Molybdenite on quartz D.36302 Click to enlarge image
Molybdenite on quartz. Allies Mine, Deepwater, New South Wales, Australia. 31 x 43 x 15 cm. Registered 1944, D.3630. Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

With its large, curved, silvery, flexible and metallic crystal flakes scattered over quartz crystals in an aesthetic arrangement, this is the best molybdenite (molybdenum sulphide) specimen of its type in the world. It came from a pipe-like pegmatite structure penetrating granite, where the molybdenite, accompanied by quartz and bismuth minerals, grew large crystals in open cavities or ‘vughs’.

Specimen details

  • Origin

    Allies Mine, Deepwater, New South Wales Australia

  • Size

    31 x 43 x 15 cm

  • Date

    Registered 1944

  • Collection number


Deepwater, together with nearby Kingsgate, produced some of the best molybdenite in the world. The Australian Museum has a large and magnificent molybdenite collection, partly thanks to purchases from Miss Freda Sachs, niece of Valentine Sachs who owned Sachs’ Mine at Kingsgate. Freda had good mineralogical knowledge and was appointed as a general assistant to Thomas Hodge-Smith, Curator of Minerals, in the early 1940s.

This magnificent specimen was purchased in 1944 from Mr J Huthnance. The Huthnance Collection of 55 mainly new England, New South Wales, minerals included many molybdenite specimens of high quality. It has been on continuous display in three successive mineral exhibitions since its acquisition. It has become mineralogy folklore that when Paul Desautels, Curator of Gems and Minerals at the Smithsonian Institution, visited in 1976, he went down on his knees in homage to this incomparable treasure.

Molybdenite (crystal rose)

Mt Arthur, Wolfram Camp, Queensland, Australia. 5.5 x 5 x 3.1 cm. D.50235. Albert Chapman Collection.

Molybdenite (crystal rose) D.50235
Molybdenite (crystal rose). Mt Arthur, Wolfram Camp, Queensland, Australia. 5.5 x 5 x 3.1 cm. D.50235. Albert Chapman Collection. Image: Carl Bento
© Australian Museum

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