Extremely rich example of a "ruby silver" from a seldom referenced locality. With Pyrargyrite crystals to 0.25 cm clearly defined amongst the crystalline mass, this is by far the best piece I've seen from from Gunnison.
The purplish silver coloration owes to the fact that it was protected from any direct sunlight by the late Harvey Gordon, allowing the red internal reflections to show the true "ruby-silver" nature of this specimen.
The base and sides of this specimen are massive contacts where this piece was separated from associated pieces that lined the wall of an ultra-grade vein.
2017 Gold and Silver Gallery II
9 Specimens added May 9, 2017
Pyrargyrite on Pyrite
San Genaro Mine, Castrovirreyna District, Castrovirreyna Province, Huancavelica Department, Peru
2.2 X 2.0 X 1.5 cm
Outstanding from any locale, but especially important given that it's from Peru, and out of the Harvey Gordon collection. Typical damage along the bottom and outer edges of the specimen, but a pristine interior including two Pyrargyrite crystals to 0.7 and 0.4 cm wide. The Pyrites are bright and brassy. This piece has been kept from direct sunlight for a long time; it's purplish silver color owes to its red internal reflections - it is a "ruby silver," of course! "Ruby silver" is a colloquial term used for centuries to refer to a group of silver sulfosalts that are commonly gemmy red, at least before they are exposed to light (think Realgar). This is an excellent representation of a rarer locality!
Gold with Pyrite in Quartz
Johnny Mountain Mine, Siskup Range Region, Northwestern British Columbia, Canada
4.4 X 2.5 X 1.0 cm
Gold with Quartz, etc.
Homestake Mine, Lead District, Lawrence County, South Dakota, USA
1.5 X 1.2 X 0.7 cm
The highest-grade sample I've ever seen from the Homestake Mine, one of the richest gold deposits ever found, I acquired this piece a while ago as part of a scientific study of different gold deposits. I'm on to the next round of the study now, and willing to part with this irreplaceable thumbnail-sized specimen...
Irwin District, Gunnison County, Colorado, USA
2.9 X 2.1 X 1.8 cm
Gold in Quartz
Bodie, Bodie District, Bodie Hills, Mono County, California, USA
4.8 X 3.1 X 0.4 cm
This is the only confirmed sample from Bodie I've ever seen that is consistent with the characteristics of other samples from the area, and of the type of mine it was. It was part of my recent study of gold deposits comparing occurrences in Nevada and California, USA, but is now available publicly for the first time. Gold is peppered throughout a low-temperature Quartz matrix in a polished plate cut from the original specimen, and is similar to other "epithermal" deposits like Aurora, just over the border in Nevada, and elsewhere around the world.
Gold with Quartz in Skarn Matrix
Sultana del Cóndor Deposit, Namija District, Zamora-Chinchipe Province, Ecuador
3.7 X 1.8 X 0.5 cm
A polished slab end-cut from an extremely rich, historic mining district in Ecuador. An "end-cut" means it was the first or last specimen cut from the original stone; like a loaf of bread, these two end-cuts preserve the original "crust," which also retains the original appearance and other observable characteristics, such as cleavage, tenacity, and hardness of the various mineral phases. In general, these are strongly preferential to the inner slices of the "loaf."
In my assessments of Namibija specimens since 2003, I've learned the coarse Gold is concentrated in milky Quartz veins that manifest later and cut the original skarn.
I recently took this idea to the test when cutting a specimen purchased from another mineral dealer. I cut on a bias parallel to, but just outside of, Gold-Quartz veins cutting the skarn matrix, and exposed part of a single leaf at least 2.0 X 1.5cm in extent. Once I've finished with processing, this other piece will surpass others I've seen by at least two magnitudes of order.
Regardless of origin, these ultra-rich specimens of Gold in a contrasting green-white-tan matrix of skarn minerals (Pyroxene, Garnet, etc.) are unique and highly prized. This is an opportunity to acquire a very good piece at a very affordable price!
Keweenaw County, Michigan, USA
2.9 X 1.9 X 1.2 cm
Thick cluster of Silver wires from this venerable area, and much, much better than most you'll find from here.
From the Harvey Gordon collection, this was originally labeled as "Silver-Copper," but the copper coloration at the base of some of the Silver crystals appears to be a simple patina, and not intrinsic to the chemistry.
Rich specimen comprising hackly gold leaves with pale brassy pyrite enclosed in a milky quartz matrix. The gold could likely be etched from the encasing quartz to form a much more dramatic, crystalline "crown," but I'll leave off on that for now. It could also be easily trimmed for "jewelry gold," for people who like inlaid small cabochons of ultra-high-grade gold (and other precious metals) in matrix, to feature in rings, necklaces, etc.
I originally acquired this, and a number of other pieces below, as part of a study comparing different types of Gold deposits in the Western Americas a few years ago. Even with confirmed provenance, I have little other knowledge of the locality or specimens produced...
Gold with Sulfides/Sulfosalts in Quartz
San Pedro Mine, New Placers District, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
4.9 X 3.1 X 2.3 cm
Exemplary vein section with a 2-mm-wide bleb of Gold with another silvery gray metallic group of sulfides or sulfosalts in a milky Quartz matrix. Specimens from here are rare to begin with, but the provenance puts it over the top...
This originally belonged in the Lord John F. Calvert collection (1825-1897), and was likely sold after his death by Martin Ehrman (1904-1972) to Joseph D'Agostina (1904-1988) before ending up with J. Cilen (1916-1997). Another from my personal study collection, I'll challenge you to find another like it in this lifetime...
Sylvanite with Fluorite
Last Dollar Mine, Cripple Creek District, Teller County, Colorado, USA
2.7 X 2.0 X 1.6 cm
Large (to 0.2cm) blebs of the silver-gold bearing telluride Sylvanite in purple Fluorite and with Quartz.
If not for the mine name, which dates it to the 1800s, this would be just another $75 - $125 thumbnail from Colorado, USA. Because the original label was a singular writing referring to a group of specimens it would normally be of higher value, but also considering that the label went with the owner when I acquired this in 1999, I'll keep the price at the higher end of the lower-spectrum.
If I had acquired the original label, I would ask much more for this piece...