Wire Silver on Tetrahedrite
Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 6.0 x 1.5 cm
Smuggler Mine, Aspen, Aspen Mining District, Pitkin Co., Colorado, USA

The Smuggler Mine is an incredibly historic and important Colorado silver mine that was discovered and mined extensively in the late 1800s. It was a major U.S. silver producer and also produced some great Native Silver specimens. This particular piece is densely covered with a plethora of discontinuous, silver-gray to dull gray "ropes" and "strings" of wire silver that completely cover a sliver of Tetrahedrite matrix. It is essentially a nest of flat-lying Native Silver on a granular matrix of Tetrahedrite. The Silver strings or wires are layered one on top of the other and even slightly intergrown. Although the mine produced a significant amount of silver, (including a mass that weighed 1,480 pounds!), rarely do we see good specimens available from this famous silver mine. This piece is accompanied by a custom engraved acrylic base. Superb, and display worthy, historic USA classic.