Stephanite (new find!)

Porco mine, Quijarro Province, Potosi Dept., Bolivia
Thumbnail, 1.8 x 1.6 x 0.8 cm
Start Time: 06/09/2011 6:45:00 pm (CDT)
End Time: 06/16/2011 6:45:00 pm (CDT)
Auction Closed

Item Description

Recently, a small discovery of the highly sought after silver sulfide, Stephanite was made at the classic Porco mine in Bolivia. These specimens are some of the finest I have seen from Porco or virtually any other locality in Bolivia. VERY little of this material has been available over the years, and some of the better specimens from the find are comparable to pieces I have seen from Fresnillo, Mexico, the Husky Mine in Canada or the Erzgebirge District in Germany. This particular specimen is a layered/parallel growth group of sharp, rather lustrous, bright silvery metallic, somewhat striated, orthorhombic crystals creating a very attractive thumbnail specimen. The final touch to the piece is a slight iridescent pink and green patina that can be seen on selective faces. The piece is in good shape for the material, despite a few tiny nicks, but considering how little was found, this is a great opportunity to obtain a specimen of this hard to find material. A great thumbnail for a collector of Bolivian minerals, silver species, or well-crystallized metallic thumbnails. Keep in mind that the mine at Porco is THE oldest and most significant Silver mine in Bolivia, and obtaining specimens is next to impossible because miners rarely bring out anything for sale. The mine is a large commercial production, and virtually everything goes into the crusher. Most everything that evades the crusher is usually taken out of Bolivia by a geologist who has an "in" at the mine, or sometimes a group of brave miners risk losing their jobs by sneaking out a handful of specimens to raise a little extra money to feed their families. I obtained this piece directly from the miners at Porco a few months ago, and it is one of the better Bolivian Stephanites that I have handled from this historic mine. It is very difficult to obtain any good Stephanites from Porco, so don't miss out.

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