Arsenopyrite on Quartz
Yaogangxian Mine, Yizhang Co., Chenzhou, Hunan, China
Small Cabinet, 8.4 x 6.1 x 3.5 cm
Ex. Kurt Hefendehl

Every now and then you see a mineral specimen that simply stuns the viewer, even the jaded collector, with a combination of shape and color. This is a stunning metallic sulfide specimen from the famous Yaogangxian mine of Hunan, which is probably the single most famous and diverse mine in China - and among the top mineral localities of the last century by my judgement. We have been to China maybe 40 times, and dealt in thousands of Chinese minerals, and out of that time have seen only a very few iridescent arsenopyrite specimens come out of Yaogangxian in several pockets over the last 30 years. Specimens like this are simply rare, despite the overall production there. The combination of shape and color makes them stand out from ANY locality, regardless of species. This rainbow-colored specimen features metallic blades to 4.2 cm perched on Quartz crystals to 1.6 cm. Other specimens we have had in the past are generally singles of arsenopyrite, or associated with large quartz. This has a unique aesthetic in my experience and is, truly, one of my favorites in the entire 5000 piece Hefendehl collection. From the numbering (242 of 962 Chinese specimens), we believe Kurt acquired this in the early days, in the 1990s. He was regularly paying attention to Chinese minerals in the years before they were generally considered as worthy and high level as the European classics, and had many 1990s finds represented in this collection.