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Guerrero Mine, Taxco de Alarc√≥n, Municipio de Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico 7 cm × 10 cm × 6 cm

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Al Cerny Collection Al Cerny was a practicing mining engineer for over 30 years before retiring to South Carolina for the bass fishing. He worked at several mines including Sterling Hill near Franklin, New Jersey and the Northumberland Mine in Nevada where he was able to satisfy his collecting passion. Barite became his specialty, but the collection has far more than just barite.

On my first trip to Mexico with Dennis Beals we managed to find a large lot of wonderful blue barite in Taxco. Many were coated with an ugly calcite coating that we removed with acid revealing perfect crystals and sometimes a quite appealing pyrite dusting. Al managed to get 3 of the best pieces from this find. This one is arguably one of the best 2 or 3 pieces from the find, a perfect column of large gray-blue crystals that displays well from all sides.

Jesse La Plante photo