Covellite (circa 1800s)
Small Cabinet, 7.7 x 5.5 x 4.0 cm
Calabona Mine, Alghero, Sardinia, Italy

Italian covellite once set the standard for the species, and many people still consider the best of them to rank up there with the best (generally smaller but sharper crystals) from Butte in Montana. However, so few are ever SEEN in person, to judge this comparison. The Italian ones have a special color and luster, to my eye, and I enjoy looking at them more. They are more robust and less fragile-looking than Montana covellites. This is a significant Italian specimen displaying bladed, parallel growth, with crystals to 7 cm in length. It is very three dimensional, although hard to convey here in flat photos - it looks like a colorful iron rosette in person. This old time specimen was featured in a 1953 ad by Hugh Ford. Although highly lustrous, the rich blue colors are overshadowed by the incredible iridescence on the large faces. It is hard to capture the play of colors in a flat photo - if you are interested, we can provide a video, which conveys it better. Ex. Ed David collection (and this piece was sold in the late 1990s through Larry Conklin to the John Marshall collection).

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