Ferrotantalite (11-Pound Complete Crystal!)
Linopolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Large Cabinet, 17.2 x 10.5 x 6.4 cm
This monster is a COMPLETE, undamaged, 11-pound crystal (over 4 kilos!). It is fully and perfectly terminated and the fact that such a thing has survived s to me a minor miracle. The crystal is truly complete all around, and to me is a massively important mineral specimen for Brazil or a rare earth element collection. It has not been cleaned yet (I just got home with it) and the luster might improve with some chemical cleaners, if desired, but the au naturale look also is nice because it shows that these are natural faces so you don't have to worry about looking for cleavage planes. What is tantalum worth today? There is a sizable intrinsic value in this piece if you just give it to the smelter, I would think, as its almost pure tantalum and is the major ore for the stuff. By the way, its not easy to hold in one hand for scale for very long, for a photo!