Panasquiera Mine, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Large Cabinet, 21.0 x 12.2 x 4.5 cm
Arsenopyrite is a common mineral in the polymetallic deposits of Panasquiera, though it seldom occurs in rich and large plates. This particular pocket, featuring a natural and frankly startling iridescence to the crystals, came out in 2015 and only a few specimens were available at the time (luckily, I was travelling through Europe at the time and bought several). Why have we not seen these rich colors before or since, in all the history of the mine? I cannot say, why this piece is so intensely colored, and others from other pockets are not. I have seen the same effect in China, rarely, at a similar mine. The conditions just have to be right, once, and in all the pockets of this mine, each is subtly different. This was the largest specimen I was able to obtain from the discovery. It is, quite simply, breathtaking in person although the video does convey some of the impact. I think this is just a phenomenal and irreplaceable example of this otherwise generally bland and silver-toned metallic species. Photo by Joe Budd. Comes with a custom lucite base. Rotating video available for streaming at https://goo.gl/67UBc9