Sunshine No. 1 Adit, Blanchard Mine, Bingham, Hansonburg Dist., Socorro Co., New Mexico, USA
Very easily mistaken for Azurite at first glance, Linarite: a related Copper mineral is only rarely encountered, especially in large, discrete crystals. From the spectacular find of a lifetime, made by Brian Huntsman in December 1979. This discovery is widely acknowledged to be the most significant find of this mineral in modern times and this specimen is the Number One specimen.
Brilliant blue, enormous crystals rise from a sheltered cavity lined with contrasting druzy white Quartz crystals infused with patches of complementary green and blue copper minerals. The backside of the largest Linarite (1+ inch) appears to have been in contact with the other side of the original cavity hosting the group. Being on the obverse side, this surface has little or no impact on the aesthetics of the piece. Hidden deeper in the same cavity is a second crystal spanning the walls that is very close to the same length. The bottom and some of the sides of the piece have been trimmed using a diamond saw - a necessity when dealing with the hard, tough matrix hosting a delicate and large Linarite group.
After discovery, specimens from this find were exhibited at the 1980 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show by Artrox of El Paso, Texas. This particular specimen was cited in the Mineralogical Record in "What's New in Tucson" and was sold to Dr. Miguel Romero S. - Harvard educated Mexican industrialist, Senator and owner of the finest mineral collection ever assembled in Mexico; it bears his collection #6433. Upon his death in January of 1997 the piece passed through several hands before ending up in what became the Hoppel Collection, where it has resided until now. It is arguably the finest example of this mineral in existence.
Overall measurements: 3 x 2 x 1.75 inches (7.62 x 5.1 x 4.45 cm). Offered at no reserve.
Wilson, Wendell E., "What's New in Tucson." The Mineralogical Record. May-June 1980, Vol. 11, No. 3, p. 190
Jones, Bob. "50-Year History of the Tucson Show." The Mineralogical Record. Special Supplement, 2004. p. 77
Currier, Rock. "Linarite, Fluorite, Quartz from the Collection of Miguel Romero (1980)." Mindat.org. //www.mindat.org/photo-302524.html [as shown below]
Provenance: Western Minerals, ex. Miguel Romero S. Collection #G433 painted on specimen. [Hoppel Catalog # D1573]
[Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]
The consignor and Heritage Auctions will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this lot in support of the newly-opened Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
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