Wolframite with Quartz
Tae Hwa Mine, Chungju City, North Chungcheong Prov., South Korea
Thumbnail, 2.5 x 2.0 x 1.3 cm
Ex. Alex Schauss
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Korean mineral specimens are difficult to obtain anyways, and mostly date to before the 1960s. As the culture of mineral collecting was not well-developed there, and even more so the culture of collecting thumbnail-sized minerals, there are few that ever came out and less on the market today than we would have wished. This is a rare, fine thumbnail specimen of a Korean mineral classic. The piece features a lustrous black crystal, 2.5 cm tall, with associated transparent quartz crystals of varying sizes on the backside. For a century, before large crystals were found in Panasqueira and in China, these were the world's best wolframites and highly treasured. Now, they have been superseded by larger specimens from Portugal or China - but this piece has a quality and style unaffected by those later finds because it is such an elegant thumbnail, that it holds its own against anything of similar size from a more modern locale! It is actually more desirable as a balanced and aesthetic thumbnail specimen than a big example, in my opinion as a collector.