Silver on Calcite
Cabinet, 11.0 x 6.8 x 6.0 cm
New Nevada Mine, Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico

Batopilas is justifiably famous for the "herringbone style" silver crystals which have been found there only several times over 120 years of mining. This piece, I am told, probably dates to a big find in the 1980s. It is one of the larger, more dramatic matrix specimens known. The "herringbone" cluster of elongated silver crystals is 7.5 cm long and 5 cm tall. It is one of the most stunningly machinelike, constructed-looking silver habits, and I find it mesmerizing. Technically, all of these elongated crystals are actually spinel-twinned, which gives them the funny shape. This is a significant cabinet specimen for the locality, for Mexico and just for a silver in general. Joe Budd photos.