|Roger LaRochelle and his late partner Jack Carlson spent 20 years at the mine site in the Gran Sabana of southeastern Venezuela, locally known as the Roraima Shield collecting magnificent gold crystals from a massive placer deposit. This collection became known worldwide as the Roraima Shield collection and many of these gold crystals are now in personal collections and museums all over the world. Mr. LaRochelle decided that the final three crystals, and the most important, be sold as a set. Each of these world class gold specimens have been widely published and each is breathtakingly beautiful.|
Specimen #1 - 4.44x4.27x2.06 cm. This spectacular gold crystal weighs 217.78 grams or slightly under seven ounces. It is a magnificent skeletal octahedron and perhaps the largest non-wire gold crystal ever found! Considering that less than one percent of all gold collected is crystallized and that well over 99% of all gold crystals weigh well less than one ounce makes this piece even more remarkable. Due to the importance of this specimen a test was made at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Lujan Neutron Scattering Center that verified that this piece was in fact the world’s largest single crystal specimen. Without doubt this incredible specimen would be the center piece of any mineralogical cabinet. Acquired in 1987, it has been featured on the cover of Lapis Mineralin Magazine (April 1998) and Rivista Minerlogica Italiana (#3, 1998).
Specimen #2 - 2.16x2.11x2.06 cm. This unbelievable piece is a single 24-sided trapezohedral crystal with a polyhedral body whose sides are trapezoids. It weighs 73.2 grams and is one of the rarest crystallized forms of gold. The surfaces of the crystal exhibit numerous small lines and very mild rounding consistent with slight alluvial wear. The tone is a very rich yellow and appears to be of high purity. It should be noted that the crystal symmetry of this piece is slightly imperfect, quite typical in most crystals. Acquired in 1993, it has been illustrated in Lapis Mineralin Magazine (April 1998 p. 38), Rivista Minerlogica Italiana (#3, 1998) and cited in Rocks and Minerals Magazine (Jan. 2004).
Specimen #3 - 3.5x3.2x2.0 cm. This magnificent specimen is comprised of a complex group of crystals exhibiting both octahedral and tetra hexahedral structures. The piece weighs 89.9 grams. This extremely complicated crystalline group is basically a hoppered shaped skeletal octahedron with various other crystallized forms. It is exceptionally sharp and was once described by the late Paul Desautels, former curator of the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian Institute, "The World's most beautiful piece of gold." Acquired in 1981, this specimen was illustrated in the Lapis Gold (extra) English, #5 (2003, p.5).
|Location of Origin: Latin America|
|Medium/Materials: Gold crystals|
|Dimensions: Specimen #1 - 4.44x4.27x2.06 cm; Specimen #2 - 2.16x2.11x2.06 cm; Specimen #3 - 3.5x3.2x2.0 cm|
|Weight: Specimen #1: 217.78 gm; Specimen #2: 73.2 gm; Specimen #3: 89.9 gm|
|Primary Classification: Science and Natural History : Minerals|
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