Dims: 0.63x0.37x0.31" (1.61x0.93x0.78cm)
Wt: 5.30ct (1.06g)
Wipper vein, NE 186 Mine, Albereda, Saxony, Germany
This is a rare specimen - native crystals of bismuth. The specimen has dozens of intergrown crystals, some of which are modified cubes or octahedrons, but most of which are thin parallel plates coated with tiny crystals of something dark and fine quartz crystals. The specimen is very light - much of the volume must be air. Now for the confusing part - The cubic-octahedral silvery crystals look like bismuth crystals. The dull brassy (weathered) plates also look like bismuth I have seen. But it is not likely that both are. I suspect that one of these is something else. Perhaps the brassy stuff is chalcopyrite, or perhaps the silvery stuff is skutterudite. I suspect the latter, as we have had specimens looking very much like the thin brassy pages in the bulk of this specimen (just not from this location).