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A very rare semi precious gemstone-very hard to get-and very messy to cut! This is Psilomelane-also known as Crown of Silver Psilomelane from the Silver Crown Mine in Chihuahua, Mexico.
This wonderful gemstone cabochon material (pronounced si-lah'-mi-lane) is a type of manganese ore. Crown of Silver Psilomelane is manganese oxide in cryptocrystalline quartz. The designer cabochons are shiny metallic black with silver banding and swirls, hence the name.
The Crown of Silver Mine was opened in 1940 for the war effort and was closed in 1947. In the 1950s the mine was reportedly worked by old Mexican miners for the lapidary market before it became unsafe to enter the mine. It was pilfered for a few years and then reopened in 2003, but I understand it was forced to be closed from too many cave ins. Rumor has it, it has been bought and reopened recently!
Metaphysical Properties: Psilomelane is said to help one understand and change the ingrained patterns that rule our emotions and our vision of what is possible.