Jordanite and Sphalerite
Lengenbach Quarry, Binn Valley, Wallis, Switzerland
Small Cabinet, 8.2 x 6.5 x 5.5 cm
Ex. American Museum of Natural History; Clarence Bement
Nestled aesthetically in a vug of mottled marble is a small cluster of lustrous and translucent "ruby jack" sphalerite in crystals to 7 mm across. Closely associated with the sphalerite are lustrous, dark gray crystals, to 5 mm across, of the rare lead, arsenic, sulfosalt, jordanite. They are SHARP! This specimen is from the type locality in the Binn Valley of Switzerland. The provenance is fascinating and valuable; it is accompanied by old labels from the American Museum of Natural History, Clarence Sweet Bement and Larry Conklin. A true old classic, this piece was purchased by Clarence Bement in the late 1800s for his extensive collection, specializing in European classics. The collection was then sold to financier JP Morgan, who later donated it to the American Museum in NYC. It was exchanged out to dealer-collector Larry Conklin in a trade in the late 1970s and long kept in his personal collection until I bought it 40 years later.