Smithsonite (Cuprian)
Cabinet, 15.0 x 10.0 x 9.0 cm
79 Mine (79th Mine; Seventy-Nine Mine; Seventy-Nine property; McHur prospect), Chilito, Hayden area, Banner District, Dripping Spring Mts, Gila Co., Arizona, USA
Ex. Valenzuela, Frank

We have all seen the famous cuprian green smithsonites from the 79 Mine now, but I never even IMAGINED there was a piece of this magnitude ever recovered. I saw nearly the whole lot recovered in the early 1990s (George Godas and George Stevens with John Callahan, 1992), and then I saw most of subsequent finds (a few pockets over the last 20 years, only), and saw none of such size. This piece was collected and traded to Frank soon after one of those more recent finds (he recalls in about 2005), and disappeared into his collection before being shown. It was actually larger by half again counting some rough matrix attachment at the edges, but we trimmed it to enhance the periphery and remove edge contacts. It is nearly pristine now, with 3-dimensional rolling hills and rich coverage on the whole display face (and only a few very inconsequential broken or contacted spots remaining). Both Frank and I are quite sure it is the largest fine specimen, of this type, at 3.3 pounds in weight! A dramatic, imposing smithsonite specimen!

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