This is a natural galena (metallic lead) crystal cluster with small, clear-tipped quartz crystals on a tan dolomite matrix with small pyrite crystals. From the famous Trepça Mines in Kosovo.
60x55x30 mm. 238 grams.
This piece is from the famous Trepça Mines in Kosovo, northeast of Mitrovica. The mine is Europe's largest lead-zinc and silver ore mine.
The history of the Trepça Mines traces back the Middle Ages. Modern operations began with the establishment of Trepca Mining and Metallurgical Complex in the 1920s.
After World War II, the communist government nationalized all privately-held companies in Yugoslavia, including Trepca, and turned them into state-owned enterprisers.
The mine effectively went out of production as a result of the 1999 Kosovo war with Serbia. Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, but the future of the Trepča mining complex remained uncertain throughout most of the 2000s and it fell into a state of disrepair.
The huge mining complex was put under government control in 2016 to save it from bankruptcy, and mining operations continue today.
Our supplier obtains the pieces directly from the operating mines.
Natural METALLIC lead is NOT hazardous. The surface of the lead crystal can have oxidation products of other compounds, so you should wash your hands after handling metallic lead pieces (and after handling all of your minerals).
Yes, we are happy to combine shipping for multiple pieces. Our pieces have different weights, however, and that makes it a bit challenging to combine shipping as you are ordering, but you will only pay the actual combined shipping cost plus a $1.00 handling & material fee. We will refund any overages as soon as we create the shipping label (thst's the point when we know the actual price for shipping).