Dims: 2.0 x 1.4 x 1.3" (5.1 x 3.6 x 3.3 cm)
Wt: 3.27 oz. (92.9 g)
Ballard Mine, Tri-State District, U.S.A.
Unfortunately, I am not sure if the Ballard Mine is in Illinois or Missouri, but I am pretty certain that it is one of those two mid-American states. This specimen consists of many intergrown Sphalerite crystals that range in diameter from less than 0.1" (3 mm) to 1.1" (2.8 cm). The largest crystals have the most disseminated cubic-based form, so that one cannot determine exactly what variation they retain. The smaller crystals are much better-formed, taking on the shapes of distended octahedrons. Some show evidence of twinning, and appear to have a hexagonal outline. Several of these small Sphalerites are broken, but they have a wonderful, deep brown-red coloration and exceptional clarity. When viewed under a bright halogen light, one can see that the Sphalerite that serves as the base for the accompanying chalcopyrites also has the red color, though it is much deeper and dimmer. There is also a small amount of a shale base present.