Copper After Cuprite
Small Cabinet, 8.0 x 6.7 x 4.0 cm
Rubtsovskiy Mine, Altayskiy Kray, Siberia, Russia
This producing mine has produced some amazing things during its short, recent run. This is a gorgeous, very bright small cabinet piece with crystals to 1.8 cm, from the fall-2011 finds here of this highly unusual pseudomorph (replacement): copper has completely replaced the earlier crystals of cuprite, preserving their form and making for a beautiful specimen at the same time. This piece has a surface sparkle to it, caused by a later generation of microscopic copper deposition, that is hard to capture in photos without seeming to "over-light" the shots. So, in person, it is correct in this color but is even more sparkly and lively, compared to most copper specimens. I have never seen such sharp copper replacements after cuprite in this size, from other locales. And this is one of the better large plates of this style for overall aesthetics. No more have come out since, by the way - and the mine is rapidly burning through its specimen-rich oxidation zone. Joe Budd photos.