Arsenopyrite on Hedenbergite
Huanggang Mine, Hexigten Banner, Inner Mongolia A.R., China
Cabinet, 10.8 x 5.0 x 4.3 cm
This dramatic piece is from a special pocket found in early 2011, and to date not equaled from the mine. Many people are saying that these arsenopyrites, for luster and sharpness, rank among the world's best of species. In person, they have a pure silver color and a sparkle to them caused by minute surface detailing, like the skin of a lizard but much, much finer in scale. On this piece, the arsenopyrite is displayed dramatically upright, atop a natural pedestal of green hedenbergite. A small cluster of ilvaite pops out one side as a bonus. Pristine, and complete all around. It is one of the most elegant such specimens we have seen, and reminds me of a closed Chinese fan. These will be remembered as one of the major species' best finds of the decade, I expect. And for its size and shape, I think this piece will always be among the best in its size class. Joe Budd Photos.