CLOSEUP #1
description: <p style="text-align: justify;">LOCALITY: Norilsk, Siberia, Russia <br /><br />1 1/8" tall <br /><br />Sperrylite is a species which deserves to be in the top caste of the collector minerals (if it is not already) with phosphophyllite, proustite, scorodite or a Tsumeb gem pocket mimetite. Sperrylite is the only esthetic mineral species which contains platinum - a precious metal which is more prized and valuable than gold. Chemically, sperrylite consist of platinum diarsenide. The world's finest examples of this ultra-rare species are from Norilsc - a mining town which is one of the most inhospitable in Siberia. A very small number of larger loose crystals were produced by a mine in South Africa but I have never seen one in a private collection or heard of a private collector owning one. <br /><br />This picture sperrylite specimen is of very high quality and traits that put it ahead of sperrylite crystals on matrix from Norilsc are as follows: <br /><br />(a) The luster of the sperrylite crystal faces is mirror bright. The crystal faces can double as tiny mirrors. <br /><br />(b) Most of the crystal is not embedded in the matrix so the crystal shape is easily appreciated. <br /><br />(c) The matrix is in an esthetically pleasing proportion to the sperrylite crystal. Hence, the specimen displays a pleasing crystal to matrix ratio so the piece has a desirable "composition." <br /><br />(d) Since the matrix is chalcopyrite rich, it is brassy colored. The color contrast between the matrix and the sperrylite crystal is esthetically pleasing. <br /><br />(e) The sperrylite crystal is a relatively large example of the species. <br /><br />(f) Most specimens of sperrylite that I have seen consist of groups of smaller crystals or are "busy" specimens which may be larger, more important and which contain more sperrylite. I prefer my fine small miniature matrix sperrylite specimen which consist of a single reasonably large sperrylite crystal as an obvious focal point of the specimen. <br /><br />(g) Other specimens of sperrylite that I have encountered (some substantially more expensive) exhibit faces which exhibit esthetically detracting surface imperfections. My piece is not flawed in this way. <br /><br />Compare this piece with the one illustrated in the Freilich auction catalogue published by Sotheby's for the auction of the Freilich mineral collection in New York city in early 2001. I prefer my piece although since it is yet to be illustrated in at least one famous publication, it is less significant in terms of provenance and history.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This piece was traded from Robert Lavinsky when he visited me in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Photo by Matthew Webb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia    </p>
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