Monteponi Mine, Iglesias, Carbonia-Iglesias Province, Sardinia, Italy
One of the more exotic minerals based on Lead, is Phosgenite: Lead Chloro-carbonate. It only forms when there is enough chloride available to interact with the lead. Seawater will do, resulting in a significant number of localities existing because Lead slag was dumped on ocean coasts. Most of the material from these slag sites appears in micro-crystals. The remaining world localities are associated with in situ lead deposits, formed when there is sufficient chloride in the aqueous fluids that percolate through these deposits. The finest examples have come from Sardinia where massive and highly transparent examples have been produced since Phoenician and Roman times when the lead-silver deposits were first discovered. This classic example features two, very sharp tetragonal prisms of a smoky gray hue: one is 1.625 inches (4.25 cm) in length and the other 1.37 inches (3.4 cm), in a crossed orientation reminiscent of a "V-twin". The luster is the peculiar glassy-metallic one seen in minerals of extremely high refractive power (RI = 2.118-2.145). The smaller crystal shows a terminal cleavage parallel to the (001) axis, masquerading as a flat termination, and the larger one: the typical (001) termination. One prism shows a minor concoidal nick to one edge, otherwise in fine condition. There are traces of an unidentified black mineral at the base of the specimen: probably one of the typically associated Manganese Oxide minerals from Monteponi.
Overall measurements: 2 x 1.25 inches (5.1 x 3.2 cm). Offered at no reserve.
Provenance: Dave Bunk, ex. Terry Wallace Collection Z-36 [Hoppel # D1757]
[Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]
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