Chanarcillo, Copiapo Prov., Atacama, Chile
Small Cabinet, 7.4 x 4.8 x 4.0 cm
Ex. Harvard Museum; Jack Halpern

One of those holy grail dream minerals that we see in books and seldom have a chance to own and acquire at any price or size level, is an ancient proustite from Chile. However, Harvard University's Museum had a spectacular HUGE specimen that was found and given to dealer Wayne Thompson to mediate a trim and cleaning project. This project yielded only 5 major trimmed pieces (of which this was one), and a number of smaller specimens of beauty, but less significance for size. These came to market in 2001-2002, and this piece was sold to Daniel Trinchillo, who then sold it to Jack Halpern, and Jack has owned it for 20 years since then. These were mined in the late 1800s, and world travel and shipment was not what it is today, nor was specimen storage and care. Most fine specimens got damaged over the years or were lost due to degradation in light. This mineral, from any locale, should really be kept under a box or in a drawer, hidden from display except when on exhibit in a home case. Museum specimens have gone dark over time, for this reason: sunlight, particularly UV light which is also present to some small degree in many indoor lighting spectrums, causes them to go dark. So, preserved specimens like this are only more rare and more valuable, and hard to find, with the passage of time. Most people consider these the best in the world, overall. This specimen is notable for its size, brightness, cherry red color, and overall near pristine condition.