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Lot
53082

SULFUR. Agrigento (Girgenti), Agrigento Province, Sicily, Italy. ...

2013 Oct 19-20 Nature & Science Signature Auction - Dallas #5141

 
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Auction Ended On: Oct 19, 2013
Item Activity: 2 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions - Design District Annex
1518 Slocum Street
Dallas, TX

Description:
SULFUR
Agrigento (Girgenti), Agrigento Province, Sicily, Italy

Azufre, as Sulfur is known in Italian, reaches the pinnacle of perfection in the now abandoned mines of Sicily. They are not closed because they are depleted: they are closed because they could not economically compete with Sulfur that is produced as a by-product of the oil and gas business. While in operation, the mines furnished specimens without equal anywhere on the globe. The very best of the specimens looked similar to this one. It displays an enormous single crystal some 3.5 inches (9.2 cm) across that exhibits the blocky, dipyramidal form most commonly observed, although some 50+ forms are known. It sits on top of a dark Calcite or Aragonite matrix liberally infused with the black bitumen that is the mark of genuine Sicilian Sulfurs. There are several smaller crystals off to one side but they are of negligible importance. Luster is of the waxy sort of shine typical of these specimens and the transparency is such that bitumen inclusions can be seen under as well as in, the crystals. Condition is pristine with the only damage being to a few insignificant crystals on the back bottom. This is a killer of a Sulfur specimen.
Overall measurements: 5 x 3.31 x 3.55 inches (12.7 x 8.4 x 9 cm).

Provenance: The Rocksmiths [Hoppel # D0106]

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