This piece features a standing plate of silver ramsdellite crystals, standing up off the matrix. This plate is crystallized all around, with the best density of sharpest and brightest crystals on the front (first photo), but there are ramsdellite crystals on the back and and the left edge as well. The ramsdellite crystals are sharp and lustrous, with a curious feature. Many have a raised crystal face like a stripe down the middle, looks like a second generation selective overgrowth with a slightly different lustre. The ramsdellite identification was confirmed by analysis at the Royal Ontario Museum. In excellent condition, associated with tiny reddish-brown quartz crystals. From the Pete Richards collection, personally collected in 1981. A nice display piece.
About the Mines of Atikokan, Ontario
Located in northwestern Ontario, the large mines at Atikokan were once huge iron producers. Financed and developed during the Second World War effort, these mines were brought into production to shore up US iron supplies. These were massive mines – the amount of earth and rock moved was twice that moved to build the Panama Canal, in half the time (!). The mines closed in 1979-80. Although they produced fine specimens, they are not broadly known among collectors around the world, as they would be if they were producing today. They are best known for excellent specimens of crystallized manganite.