not really a colelctor level specimen in the aesthetic sense I fear. Collected in the Sierra Mountains in 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) .