Diltz Mine, Whitlock District, Mariposa Co., California, USA

    Crystalline Native Gold specimens have always represented a very small percent of the world's production. This is chiefly due to the existence of mines with huge tonnages of low-grade ore, where low grade is made up for by the sheer volume of material processed per diem. This rarity of crystal material has led to specimens of high-grade Gold being valued using different criteria than simple estimates of weight value based on spot prices. There are single crystal Native Gold specimens with less than 20 ounces of contained Gold that have sold for seven figures.

    Which brings us to this lovely crystalline confection from the Diltz Mine. It combines the features of several types of specimen Native Gold: leaf and crystal. The overall form is that of 'leaf' type, where thin sheets of Gold are deposited in narrow fractures, and the only possible direction to grow is laterally. Meanwhile, the Gold is also trying to form crystals in these same open spaces; only the space is narrrow so the Gold grows the only way it can: sideways, generating leaves of crystals. The shining faces of these crystals, and the rich buttery color of high Karat Gold, conspires with the presence of a white matrix to provide a complementary shift in luster, color and texture. This significant specimen has great pedigree: it was on display at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum as part of the Dick Hauck collection, as well as being in the Harvard Mineralogical Museum before that. The condition of this specimen, which weighs 4.87 troy ounces, is absolutely pristine. It comes with a custom, labeled acrylic base. See the 360 degree video of this specimen that is available online.

    As a side note: This probably came to Harvard during the mine's active period. This is the same Diltz Mine that yielded 21,135 ounces of Gold between 1924 and 1954. Estimated total spot value at the time was between $750,000 and $1,000,000. For comparison, the same amount at today's prices would be worth around $29 million at spot.

    Overall Measurements: 4.01 x 2.63 x 0.98 inches (10.2 x 6.7 x 2.51 cm)

    Provenance: Ex. Hauck Collection, ex. Harvard Mineralogical Museum Collection
    [360o video]

    Estimate: $150,000 - $175,000.

    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.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Hollowware/Pottery/Glass, Large (view shipping information)

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    4th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,839

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