Silver - classic German locale
Freiberg District, Mittlesachsen
4.6 x 3.3 x 1.6 CM (miniature)
Early summer 2021
A complex tangle of Silver wires and ropy masses rises from a pure Silver matrix composed of smaller wires. An old piece from the classic Freiberg district, this is an especially fine example of several wire forms and has a great overall esthetic. A vintage Deyrolles (Paris) label is included, however the specimen age is not known (Freiberg produced Silver since the 12th century, the last mine closed over a half century ago). In fine condition and with a mix of patina, most is a dark silver-black but there are zones of brighter golden luster which gives great contrast.
Silver - classic locality
Himmelsfurst Mine, Brand Erbisdorf, Freiberg
8.4 x 3.4 x .5 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
A long, slender tapering wire Silver from the classic Himmelsfurst Mine. The wire if straightened out would be roughly 18 CM long which is sizable for one of these. Very slender overall, at the very end it is just .2 MM thick while at the base it is about 3mm. there is a bifurcation in the lower section that is rather unusual. Nice patina throughout.
Silver and Copper (halfbreed)
Caledonia Mine, Mass City, Ontonagon County
2.2 x 1.7 x 1.2 CM (thumbnail)
new year 2021
A US classic a choice Halfbreed of Silver and Copper that shows perfectly the two metallic colors with very bright luster. Looks fine on all sides, the Halfbreed masses from this region are unlike anything from other places. The copper mined in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan tended to have some small percentage of Silver mixed in. This was especially desirable in the early manufacturing of electrical wires.
Native Silver (Sheet form)
Eisleben, Mansfeld Basin
7.6 x 2.6 x 1.9 CM (cabinet)
One of the more odd forms of Silver are these thin sheets, almost like a Silver foil found in narrow seams of Slate. Very old material, these were mostly extracted in the early 1900's, the locality is a German classic. The Slate matrix is Copper bearing which is an unusual host for Silver anyplace. The Silver leaf is partly peeling from the matrix and shows the delicate form, being under .05MM thick.
Silver and Copper
6.7 x 3.1 x 1.7 CM (cabinet)
A hackly mass of Copper holds some areas of crudely crystalline Silver. The largest zone of Silver also has a few areas of Copper growing on the Ag which is less common than the other way round. A good mixed native element specimen from the Hitchings collection that he obtained in 1970. This sort of association is unique to the upper Pennisula of Michigan.
Silver on Copper
4.6 x 2.7 x 1.6 CM (miniature)
A classic USA "halfbreed" cluster of crude crystals with a sizable percentage of Silver. Ex Less Hitchings collection, the main "glob" of Silver is 2.3 CM across and has distinct color, form and relief from the Copper. The specimen was purchased in 1967 and as was typical at that time has only the area locality (Keweenaw Penninsula). Good halfbreeds have always been appreciated as classic for the UP, and are unique in the world. This one is particularly rich and esthetic, weighs 57 grams, quite dense for the miniature size.
Silver - very pure crystalline mass
Mass Consolidated Mine, Mass City, Ontonagon County,
5.3 x 4.7 z 3.2 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
A complex mass of crude crystals that have very clearly formed in a conglomerate type matrix that is now gone. This is a sponge-like cluster yet very solid and intricate. The patina ranges from a dark near black on some edges grading to a more silvery metallic in the center. I have not seen many specimens from the Mass mine but all have this spongy look and this is the best example in my limited experience. According to Mindat the mine closed in 1919. A really different looking Silver that displays fine on all sides. 78 grams.
Silver - wire mass
Dzhezkazgan Mining District
4.8 x 3.1 x 1.6 CM (miniature)
A choice, dense mass of thick and thin wires (some flattened) forming a cluster of curls. From finds about 20 years ago in Kazakhstan, this is a far better than typical specimen with good form, character and a nice dark patina. Ex Ernie Schlichter, these are just not seen anymore and are quite distinctive, a very nice Silver with classic form.