Sylvanite (Type Locality, Pre-1800) With Calcite
Baia de Aries (Offenbanya), Alba Co., Romania
Small Cabinet, 8.5 x 6.5 x 4.0 cm
Ex. Giancarlo Fioravanti

A superb old classic! Lustrous, almost dendritic aggregates of flattened, golden-silvery Sylvanite crystals splay atop the contrasting layer of white crystalline Calcite. The Sylvanite crystals are rather spectacular for the species, and range up to 4-5 mm in size. The luster is superb - mirror-like and metallic. This old-time specimen is from the historic gold-mining district of Baia de Aries (Offenbanya), Romania, the Type Locality for Sylvanite. These were first discovered in 1835, and this most certainly dates close to that time. There is an old paper label (origin unknown) and a label from the famous English mineral dealer Francis Butler that dates this specimen being sold between 1887 and 1927. Additionally, this was part of the Hunt Collection and the Hunterian Museum in Glascow, which is the oldest museum in Scotland (note the old browned, paperboard label denoting the "H" in lower left for "Hunt Collection"). Fioravanti did a number of trades with this museum in 1975 and on Fioravanti's label, he notes that the date of the specimen is 1780 (though this is not on the older label, one can assume it was in museum records). Fantastic provenance! Certainly, one of the larger and richer Sylvanites you will see from this historic locale. And, the labels are a great bonus.