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Eagle's Nest Mine, Placer County, California, USA


6.8 cm x 5.6 cm x 3.5 cm


132 g

Description & Provenance

Gold is just one of 118 elements and among thousands of minerals, but no other mineral resonates in the human psyche at such a basic level with its intrinsic value and cultural importance. The overwhelming fascination that mankind has had with gold has spanned thousands of years. Men have fought, killed and journeyed to the ends of the earth to find it, and there is no end to the perpetuation of mystical properties that are believed to be imbued within it. Despite this, not all gold is comparable. Gold in its natural state is typically found in amorphous nuggets or flakes. When quartz veins contain a significant amount of carbonate (conditions that are not reflective of all gold-bearing deposits), crystallized gold is able to form. As a beautiful and rare occurrence, crystalized gold is highly collectible and is always of a higher valuation.

This specimen is from the Eagle’s Nest Mine of California, it is among the most significant producers of crystallized gold for the entire world and is known not just for its quantity but its quality of specimens. The best examples exhibit beautifully defined crystal habits and complex structures in a bright, yellow-gold color, indicative of higher gold content. This specimen is a beautiful example that exhibits a variety of different habits in a single piece. Formations include clusters of flattened octahedra, herringbone structures, and dendrites. They sit perched upon a matrix of white quartz in an attractive formation that resembles outstretched wings. Its sharp terminations, contrasting matrix and attractive form make this a wonderful example of Californian gold.

The height of halite recovery at CPD ran between 2007 and 2012, which yielded specimens of exceptional quality, that proved to be a sporadic and celebrated occurrence. Many of the finest examples were recovered and reserved by a geologist who discovered the specific vein underground that produced the beautiful crystals. Daniel Trinchillo of Fine Minerals International acquired the best half dozen of the halites of which this was one. This specimen has a sharp, cubic crystal habit with good size, luster, and is in fine condition overall. Its captivating blue color is evenly saturated yet retains enough transparency to let the crystal produce a vivid glow with just a hint of light. Accented by transparent white sylvite, the piece also has wonderful contrast and composition. With its uncommon coloring, great aesthetic appeal, and rarity in the market, this specimen is a wonderful addition to any collection.

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