Mother Lode District, Tuolumne County, California, USA
Miniature, 5.3 x 2.7 x 2.4 cm
This gold specimen is absolutely exquisite. I do not use the hyperbole lightly. It has natural pocket crystals, not etched out of surrounding matrix with acid, and so preternaturally bright and with a complex patina (as some such crystals can be, this is at its best). It is a large miniature which for many years was the best piece in the collection of my own mentor, Carlton Davis of Columbus, Ohio. He had bought it from Hugh Ford's famous NYC mineral shop in the 1950s for what at the time must have seemed a rather high price justified by its striking quality. (When Carl sold his collection, this piece went first to Bill Pinch and then to Mark Feinglos). The mine name of origin has been lost but it is from the motherlode area of old mining in California, mostly contained within the current Tuolumne County. The crystals are stunningly bright and sharp, and the specimen is displayable from both sides. It is intricately 3-dimensional in a manner that photos can only begin to convey. Illustrated in a large photo in the GOLD special book/issue of Lapis a few years ago, this is one of the more memorable gold miniatures in my experience and it simply leaves you stunned, to see in person, is all I can say. This specimen was painted in the 1970s by one of Carl's friends, a leading mineral artist of the time, and the painting comes with the piece. Ex. Dr. Mark Feinglos Collection and Carlton Davis Collection (my own mentor when I was a kid). Former COVER PIECE, ROcks and Minerals magazine, Jan-Feb 1978.