The Mineralogical Record

Mines and Minerals of Mexico, vol. 3: Los Lamentos, Fresnillo, Las Vigas, Lake Jaco

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The Mineralogical Record Bookstore: Mines and Minerals of Mexico, vol. 3:  Los Lamentos, Fresnillo, Las Vigas, Lake Jaco - W. E. Wilson, T. C. Wallace, M. K. Hall-Wallace, W. Lieber, G. Frenzel, V. W. Lueth and R. Jones

Hardcover, 100 pages
2003
Published by Mineralogical Record
Dimensions 8.2 x 11.2 (inches)
Price $10.00

Mines and Minerals of Mexico, vol. 3: Los Lamentos, Fresnillo, Las Vigas, Lake Jaco

by W. E. Wilson, T. C. Wallace, M. K. Hall-Wallace, W. Lieber, G. Frenzel, V. W. Lueth and R. Jones

MEXICO-III

This book, the third volume in our series on the mines and minerals of Mexico, was originally issued as vol. 34, no. 6 of The Mineralogical Record. It deals entirely with the famous Mexican mineral localities of Los Lamentos, Fresnillo, Las Vigas and Sierra de Cruces (Lake Jaco).

For decades the Ahumada lead mine in the Los Lamentos District, northeastern Chihuahua, has been famous among collectors for a single species: wulfenite. Los Lamentos ranks as one of the two most important and prolific producers of specimen-quality wulfenite in Mexico. Periodic discoveries have yielded an interesting variety of distinctive crystal habits, and a substantial portion of the productive zone remains preserved just below the water table.

Discovered in 1550’s, Fresnillo remained a relatively unremarkable silver district for over 470 years. In the mid-1970’s, however, exploratory drilling revealed a hidden system of fabulously rich veins of solid pyrargyrite, acanthite, stephanite and polybasite. During the last ten years Fresnillo has become one of the world’s great silver districts. Total production now exceeds 1.4 billion ounces of silver, and in a short time Fresnillo will surpass Pachuca Real to become the most prolific Mexican silver deposit of all time. Fortunately for the mineral collector, the situation at Fresnillo has also allowed the preservation of a substantial number of superb specimens in recent years, with the promise of more to come from newly discovered veins.

The beautiful amethyst crystals and crystal clusters from the Las Vigas region in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, first appeared on the mineral market nearly 50 years ago. This prolific occurrence has provided collections worldwide with specimens of extraordinary beauty. The crystals are notable not for their remarkable size—like some amethyst specimens from Uruguay and Brazil—but for the fine development of the crystals, dominated by prism faces, for their rich violet color, often becoming deeper near the termination, and for the often aesthetic grouping of the crystals in clusters and on matrix.

The Sierra de Cruces Mountains in the Lake Jaco region began producing pale yellowish grossular garnets as early as 1947. However, red grossular deposits were discovered by a Mexican rancher in 1974, and with the help of mineral dealer Benny Fenn, the rancher staked a claim. The deposit has proven to be very rich in pink to red dodecahedral grossular crystals and mustard-yellow vesuvianite crystals in a matrix of snow-white calcite and quartz. Since the discovery, large quantities of attractive specimens have reached the collector market.

The hardcover editions of the Mexico series, limited to 300 copies each, have sewn bindings and are covered in gold-stamped bonded leather.


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