This magnificent plate of dark blue azurite (copper hydroxy-carbonate) crystals from the oxidised zone of the Broken Hill orebody was acquired by Albert Chapman from a Broken Hill mine ‘trucker’ who ‘collected’ it in the 1950s.
Proprietary Mine, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
12 x 12 x 5 cm
The trucker had apparently been passing by and was asked by a miner to help him remove the specimen from rock. The trucker was asked to put his hand over the specimen to protect it while the miner chipped around it. However, when the specimen was free, the trucker removed his hand (concealing the specimen) and walked away with the prize. He took off in his truck and left the miner empty-handed.
Sometime after this incident, in the 1960s, and following a tip he heard in a Broken Hill pub, Albert Chapman tracked down the specimen to the trucker who had taken it. When he finally saw the specimen, it was sitting on a mantelpiece in the trucker’s house, covered in dust. Albert was able to buy the specimen for his collection, and a thorough cleaning revealed its sparkling deep blue crystals again.
Discover the Minerals Gallery
Be dazzled by the finest examples from this incredible Australian Museum collection and immerse yourself in the world-leading mineralogy research of the Australian Museum Research Institute.
Great Cobar Mine, Cobar, New South Wales, Australia. 17.5 x 9 x 7.9 cm. D.50646. Albert Chapman Collection.