Cassiterite on Muscovite
Pingwu mine, Mt Xuebaoding, Pingwu Co., Mianyang, Sichuan, China
Small Cabinet, 7.8 x 5.2 x 3.6 cm
Ex. Dr. Stephen Smale

Impressive and attractive, this combination specimen from Mt. Xuebaoding features a striking, 3 cm cluster of Cassiterites on a Muscovite matrix. These twinned Cassiterites have a ridge-like habit, and they are sharp, splendent, and jet-black. The luster is superb, well beyond what the pics can capture. Picture in your mind a Steuben's version of cut and polished obsidian, and you will have a more accurate image. The bladed, hexagonal Muscovite crystals are well-formed and in excellent condition save for one compressed area at one end of the piece. The famous Pingwu Beryl Mine is best known for superb Aquamarine and Scheelite crystals, and now world-class Cassiterites can be added to that list. This is classic, excellent and aesthetic material from Mt. Xuebaoding, and even better in person. It probably came out in the late 90s or early 2000s, and not much has been found there in such quality since the earthquake of 2008 hit. Ex Smale collection.