I hand cut this "wearable, precious metal mineral, specimen" myself. It measures 55x45mm by 14mm thick with a 3mm side drill hole. This is a really nice large heart shaped focal bead with a shiny, polished finish that I made out of amazingly high grade Native SILVER ORE in matrix from around Cobalt, Ontario.
The very bright shiny silver bits in this material are NATIVE SILVER, that is, pure metallic silver. On some of these beads I leave a rough edge where the bits of silver metal protrude from the stone and one can feel them by running a finger over them, while others are polished all the way around. The parts that are solid grey with silver veins are matrix (I'm not sure what kind) with native silver veins. The pieces that have silver colored dendrites and plumes is silver ore mixed with cobalt and other rare metals in a dendritic form that I think is a sulfide of various metals. It is from Cobalt, Ontario. See other focal beads and cabs I made from this same specimen in my other listings. Compare with others for sale online, if you can find any! ;)
Chain not included. See the rest of my listings in my DVHdesigns Etsy shop AND my Ebay store for more focal beads, custom cut cabochons, cold worked glass, genuine jet mourning beads, sterling chains just for beads, and more! Also, feel free check out my DVHdesigns website where you can see what I'm up to in the studio, as well as learn more about me, my work, and my upcoming show-lecture schedule. Ya can like my Facebook page as well! ;)
Because this IS a metal mineral, it will need an occasional wipe with a polishing cloth to remove oxidation & tarnish, but it is super shiny and dense metal ore with a nice weight to it! I had NEVER cut this material before the month of August 2007!!! This last August I got a nice chunky specimen for my birthday rocks from my brother (thanks Jim!) and am quite excited to have some of this rare and unusual material to cut. This is from an old collector in Canada who was selling out. A perfect addition for the serious collector of beads or metal ores, or for the metalsmith who has an appreciation for where their medium comes from!
Here's some history on Cobalt, Ontario I got from Wikipedia. There are no longer any operating metal mines in the area and this material is hard to come by! "Silver was discovered in the area in the summer of 1903, during the construction of the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway from North Bay to the communities of Haileybury and New Liskeard, north of Cobalt. Within a few years the area was one of the largest silver producing areas in the world. Speculation over mining stocks led to riots on Wall Street in New York City. The town was incorporated in 1906. Its population swelled and peaked at 7,000. In 1911, silver production exceeded 30,000,000 ounces (937.5 tons). Mining continued until the 1930s, then slowed to a trickle. Activity renewed in the 1950s then slowly dropped off, and there are no longer any operating mines in the area. However, one mill still operates in the area, and there continues to be exploration, including exploration for diamonds."
"The silver mines of Cobalt, and the prospectors and miners that discovered them and worked the mines, have left an indelible mark on Canadian history, and the town is known as the birthplace of hard rock mining in Canada. The ore in Cobalt was close to surface, which meant that men with limited experience could prospect and begin mining, and then hone their skills as the mines went deeper. Those who learned their trade in Cobalt moved north, discovering gold in Kirkland Lake andTimmins and further afield in Canada and around the world. The mining in Cobalt was done with the use of wheelbarrows, pickaxes, hand steeland dynamite."
Metaphysically here is some of what Melody has to say about that in her book Love Is In the Earth, "Silver is a mineral that is said to mirror the soul, strengthen the connection between astral and physical bodies, and enhance intuitive and psychic energies..... Silver is mystically considered to improve speech, bring eloquence........ It is also purported to attract, enhance and store the energies of gemstones, as well as draw out negative energies... Silver is related to the moon, and moon energies."