Balmat Mine, Fowler Orebody, St. Lawrence Co., New York, USA

    Magnetite and Hematite, both of which are Iron Oxides, represent a major proportion of the Iron ores smelted to provide the steel that our civilization depends upon. The vast percentage of these ores do not appear in any kind of crystals and in fact huge deposits are nothing more than the heavy portion of dune sand. When crystals are encountered, they are almost always Hematite masquerading as Magnetite and usually taking the form of octahedrons. As the name implies, Magnetite is not only magnetic, it is the most magnetic of naturally occurring minerals and the naturally magnetized version of it, capable of attracting iron filings and compass needles, is the mineral we call Lodestone. Large, sharp and lustrous crystals of Magnetite are actually somewhat rare and for this reason: highly prized. The Zinc Corporation of America - ZCA for short, has been mining in upstate New York for decades and in the course of those operations has encountered parts of various ore bodies with open cavities containing Magnetite crystals of high perfection and luster. Most examples feature crystals not exceeding ½ inch (1.25 cm) on edge. This very large specimen is composed of hundreds of shining, black cubes up to 1 inch (2.54 cm) on edge, arranged in a random fashion. Many of the crystals show rare tetra-hexahedral faces: something not normally seen. Several cubes show inclusions of an unidentified white mineral, but the vast majority are darkly splendent and virginal. On the backside there are a couple of places where the group was probably attached to a cavity wall, otherwise the group is free of attachments.
    Overall measurements: 9.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches (24.1 x 11.4 x 6.4 cm). Offered at no reserve.

    Provenance: Williams Minerals [Hoppel Catalog # D0836]

    [Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]

    Estimate: $20,000 - $28,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    2nd Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 760

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