Cabinet, 12.5 x 8.5 x 5.2 cm
Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mts, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania

Pyrite from Merelani's tanzanite mines is now setting precedent as some of the world's best. This complex crystal habit, phenomenal luster, and size really give them impact. However, this piece has luster beyond any that I have yet seen - frighteningly bright, radiant metallic luster combined with a brightness that acts like a mirror when light hits certain angles. It looks like it has been plated in 24-karat gold. The crystal cluster is complete all around save for a trivial contact and a few absolutely trivial dings. It is 3-dimensional and hefty (1000 grams mass!) Minor graphite is associated at the base. This piece is simply stunning - it leaps out when on display and stands way above any merely representative status as a locality piece. Joe Budd photos.