ZCA Mine No. 4, Balmat, St Lawrence Co., New York, USA
Small Cabinet, 5.8 x 5.5 x 3.9 cm
Ex. F. John Barlow
This is a stunning rock, of ANY species. But it just happens to be a magnetite, and I think a world class one, at that. This is an elegant magnetite from this important, briefly collected locality, with sharp, lustrous, jet black crystals to 3.5 cm, though most are a bit smaller. These magnetites to me are best of species - I know some will disagree, choosing instead the sharp Swiss octohedra. But, for me, I like the metallic, jet black, complex cubic intricacy of these NY Magnetites better - and the specimens are larger and more pretty, overall, too. This is a major classic, not just a rarity; but more than that it is just something really different for a common species normally relegated to the drawers and not to display in a showcase. I have seen a number of these, as I was around when they were coming out in the 1980s, and this remains for my taste one of the few finest I know of. It was in the John Barlow Collection, which was sold in 1998. Despite all the more expensive things, rare and common both in that collection, I still think this was an underappreciated and important specimen. It retains John's plastic label used for the few specimens in one of his competition exhibit cases, so out of his 6000 specimens he felt pretty good about it, too. I bought and sold it at that time, in the late 1990s, and was thrilled to be able to exchange it back from an overseas collector recently.