Milpillas Mine, Santa Cruz Mun., Sonora, Mexico
Small Cabinet, 5.5 x 4.3 x 2.4 cm
Ex. Marshall Sussman
$12,500.00 Payment Plan Available
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The strong intense deep evergreen-metallic color here is unique in the mineral world, and the large crystals of volborthite here are so sharp and lustrous that it is hard to believe what they are - best of species level of crystals of a species normally seen as mere micros. From the front, the better display view, you see a full 3.2 cm long crystal, somewhat curving as it grew, that is surmounting a perfect contrasting white pedestal of matrix. On the back, you can see that crystal cluster is actually 4 cm long, if you count part you do not see from the front. For a single crystal of this species, not a rosette or cluster, this is truly among the largest known examples, hands down. It is dark green, but a pretty color and sparkle combined that stands out to the eye. The 3-dimensional display on white really makes it pop! Volborthite was previously known as a mineral not very attractive to mainstream collectors, more a coating or grunge to look past than a real species to collect for its own merits. Normally, from previous finds, good crystals were just micros - until Milpillas. A few pockets in Milpillas changed everything for this species, producing the world's best by, quite literally, several orders of magnitude. Nobody had even dreamed the species could get this good. Several pockets were found, including two fairly famous among collectors and watchers of Milpillas production as best of species pockets: one with volborthite rosettes associated with azurite on white matrix (and those few specimens now sell for 50-500k for the better examples known); and another with the shiny lustrous crystals as you see here. Between them, there is probably not more than 2 dozen world class examples of the species, and they stomp all other examples from this or any other mine. Marshall Sussman controlled a huge percentage of the Milpillas production after about 2014, probably more than 50% of the higher end, and much of the quality in rare species that came out at the very end of the azurite zone and into the much more difficult chalcocite orebody they are working in now. He build a strong private collection during this time, and continues to build it still today as fewer and fewer items are produced from this amazing locale. Clearly its heyday is over, and there have been no major volborthite pockets, at least, in years now. He kept this in his collection when it came out, and we recently were able to acquire it, as I believe it is a significant specimen worthy of both the rarities collector and the display collector. We simply do not expect more to be found, as this series of pockets was so unprecedented, and now is years in the past.