Matlockite on Galena
Matlock, Cromford, Derbyshire, England, UK (TL)
Thumbnail, 2.5 x 1.4 x 1.1 cm
Ex. Shields and Frances Flynn

A rare English lead species mineral discovery from the early to mid-1800s, these Matlockites from the type locality are still considered the best of species, and specimens on the market are almost nonexistent. I have seen perhaps 1-2 a decade for sale, to put that comment in context. This is a fine display quality thumbnail that presents an elongated 1.7cm-tall crystal perched on a pedestal of galena. The crystal does have some small damage and contact on the right side, but then most of these do have damage or wear issues after nearly 200 years, and from the tight pockets in which they form. The note on the old label card from Ernie says that he obtained it in 1994 "via Metropolis, trimmed from a large klutzy matrix." Translation: it surely came out of Harvard via the curator Bill Metropolis there, either as a whole rock or more likely as a free trim off a larger specimen in the collection. This specimen was then passed on to Shields Flynn with the cream of the Schlichter thumbnail collection when his mentor, Ernie Schlichter, passed away. Although not as perfect as we would like, as it is not quite pristine, it displays magnificently and looks like a complete, unusually isolated crystal - it has a rare eye appeal that these generally do not have, AND is perched on matrix. Together, this makes it competitive-worthy, when it is such a rarity that there are few to compare it to.