Sphalerite on Dolomite
Mina di Aliva, Picos de Europa, Santander, Spain
Small Cabinet, 9.0 x 5.0 x 4.7 cm
Ex. Giancarlo Fioravanti
This gem crystal sitting on white matrix is one of the prettiest examples of this material I have seen. They are many bigger plates, and larger specimens, but they all tend to be solid and jumbled and messy. This piece has a simple elegance, and color, that is hard to obtain in this old classic find. The piece features a splendent, single crystal of Sphalerite perched starkly on a matrix of white, curved Dolomite crystals. Usually the matrix is massive, or not well crystallized. This is exceptional and the association makes the piece a new level. The Sphalerite is 1.7 cm in length; it has superb luster and an almost metallic-amber color. The Cantabria (formerly Santander) area of Spain has produced some of the finest (if not THE finest) Sphalerites ever found, and you can see why. I am tempted to trim this into a miniature, or even a thumbnail...