San Francisco Mine, Cerro Prieto, Mun. de Cucurpe, Sonora, Mexico

Dimensions (H x W x D)

4.4 x 5.1 x 3 cm


38 g

Description & Provenance

The San Francisco Mine is home to some of the most collectible and distinct wulfenite specimens on the market. The best examples have paper-thin crystals that are vibrant, gem-like, and vitreous in clarity. Unfortunately, the delicate beauty of the pieces is also marked by an intense fragility. Although the San Francisco mine was considered a very prolific locality. The majority of its material was mutilated by inexperienced miners and careless handling. Furthermore, many specimens that survived the initial extraction process were degraded by subsequent mishandling. Understanding how incredibly difficult the material is to extract and maintain is a part of understanding why, despite initial saturation of the market, a quality specimen from this locality is considered rare and greatly valued today.

This is a gorgeous example with vitreous, translucent, “windowpane” crystals for which the locality is known. Lustrous and bright, the crystals are immediately fascinating, and upon closer inspection, one can see the wulfenite has taken on two formations: sharp, precise, square-shaped tabs, and beveled tabs. The specimen has great composition, the largest crystal is positioned in the ideal orientation for admiration, and the secondary crystals seem to radiate around it, anchoring the piece. Brilliant orange mimetite crystals add color and texture to the piece. Finding and keeping these delicate wulfenite crystals in good condition is difficult but this one is excellent in both caliber and condition.

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