SULFUR

09862

Locality

Agrigento Province, Sicily, Italy

Dimensions (H x W x D)

11.5 x 12 x 11 cm

Weight

1.17 kg

Description & Provenance

Extremely mineral-rich, Sicily, Italy was the world’s primary commercial source of sulfur-bearing compounds throughout the 19th century. Dozens of mines dotted the island, particularly in the provinces of Enna, Agrigento, Caltanissetta, and Siracusa. By the 1980s, the Sicily’s sulfur production dwindled significantly, generating a fraction of the ore it once produced. Inevitably, this caused the discovery of new, notable specimens to be a thing of the past, a travesty for collectors who found its Sicilian sulfur to be unequivocal. Blessed with brilliant, yellow color, the best examples also have sharp form, sleek luster, and many have even formed on contrasting matrices (host rock), adding to their contrast and presentation. Even today, Sicilian sulfur specimens are still regarded as some of the absolute finest in the world and are further rarified by the closure of most of the region’s mines.

This is an excellent example that encompasses all of the qualities desirable from a fine-caliber sulfur specimen. It has several, sizeable, translucent crystals that are well-expressed with distinct edges and smooth, broad faces. Each crystal has a reflective, high-shine luster that gives them an impeccable, gem-like appearance. Most distinctive, however, is their unmistakable, intense, lemon-yellow color. Arresting and vivid, the crystals command immediate attention and hold that attention with their finer details of form. Thanks to great crystals’ isolation, each one is prominent against their ivory-colored, aragonite matrix (host rock) which has formed in a dense cluster of tiny, scalenohedral crystals. It provides a pedestal that truly elevates, both literally and figuratively, with its textural contrast and complementary coloring. This photo hardly does justice to the remarkable presence of this arresting specimen. Dazzling in its color and quality, it is an excellent example with all the most desired attributes of this now unproductive locality.

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