OLD Silver Ore Petrified Wood SILVER REEF DIST., UTAH

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  • Item Category: Natural History
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 07, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House

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Silver & Copper Ore Petrified Wood

Silver Reef District (Harrisburg District), Leeds, Washington Co., Utah

3.78cm x 2.37cm x .78cm

Description/Interesting Notes:

A terrific, old time example of silver & copper rich petrified wood from this unusual Utah locality!!! This specimen consists of a mass of petrified wood that is actually a rich silver and copper ore!!! This locality is a unique, old time locality is one of the only areas in the world where the native silver ore was found in sandstone and petrified wood!!! This locality was a boomtown in the late 1860's through the 1870's due to the discovery of native silver found in this most unusual setting!!! Until that time, it was generally thought to be impossible for native silver to be found in sedimentary rock like sandstone and, especially, petrified wood!!! In fact, there is a famous instance where a sample was sent to the Smithsonian shortly after the discovery - and they promtly declared it a fake, although a most unusual one the likes of which they had never seen!!! There are actually stories of entire underground "forests" of native silver petrified trees found by miners!!! Such a natural wonder would've no doubt been a world famous attraction - had it not been made of valuable silver!!! VERY little material from this locality survives today however!!! In addition to the sandstone and petrified wood, there was a significant amount of coal-like material found as well!!! This specimen is not silicified or opallized like one might see in other petrified woods, however it is very rigid and densely minerallized (when I first saw it, I thought I was looking at a mineralized mining timber, however this is not the case)!!! When viewed on edge, there is a smooth area where one can see some metallic-like sheen, a sign of its dense mineralization!!! The thick edge shows a dense, hard, black mineralization which is characteristic of the silver rich material!!! The old label labels this specimen as "Silver Rich Petrified Wood" however, it is my understanding that there was significant copper present in some of this material as well and, as evidenced by the presence of green malachite, there is certainly some copper present as well!!! This specimen retains an old label from the Mecke collection and an old, unrelated affixed catalogue number as well!!! The pics hardly do it justice!!! Rare, old time material!!! Good luck and be sure to check out my other exciting mineral auctions on ebay!!! STAY TUNED!!! MORE AUCTIONS WILL BE ADDED MONDAY NIGHT FOR A SPECIAL 3-DAY AUCTION, ENDING THURSDAY APRIL 7th!!!

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