Cassiterite (unusual morphology)

Mt. Xuebaoding, Sichuan Province, China
Miniature, 4.6 x 3.0 x 2.5 cm
Start Time: 09/12/2009 6:30:00 pm (CDT)
End Time: 09/29/2009 7:00:00 pm (CDT)
Auction Closed

Item Description

Intergrown, splendent, mirror bright, jet-black crystals of cassiterite are associated with minor, pearlescent muscovite in this stunning miniature. Cassiterite is common, too common maybe, now from this locality. I personally maintain it will not always be this way and we will look back on this as a temporary flood of the world's finest cassiterites, with regret it lasted so few years. Still, amidst all the pieces coming out, most are of a common style - sharp, curving, disclike crystals in clusters. VERY FEW specimens of 3-dimensional, discrete crystals such as you see here have been produced in comparison to the vast quantity of the more common habit. Moreover, this is a piece that makes for a stunning, competition-quality miniature for its size and symmetry. The luster is like black glass, and the crystals are pristineand fully terminated all around. In fact, this is as close to a floater as you can get without being one, due to just a tiny contact on the bottom crystal where a muscovite attachment once connected it to matrix. Comes with a custom-made lucite base for easy display (for which the collector paid $150 at one time). Valued $2500-ish

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