San Jose Mine, Oruro City, Cercado Province, Oruro Department, Bolivia
Small Cabinet, 5.1 x 4.5 x 0.9 cm
From the new find in 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). I personally acquired the entire lot of ALL the good crystals that came into the U.S. over the last few months and which many experts considered 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 worlds 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 sources of tin to the United States during WWII. The best examples of the species have come from Bolivia. For the size, this is a very impressive specimen. The piece is a "classic," steel-grey, lustrous multi-layered crystal group of considerable size and quality. The specimen is associated with minor prismatic Zinkenite and micro Cervantite. It is a very aesthetic and showy specimen, and is in AMAZINGLY good condition for this material, with only a few contacts, and a spot on the bottom where it detached from the matrix. It still displays amazingly well from one side showing almost no damage. 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.