Copper With Cuprite
Poteryaevskoe Mine, Rubtsovsk, Altai, Western-Siberian Region, Russia
Miniature, 3.2 x 2.1 x 1.9 cm
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This "box-buster" competition-level thumbnail, or toenail if you will, is mostly a crazily complex SHARP copper crystal that is about an inch from tip to tip and complete all around. On the apex are several contrasting (in both color and visual form, of course), sharp, reddish cuprite crystals The cuprite has a high luster and so does the copper - a unique, shimmering patina that seems unique to this find and quite distinct from the surface patina of other coppers I have handled from common locales. Overall, this is a dramatic, sculptural, 360-degree-around copper specimen with sharp crystals and the unique shimmering patina this mine will, I think, be famous for someday. All crystals are sharp - and the piece is very intricate in person. The piece is a floater, with no attachments to mar its symmetry all around. The crystals are SHARP, more evident perhaps in person than we can convey with photos. Really quite unprecedented for a Russian find, this would be superbly crystallized and important from any locality but from here, all the more so. This copper look different from any other copper I have seen from anywhere, in many subtle ways - before you factor in the crazy garland of sharp cuprite atop!