Toenail, 3.0 x 2.5 x 2.3 cm
San Martin Mine, Chiurucu, Huallanca, Ancash Department, Peru
A rare example of seemingly octohedral crystals of alabandite, from the Chiurucu Mining area and NOT from the Ucchuchaccua rhodochrosite mine in Lima Dept. The crystal, 2 cm on edge, is complete and sharp, and world class for the species. The piece overall is a "toenail" or small miniature size. Only one dealer had a very few of these specimens at the Tucson 2011 show. What are the odds of two new finds of the best alabandite crystals in the world coming out of different mines in Peru at th same time, after decades of nothing like this? near zero? I am very sure of this locale, though. One of these specimens has a smidge of rhodonite on the bottom of the matrix, confirming its mine of origin. Joe Budd photos