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California Mine Gold & Silver Specimens – The Big Bonanza

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Rocks, Fossils & Minerals Start Price:400.00 USD Estimated At:800.00 - 1,200.00 USD
California Mine Gold & Silver Specimens – The Big Bonanza
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Lot of 4 mineral specimens from the California Mine, Comstock Lode. Samples range from less than 1 to 2 ½ inches and consist of bonanza grade ores of polybasite and argentite, native Au, proustite, sphalerite, stibnite and tetrahedrite within a quartz and diorite wall rock matrix. The "Big Bonanza" was the greatest mining strike in the history of the American West. In 1872, John Mackay, James Fair, James Flood & William O'Brien formed an alliance and took control of the "Consolidate Virginia" and "California" mines for an investment of about $100,000. Both mining properties had been thought to be barren ground, but Mackay & Fair, seasoned miners, thought otherwise. In 1873 an incredibly rich body of ore was struck at the 1,167 foot level that descended down more than 400 feet, it was the "Big Bonanza." Territorial Enterprise mining editor, Dan DeQuille wrote that it was: "The Heart of the Comstock." By 1879, the "Consolidated Virginia" had generated $61 million and the "California" $44 million making them the two largest producing mines in the history of the "Comstock Lode." So much silver bullion was flowing from these mines and their mills that the US Mint in San Francisco was overwhelmed asking the smaller facilities of Carson City for relief. Date: Location: Virginia City, Nevada HWAC# 60869