Kelly Mine, Magdalena, Socorro Co., New Mexico, USA

    There are "Gold Standards" in every field: things considered to be the finest of their type. The Smithsonite of the Kelly Mine is one of those standards for comparison. Originally claimed in 1866 for the Silver bearing Lead ores outcropping on the surface, it was thirty plus years later that the operators of the Kelly Mine assayed that 'blue-green stuff' that they had been throwing away on the waste dumps, only to find that it was, in fact, pretty rich Zinc ore. This little discovery led to a new era of prosperity, first fueled by diligent reworking of the "worthless" dump material and later, by underground exploration and production specifically for Smithsonite. The Smithsonite of the Kelly Mine has always been a bit 'different,' the best examples being tinted a lovely pastel shade of blue with just a hint of green. This color is due to small amounts of Copper being incorporated within the crystal structure of the Smithsonite. Equally renowned is the distinctive form and luster exhibited by the best Kelly pieces. As this specimen shows, the top surface is an aggregate of gently rounded forms bearing a unique surface texture that has no close analogues; the closest term would probably be "velvety" without being fibrous, or "waxy" but with complex surface texture. However you describe it, this lusciously sensual matrix piece is a delight to the eyes of collectors from rank novice to connoisseur. It is in pristine condition.
    Overall measurements: 6 x 4 x 2 inches (15.2 x 10.2 x 5.1 cm). Offered at no reserve.

    Provenance: John Attard [Hoppel Catalog # D1857]

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

    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: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 935

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