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    Description

    NATIVE SILVER - "HALF-BREED"
    Minesota Mine, Rockland, Ontonagon Co., Michigan, USA
    The "Copper Country" of Upper Michigan is one of the few places on Earth where metallic Copper frequently occurs along with similarly metallic Silver: sometimes appearing together in the same piece. Early in the area's mining history these mixed masses were referred to as "half-breeds" by the miners, a term that is still in use today. Normally, "half-breeds" are small (one ounce or less) and chiefly composed of Copper with a considerably smaller amount of Silver in the mix. That both of these elements occur as distinctly separate portions, and not as an alloy, is still a matter that confounds geochemists and geologists alike. Here we have a very large example that is anomalously high in Silver: quite the reverse of normal. In appearance, it is composed of many crude crystals of Silver forming the upper portion of the specimen and crystalline patches of Copper that are oxidized to the color of old saddle leather, making up the majority of the lower portion. This surface condition is much preferred by collectors over the shiny 'new penny' look that detracts from a specimen's value. Intermixed with the metallic portion is a white Quartz groundmass of breccia fragments characteristic of material from the Minesota Mine near Rockland in Ontanagon County. The name 'Minesota' seems to have been a typographical error that occurred early enough in the mine's legal paperwork as to be permanently enshrined in this property's history.
    This unusual specimen is from the collection of Dr. Ed David, chief Science Advisor to President Nixon. It is in fine condition, measures 3 3/8 x 3½ x 2¼ inches (8.6 x 8.9 x 5.7 cm), and has a custom labeled base.

    Provenance: ex. Ed David Collection #108BB


    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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2012
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,323

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