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

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.