Mammoth Mine, Tiger, Mammoth District, Pinal Co., Arizona, USA
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 5.0 x 4.5 cm
Ex. Al Ordway
An extraordinarily rich, sparkling specimen that is so intensely colored it looks fake. If you knew nothing about the species, one could still appreciate this piece on the shelf for the sheer intensity of blue color, unlike almost any other mineral species in person. The hyperbole is justified - it is hard to believe the piece isn't sprayed with something to make it so bright, and it is hard to focus on individual crystals amidst the brightness of all the reflections here. This piece is literally infested with glassy, bright caledonites. Few crystals exceed 5 mm, but there are hundreds of them, all over the specimen (many in protected vugs). The sheer summation of the crystals makes this piece more rich than all but a very few surviving specimens from this mine, according to those with quite a bit more knowledge of the locality than I admit to. Ex Al Ordway Collection (purchased from a mining engineer who collected it) - this was one of his major ten specimens, from my memories of the collection over the years. Although caledonite occurs at other localities, and in larger crystals, these are the brightest and most lustrous. Joe Budd photos