This is a fine specimen of SILVER ORE that came out of the Castle Mine, Cobalt Area, Ontario, Canada. This chunk of ore has been sliced to reveal the dendritic silver which grew into the matrix of the nickel- and cobalt--arsenide minerals NICKELINE and SAFFLORITE. Good specimens of rich silver ore like this are now very hard to find. I picked out this specimen at the stand of the guys who collected it at the Bancroft Gemboree Gem, Rock & Mineral Show.
The Cobalt Silver Rush started about 1903 when enormous veins of silver were found while building a railroad line in northern Ontario. Within a few years Cobalt became one of the top silver producers in the world. Alas, the rich ore was exhausted rapidly, and by 1930 almost all of the mines had closed. Later attempts to reopen the silver mines (notably during WWII, and again in the 1950s and 1980s) fizzled. Now there is no mining going on in Cobalt. Fortunately, industious collectors are finding old, rich chunks of silver ore when they dig through the dirt in localities such as ore houses and the ends of conveyor belts. They then use metal detectors to find pieces the silver. This slab was hand-picked from a large lot, and only the top 10% were chosen.
Here's a thick slab of dendritic silver cut from a mass of rich ore that came from the Beaver Mine, in Cobalt, Ontario. The silver radiates out from the main vein in tree-like branching formations into the safflorite and nickeline matrix. This is a very high grade of silver ore, possibly containing as much as 50% silver.
6.1" large cabinet size
Bright silver dendritic formations
Rich silver ore
6.1" x 2.2" x 0.3"
Small 3.5" Easel Stand