Miniature, 4.5 x 2.5 x 0.4 cm
Round Mountain Mine, Nye County, Nevada, USA

This specimen is the back cover of the MINERAL-UP calendar, published in Spain by Joaquim Callen. I LOVE the piece, and have always loved it since I bought it and put it away 4 years or so ago, waiting to see what else came out of the mine. It turns out that the brief rain of fine golds was both spotty and short, with many of different styles but few so brassy and bright like this. It looks, in person, like robust aluminum foil that has been gold plated and then airbrushed to make it more modernist. This is a phenomenal piece with INSANE luster and form so sharp it LOOKS like it was cut with a cookie cutter, not grown. I am trying to find words to express why this little thing looks so damned overpriced, at first glance. And all I can end with is, it is that sharp! To me, most Round Mountain golds are second-rans in a general sense, after California crystallized golds, for luster and brightness. Look in the publications and you will see very fine golds with fine crystals, many more robust and larger than this, but you will see nothing quite like this for sheer "flash." Size is just a bit under 2 inches and so this is a full-on miniature, not a toenail. It is equally good on both sides and picking a front face is entirely arbitrary. It is a floater with no attachment point or damage. And, it is one of those favored Round Mountain golds that stands as a great piece on its own merits, rather than being just a neat crystal from a rare locale. I really feel this is a competition-level gold miniature, about as choice as you can get for anything in a remotely reasonable price range, and that it leaves money on the table. The reason I say this is because you can spend far more on a California gold and yet, in the end, not have one so impactful as this. That being said, I will put in writing that I will buy this back for a check, anytime - I love it that much. Joe Budd Photos