Pyrite and Quartz
Cabinet, 10.0 x 6.7 x 5.7 cm
Spruce Claim, King County, Washington, USA

Spruce Claim pyrites are the finest in the USA, and among the finest in the world when at their best. Rarely do we get them with great aesthetics and no damage, though, due to the high altitude and remote location. It is a great story, how these are collected after being dropped off by helicopter - see the book, American Mineral Treasures. Among many that were found, and it is few enough each year in the short mining season, this piece is spectacular for the sharpness and unusual habit of the pyrite and its central and aesthetic perch amidst quartz. The complex pyrite crystal measures 3 cm tall and is so lustrous and reflective that you can see your face in it like a mirror. It is undamaged, though on close glance there seem to be three teeny tiny divots in the crystal face that must be slight growth interruptions or contacts, but do not seem to be breaks. The piece overall is 360 degrees, sparkly, and displays dramatically without excess mass. Joe Budd photos.