A nice cluster of octahedral pyrite crystals from Huanzala. Pyrite has been known form this locality for decades, and I would consider this to be one of the most (if not the most) prolific mine in the world, in terms of the sheer tonnage of specimens produced. For the last several years however, very little material of good quality has escaped-- over 5 trips to Peru, only this trip and the first yielded what I would consider to be good pieces from Huanzala, all the pyrites I brought back in between were from Racracancha.
This piece is a cluster of octahedral crystals-- the locals call these "triangulos" ("cocos" as the dodecahedrons, "chispas" are the groups of small crystals you see in gift shops, and "cubos" are self explanatory.) This piece is parially contacted on the back (it has to be attatched to the mine wall somewhere), and looking closely I see only a couple 2-3 mm chips on the front--but I had to look *very* closely. With that said, this thing is in exceptional condition.
This was one piece from a medium sized lot that I purchased. As the person who sold them to me put it-- the group this belonged to was selected from "many tons" of specimens, and judging from what I usually see, I am inclined to believe him. It is never difficult to buy pyrite in Peru, but finding good pieces is another story entirely-- there are usually only a couple per trip, though this time I got lucky.