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Cuprite - very fine vintage Cuban
stock #0117-JM-4357
Mina El Cobre, El Cobre
Santiago de Cuba Province, Cuba
6.2 x 4.8 x 3.1 CM (cabinet)
price: $1850
Early summer 2021

An extraordinary Cuprite from Cuba that is well over 200 years old. Several very old labels including one from a museum in Sweden come with this piece. This mine is one of the oldest Copper mines in the new world, begun in 1532 under the Spanish. This is the only Copper mine of any note in the entire country, it has been flooded for some decades. The Cuprites fill a vug with sharp, lustrous crystals many of which are a gemmy red color. The crystals are tightly clustered and with magnification some small areas of native copper are seen. Very close magnification also shows what seem to be very tiny Cubanite crystals (not confirmed by x-ray) in two habits. Any Cuban Cubanite is very rare, the type locale is only about 80 KM to the east, though the specie is not listed by Mindat from Cobre. With or without Cubanite this is about as fine a specimen as exists, it is certainly larger and better than those we know of in US museums. Ex. John Marshall collection (and many others).