- Andorite, Zinkenite
- San Jose Mine, Oruro City, Cercado Province, Oruro Department, Bolivia
- Miniature, 3.5 x 3.2 x 1.0 cm
From the great find of November 2004. Andorite is lead, silver, antimony sulfosalt and was named for the Hungarian mineral collector Andor von Semsey (1833-1923), who holds a remarkable distinction for having two mineral species named after him (andorite and semseyite). Many experts consider this to be such a significant find, that it completely redefined Andorite as a crystallized species. This mine at Oruro dates Spanish mining as far back as the year 1595 and was mined by Incan Indians for several centuries prior. In all the years of mining, these are undoubtedly, the world's finest Andorites extant. These specimens were extracted from the same vein system worked by the father of Bolivian mineralogy, Federico Ahlfeld. Ahlfeld worked the San Jose mine and Itos mine (the other significant andorite locality at the same mountain in Oruro) when the mines were used predominantly as a major source of tin to the United States during WWII. The best examples of the species have come from Bolivia. This specimen consists of superb quality, layered, steel-grey, lustrous crystals of the rare lead, silver, antimony sulfosalt Andorite associated with minor acicular Zinkenite crystals. It is very difficult to find any samples of this mineral on the market today, and until very recently, the locality had not produced specimens in many years. I'm told that the part of the mine which produced these specimens is finished.