Stannite is somewhat rare Sulfide that is not usually attractive unless it has some contrast with its matrix or a very good form. This specimen has a bright sparkling Pyrite matrix with excellent luster that hosts some Stannites in well-formed, complex twinned crystals. The largest Stannite is 1.3 CM across. There is a little Zinkenite in the mix as small but fat needle-like crystals that need a close examination to find. This is from the San Jose Mine which has produced many incredible rare Sulfides and Sulfosalt specimens over the years. This piece is roughly 20 years old from the golden age of this important locale. There is no sign of degradation to the Pyrite and the Stannite is undamaged. A really attractive setting for the dark sulfides nestled in a golden matrix.
Stannite, Quartz and Arsenopyrite
Yaogangxian Mine, Yizhang County, Chenzhou Pref.
7.1 x 4.3 x 4.2 CM (cabinet)
From the "golden age" of mineral finds at Yaogangxian, this is a super choice Stannite. Ex Shields Flynn collection, the Stannites are bright brassy, well formed, undamaged and very rich. This specimen was exhibited at Tucson in the TGMS displays in 2005 celebrating the minerals of China. Most pieces from this find had much more Arsenopyrite and or Sphalerite than Stannite, this is almost all Stannite with clear Quartz crystals adding a nice accent. Most will agree that the old Yaogangxian finds were the best ever found. This specimen is well better than typical and now Chinese Stannite is rarely available in such size and attractive quality.
The main Stannite is over 2CM, and has exceptional form, luster and is sharp and complete with stacked growth "towers" on the apexes of the crystal. For this rare specie this is a huge crystal with remarkable shape, much better than the usual globular masses without distinct faces. Overall esthetics and condition are fantastic for this usually nondescript mineral. The color ranges from silver-black to a brassy golden depending on the angle of illumination. Yaogangxian Stannites are the best in the world, redefining the species, this is a very fine example.