Cool specimen of acanthite crystals (pseudomorphs after argentite) with one larger crystal 1.5 cm at the end of an elongated “tree” of crystals. In some of the hollows and recesses, with magnification one can see small silver wires – it appears that to some degree they have been coated or replaced by a second generation of acanthite. A funky piece.
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About These Acanthites
Well-crystallized acanthite has never been common and most of the known localities for crystals are historic, making it difficult, and usually expensive, to obtain fine specimens. The finds at Imiter (Africa’s largest silver mine) in recent years have placed it among the world’s best localities for crystallized acanthite. Although these crystals formed as argentite, argentite is not stable below 179C, at which point it changes to monoclinic acanthite. The specimens are acanthite pseudomorphs after argentite, retaining the isometric crystal form of the original argentite crystals. I assembled this lot of acanthites over a period of about two years. Most of these specimens, from the 2008 find, remained in Morocco until 2013.