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 Peru Page I           Peru Page II


 

Peru!

I have just returned from Peru with a few hundred specimens.  This page contains a sampling of the material that I acquired, and represents some of my favorites from the bunch.  Some are unique, others are from new finds, and still others go back a few years.   

As a side note: I still have a lot of Bolivian martial to post.... probably only about 1/3 of it is already up...

 


 

PXA1 Pyrite

Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Peru

14.5x 11.7x 9.5 cm

 

 

A stunning large cabinet specimen, representing the best from a lot of a few hundred.  This piece is in perfect condition, boasting completely formed, damage free crystals to 7.5 cm on edge.  

 

This specimen displays well from multiple angles, and only two minor crystals on the main display face show any chipping. There is a contact on the reverse, but after all it had to be detached from somewhere.  The main crystals are perfect and undamaged, and from the three angles shown in the various images, the specimen displays perfectly.

 

This specimen is easily in the top .001% of material recovered from Huanzala.  A miner told me that these pieces are snuck out of the mine in rucksacks weighing as much as 50 kg.  Under such conditions, it is a minor miracle that any specimen can survive in such good condition.  

 

This mine has produced thousands of tones of specimen pyrite--most of the "fool's gold" clusters that you see for sale in various rock and gift shops originated from this mine.  Such low grade pieces are called "chispas" by the local miners.  Dodecahedrons are called "cocos" (coconuts) and cubes are called "cubos".  The rarest and most prized, "triangulos" are the octahedral crystals that are only recovered every few years at best.

 

 

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PXA2 Rhodochrosite

Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Prov., Lima Dept., Peru

11.0x 6.6x 8.1 cm

 

 

A stunning large cabinet rhodochrosite, with deep red, PRISMATIC crystals to about 1.7 cm.  This specimen is from a pocket encountered about 4 years ago, and is among the best from the find.

 

The main crystals are intact and undamaged, only some around the edge show any cleaving.  This hardly detracts from the specimen.

 

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PXA3 Rhodochrosite

Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Prov., Lima Dept., Peru

2.5x 2.1x 1.6 cm

$235

 

A superb "toenail" specimen of rhodochrosite, consisting of numerous deep red crystals on a scrap of matrix.

 

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PXA4 Rhodochrosite

Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Prov., Lima Dept., Peru

3.3x 3.0x 1.8 cm

$185

 

A perfect miniature, with an aesthetically perched scalenohedron of deep red rhodochrosite perched on a beautifully contrasting matrix coated by dark manganese oxides.  Damage free. 

 

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PXA5 Fluorite, Pyrite

Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Peru

3.5x 3.4x 3.4 cm

$1000

A superb pink fluorite, with a yellow core from the Huanzala mine.  While sulfide minerals are plentiful from Peru, fluorite has been produced only intermittently.  Of these, the pink variety from Huanzala is the most sought after, and since their debut in the early 1980’s, specimens have only rarely been encountered, and very rarely come up for sale.  

This is a perfect, damage free octahedron resting on a scrap of cubic pyrite crystals.  Upon close inspection, numerous glitter-like pyrite microcrystals become visible UNDER the surface of the crystal.  This is about as big as these pink Hunanzala fluorite crystals get.  

 

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PXA6 Huebnerite, Quartz, Fucshite

Pasto Bueno, Pallasca Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru

7.3x 7.0x 4.7 cm

 

 

A cabinet specimen of huebnerite, whose deep red color begins to show through without even being backlit.

 

The hubnerite crystals reach 7.3 cm, and are fully terminated, rising out of a bed of terminated quartz crystals, some of which host a second generation of additional quartz crystals.

 

Added to the mix is the light green hue of fuchsite mica, whose color is caused by Cr impurities.

 

I hate to include my hand in specimen images, but in this case it was necessary, as simply placing it on the table made it difficult to convey the full three dimensionality of the specimen.  Even so, it is considerably better in person-- the first and second generations of quartz are more visible from up close, and the light green of the fuchsite has more of an impact.

 

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PXA7 Silver

Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Prov., Lima Dept., Peru

3.5x 2.0x 1.3 cm

 

 

An exquisite toenail of native of native silver, and about as good as a silver specimen of this size, from this mine, can get.

 

A thick silver wire reaches out from a scrap of matrix, making for a perfectly balanced and unusually beautiful specimen.

 

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PXA8 Silver

Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Prov., Lima Dept., Peru

5.1x 3.8x 4.1 cm

 

 

Another silver specimen, with a cluster of thick wires to 2 cm rising from the end of a dark matrix.

 

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PXA9 Vesuvianite, Garnet var. Andradite

Mina Cantera, Casma Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru

4.0x 3.6x 2.7 cm

 

 

The best specimen from a small new find of vesuvianite and andradite in Peru.  The crystal is fully terminated, and hosts several andradite crystals perched on its side.

 

I only saw a small amount of this material-- most of what came out was sub-par andradite, but I purchased almost all the vesuvianite combinations.  This was the best.

 

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PXA10 Dioptase

Cobre Llama Mine, Bella Union Dist., Nazca Prov., Ica Dept., Peru

7.6x 5.6x 4.4 cm

$400

 

An excellent cabinet specimen of Peruvian dioptase, from a find made approximately 4 years ago.  These have since ceased to be found, and this specimen is about as good as they get from this find.  Ordinarily, these tended to be more sparse, and the dioptase crystals were usually smaller and coated with selenite.  

 

On this specimen, there is only enough selenite to remind you that it is from Nazca--but not so much that it obscures the dioptase.  The largest crystal is 1.1 cm, very large for the locality.

 

On another note, when translated, the mine's name means "Copper Llama"... for some reason I found that sort of funny...

 

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PXA11 Dioptase

Cobre Llama Mine, Bella Union Dist., Nazca Prov., Ica Dept., Peru

3.6x 2.2x 0.9 cm

$65

 

A beautiful "toenail" dioptase from this now depleted occurrence about 4 years ago.  The crystals on this piece are not obscured by selenite, as is the usual case, and the white matrix is quite unusual for the find.  This matrix adds a level of contrast not visible in 98% of other specimens, and even lends it a slightly Tsumeb-ish appearance.  Of course, the bit of selenite near the top hints at its Peruvian origin.

 

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PXA12 Barite

Cerro Warihuyn, 2 hours walk from Miraflores, Huamalias. Huanuco, Peru

10.7x 5.9x 7.0 cm

$350

 

An cabinet specimen with large yellow barite crystals, to 5.2 cm.  Sawn around the edges.

 

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PXA13 Rhodochrosite, Bournonite, Sphalerite

Huachocolpa Mine, Huancavelica Prov., Huancavelica Dept., Peru

18.0x 10.0x 4.0 cm

$500

 

A large cabinet specimen of rhodochrosite from this one time occurrence.  The rhodochrosite has a rather swirly, appearance, and is accompanied by clusters of sub-millimetric bournonite as well as by sphalerite crystals.

 

The image on the bottom right depicts both the spahlerite and the the bournonite cluster-- the sphalerite is on the right, and the bournonite is on the left.

 

This is the best piece from the find.

 

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PXA14 Sphalerite with Pyrite, Quartz

Ticlio Mine, Morococha District, Yauli Prov., Junin Dept., Peru

8.6x 8.0x 4.3 cm

 

~New Find~

A specimen from the limited new find of sphalerite.  This piece has two sphalerite clusters perched on the edge of a bed of quartz crystals.  One cluster is a ping pong ball sized cluster of ~ 3 mm crystals, and the other (to the right) consists of larger, gemmier crystals.  

There are also several other, greenish brown sphalerites to approximately 1.4 cm scattered elsewhere on the quartz.  

It is somewhat better in person... everything looks too jumbled up in the image.

 

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PXA15 Tetrahedrite, Pyrite, Sphalertie Quartz, 

Pachapaqui Mine, Bolognesi Province, Ancash Dept., Peru

10.1x 6.7x 4.5 cm

$175

 

A specimen of mixed Peruvian sulfides, with sharp tetrahedrite crystals intermixed with pyrite (I spot at least one twin!) and darker sphalerite.

 

This specimen comes from a classic Peruvian locality, and as with the preceding specimen, is better in person.  These sulfides are hard to photograph because everything looks much more jumbled together than it actually is...

 

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PXA16 Vesuvianite, Garnet var. Andradite

Mina Cantera, Casma Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru

2.6x 1.8x 0.9 cm

$58

 

The best thumbnail from a small new find of vesuvianite and andradite in Peru.  This specimen hosts a cluster of dark, double terminated dravite prisms perched on orange andradite, one of which is oddly elongated.  Contacted on the reverse

 

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PXA16 Rhodonite, Pyrite

Chiuruc Mine, Huallanca Dist., Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru

5.2x 3.0x 3.5 cm

$160

 

 

A vug of pink rhodonite in pyrite, from the find made about 3 years ago.  The pyrite association is rare.

 

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PXA17 Rhodonite

Chiuruc Mine, Huallanca Dist., Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru

2.2x 2.2x 1.2 cm

$100

 

 

A beautiful little thumbnail from the find at Chiuruc approximately 3 years ago.  I have seen these things (similar color and size) priced at over a thousand dollars on at least a couple other websites (and not selling) so I think this is more reasonable.

 

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PXA18 Rhodonite, Pyrite

Chiuruc Mine, Huallanca Dist., Dos de Mayo Prov., Peru

2.3x 2.0x 1.0 cm

$115

 

 

A beautiful little thumbnail from the find at Chiuruc approximately 3 years ago.  I have seen these things (similar color and size) priced at over a thousand dollars on at least a couple other websites (and not selling) so I think this is more reasonable.

 

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PXA19 Realgar and Orpiment 

Paloma Mine, Castrovirreina Prov., Huancavelica Dept., Peru

4.6x 3.7x 1.8 cm

$165

A specimen of realgar with minor orpiment from the Paloma mine.  This find first surfaced around 2 years ago, and represents the best realgar to come from Peru.  Well crystallized orpiment has long been known to occur in Peru, but it was not until this find 2 years ago that the country produced good realgar.

These things always remind me of ketchup and mustard...

 

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PXA20 Arsenopyrite ps. Pyrrhotite

RETICULATED!

Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Peru

6.2x 6.1x 3.1 cm

$325

 

A very interesting pseudomorph of arsenopyrite after pyrrhotite.  The arsenopyrite has totally replaced the hexagonal pyrhotite (to 3.1 cm), leaving in its place a network of reticulated crystals.

 

There is a close-up image of a similar reticulated arsenopyrite in the Peru issue of the Mineralogical Record.  Apart from what I purchased, and those older specimens pictured in the book, I have not seen these anywhere else.

 

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ENA1 Enargite
Colquijirca Mine, Tinyahuarco Dist., Cerro de Pasco, Daniel Alcides Carrión Prov., Pasco Dept., Peru
4.7x 3.3x 2.7 cm
$385

A cluster or large, complete enargite crystals with minor pyrite. The crystals reach 1.6 cm across.  A very good specimen of this rare mineral from a locality that will soon become a classic.

 

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PXA21 Calcite incl. Hematite 

racracancha Mine, Tinyahuarco Dist,. Pasco prov., Cero De Pasco Dept., Peru

7.1x 5.3x 3.1 cm

$85

A beautiful calcite specimen, colored bright orange from calcite inclusions.

 

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PXA22 Pyrite on Barite

Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Peru

6.6x 5.3x 5.5 cm

$165

 

A rare MATRIX pyrite from Huanzala.  Pyrite from this mine is probably one of the easiest minerals in the world to obtain, but the combination of octahedral habit, large crystal size, and a NON-PYRITE matrix make this one special.  The main crystal has no damage.

 

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PXA23 Epidote

Pampa Blanca Mine, Castrovirreina Prov., Huancavelica Dept., Peru

9.2x 5.8x 4.2 cm

$380

 

An exceptional Peruvian epidote, with multiple intertwined fans of the mineral forming an aesthetic cluster.

 

These things usually do not reach this size, and most of the time are incomplete or heavily damaged, even and small miniatures and thumbnails.

 

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PXA24 Quartz

Pasto Bueno, Pallasca Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru

10.8x 5.0x 4.0

$85

 

A terminated quartz crystal, hosting a second generation of quartz crystals and a bright, pastel green fluorite.

 

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PXA25 Quartz

Pasto Bueno, Pallasca Prov., Ancash Dept., Peru

12.6x 5.3x 3.9 cm

$75

 

A complete floater, consisting of multiple intertwined double terminated quartz crystals, over which a second generation of smaller crystals have crystallized.

 

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