This sign marks the entrance to the world famous Bear Lake Diggings locality near Bancroft, Ontario

It was 3 p.m. Saturday before my collecting buddy Dave Redfield and I met up to start the long ten hour drive to Bancroft, Ontario (the so-called "Mineral Capital of Canada") for a week of collecting. Dave is a wonderful traveling companion on a collecting trip for several reasons: First, he volunteered the use of his truck, which could carry back a ton of rocks (assuming we found any good enough to keep). Second, he insisted on doing all the driving, so my share of the work was to navigate and keep talking so Dave didn't fall asleep. Third, Dave is a superb raconteur, and supplied a never-ending stream of stories and witty remarks that helped make the trip fly past. We stopped for dinner en route, then pushed on to Bancroft, arriving after 1:00 AM at our campground. Although our reservation didn't start until the next night, we were in luck and found a spot to pitch our tent and crawl into our sleeping bags for some much-needed sleep.

This is a lovely 9.8 ounce, impressively rich (about 70% silver),
thick slice of silver ore which has formed around cobaltite and other
unusual arsenide minerals, with an estimated bullion value of about $275!

We recently had the opportunity to acquire some 70% pure specimens of sliced silver ore and some 100% pure leaf silver which were collected from the old mine dumps at the Silversmith, Castle and other mines near Cobalt, Ontario. Like leaf gold, leaf silver is quite rare and makes an excellent addition to any elements collection, a silver minerals collection, or a precious metals collection. The slabbed silver ore is also impressive and highly collectible, especially since we are able to sell it for no more than the estimated bullion value!