Viloco Mine, Loayza Prov., La Paz, Bolivia
Miniature, 3.7 x 3.0 x 2.9 cm
Ex. Bill & Anne Cook
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The historic and world class tin mines at Viloco have produced some of the best Cassiterite specimens known. This miniature is sharply twinned, with superb luster and a deep brown color that is actually gemmy when backlit along the edges. It is unusual to find a twin this size from Viloco, and this piece probably dates back close to when some of the finest Cassiterites were mined there in the early 1900s. Historically, Bolivia was one of the largest tin producers in the world along with Peru, but has since been surpassed by China and Indonesia. Fortunately, many great specimens survived the mining process in Bolivia and this piece is among them. For the size, it is in excellent condition with exceptional sharpness and twinning with only a trivial amount of edge wear and it has among the best luster we have seen on one of these old survivors. Contemporary specimens from this mine have a very different look to them. Absolutely great miniature!