Aliva Mine, Camaleno, Cantabria, Spain
17.7 cm tall x 26.6 cm wide
Sphalerite from Spain has always been considered the ultimate for the species. They are known for their stunning color and unusual transparency. This sphalerite is incomparable. When back lit, even modestly, it glows with the intensity of a Burmese ruby.
Every crystal has blazing red, amber, and orange colors. In addition to the gem quality, it has glass luster on every crystal face. It also has a small and whitish calcite growing out of one of the crystals towards the right side.
On a scale of pure beauty, this sphalerite has few contemporaries. It is amongst the finest and largest ever found. These gem quality sphalerites are old and have not been mined since about 1980.
Sphalerite is found in several colors: black, green, yellow and red. Red being the most sough-after. Miners refer to these as "Ruby Jack", due to their resemblance to raw gem rubies.