Jachymov (St Joachimsthal), Erzgebirge, Bohemia, Czech Republic (TYPE LOCALITY)
Miniature, 4.6 x 3.1 x 1.7 cm
Ex. Hans Karabacek
Argentopyrite is a very RARE silver iron sulfide, found only in macro-scale quality in a few deposits. The first specimens were found at this, the TYPE LOCALITY, in the mid 1800s and named in 1868. This piece is extraodinarily rich, with choice crystals in spherical growths, associated with small gem proustites. The proustites, by the way, help confirm this as a genuine type locale Jachymov specimen, as opposed to similar-appearing German pieces from the same era. This particular specimen is from the incredibly important collection assembled in Vienna by Hans Karabacek, much of which was acquired in a purchase by Harvard University in the mid 1960s, in one of their biggest modern purchases. Later authors have written of the collection: Huber and Huber (1982): "The number of items is not very large considering the lengthy period of active collecting, amounting to 4, 892 specimens. The collection could not be any larger because only the best minerals were acquired over a period of nearly half to century - excerpted from Mineralogical Record archives, He was particularly strong in European rarities and classics, having traded or bought form many previous collections in Austria and Germany at the time. The (partial) remnant of his label can be seen on the bottom of the specimen, and the piece has long been in a private collection since being deaccessed from Harvard in a trade in the 1970s.