Talnakh, Noril'sk, Taymyrskiy Autonomous Okrug, Eastern-Siberia, Russia
Thumbnail, 2.1 x 2.0 x 1.8 cm
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Sperrylite is the most beautiful mineral species containing platinum, and is in fact extremely rare in fine crystals. Only a handful of localities worldwide produce good crystals, and you can count those with 1 cm or larger crystals on one hand. Russian mines in Norislk are generally regarded as producing the best specimens for collectors overall, and we have seen hundreds of them over the years. The Russian State treasury released some for sale in the 1990s, under armed guard, at Tucson! However, since then, the production has been intermittent at best and fine specimens seem to come up for sale more seldom. Most of them feature crystals of the typical shape… as are the smaller crystals here. However, this specimen features a 1.2-cm-long, elongated, "pseudocubic" sperrylite which is EXTREMELY rare. We have seen less than a handful of such crystals in 30-plus years. The structure and form of the crystal, in juxtaposition to others tightly clustered on this rich, competition-level thumbnail specimen, is striking. Luster and color is superb. All together, that makes this one of the most unique specimens we have seen for crystal habit and style, thumbnail or otherwise.