Andorite with Zinkenite
San Jose Mine, Oruro City, Cercado Province, Oruro Department, Bolivia
70 x 46 x 28mm

From the amazing find in November 2004. Andorite is lead, silver, antimony sulfosalt and was named for the Hungarian mineral collector Andor von Semsey (1833-1923), who holds a remarkable distinction for having two mineral species named after him (andorite and semseyite). I personally acquired the entire lot of ALL the top crystals that came into the U.S. in late 2004 through early 2005, of which many experts considered to be such a significant find, that it completely redefined Andorite as a crystallized species. This mine at Oruro dates Spanish mining as far back as the year 1595 and was mined by Incan Indians for several centuries prior. In all the years of mining, these are undoubtedly the world's finest Andorites extant! These specimens were extracted from the same vein system worked by the father of Bolivian mineralogy, Federico Ahlfeld. Ahlfeld worked the San Jose mine and Itos mine (the other significant Andorite locality at the same mountain in Oruro) when the mines were used predominantly as a major sources of tin to the United States during WWII. It was highly implausible that a find of this magnitude would ever happen considering the extensive work and time that had passed since any notable Andorite specimens had made their way out of Bolivia. I debuted the best of these specimens in Tucson shortly after they were found, and they were very well received by all who saw them. I will say with that we may never again see a find of Andorite this significant from any locality. Andorite is one of my favorite species from Bolivia, hands down. This small cabinet size specimen features relatively sharp, striated, steel grey crystals of this rare lead, silver, antimony sulfosalt which are associated with rare lustrous acicular Zinkenite crystals on matrix! The majority of the specimens from this find were merely single crystals off matrix, but crystals on matrix such as this specimen only existed in a very small percentage of the pieces found. The majority of the crystals are in excellent condition, with only a few contacts here and there. Considering the rare Zinkenite association, AND the fact that the crystals are on matrix, the small amount of damage is forgivable, especially when compared to older specimens from 60 years ago which were riddled with damage and had poor aesthetics. It is very difficult to find any samples of this mineral on the market today, and until very recently, the locality had not produced specimens in MANY years. This is a wonderful opportunity to own a good reference specimen of this extraordinarily rare mineral species.
Reference:BOL711B196
minID: JHY-8XH

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