Wuning Mine (Wuling Mine), Qingjiang, Wuning Co., Jiangxi Province, China
Large Cabinet, 90.0 x 75.0 x 70.0 cm
This massively large, important specimen is one of the few giants removed from the famous Wuling mine by a team working exclusively for specimen recovery, in around 2003. It came to the US in its own shipping crate as a specimen perhaps 6 times the size and mass, from which this core of undamaged, pristine, remarkably aesthetic crystals was obtained. There is nearly zero damage to the specimen, and certainly none to any core crystals. No repairs, no unsightly breaks. It is a miracle that such a thing could come out intact and even at this reduced size after the trimdown, it weighs nearly 200 pounds. While too big for nearly all collectors, it is truly a "museum piece" in more than just words. Under half a dozen pieces of this size and caliber are thought to exist, including one that is actually twice the size, from the same pocket, that has now been donated to the American Museum of Natural History and resides in a place of honor in a front atrium, in its own showcase. People stand next to that piece, taking photos with the natural swords of stibnite cluster, all day long. Even my children notice the consistent line to take photos in front of it, when we visit that museum. This piece is of the same impact and, I think, even finer in overall quality and condition. Although stibnite is now perhaps all too common, this particular pocket and mine will be remembered as one of the major finds of China to date, and from it this piece will stand out. It was, until I obtained it in exchange, in the personal collection of the company that extracted and brought the pocket to the US. I do not often use the words "museum-sized" and "museum-quality" in the same description out of care because high quality does not always equate to large size (most often, it does not!). But in this case, the piece really is mindblowing and would be a prime centerpiece for any museum or major collection.