Frank Valenzuela is known to many people in Tucson as The Miner. He doesn't look for gold—although I'm sure that he would be happy to find it—but mineral awesomeness. Like this amazing rock, a chalcedony on chrysocolla stalactites, which he sold for $5,000.
Frank Valenzuela obtained this specimen from a fellow miner at the Inspiration, where he was a miner and then a shaft supervisor in the 1950s-1960s. It was collected, he recalls, in the early 1960s. It is a classic example of the quartz-covered chrysocolla stalactites from that time, but unusual in that it was preserved as a whole pocket. The piece glows when backlit, as the top surface is partially translucent and there is a small hole in back of the vug, to let light into the pocket for backlighting. The largest stalactites are 2 cm. The pocket opening is 2 inches across. Overall, a unique, interesting, and very beautiful piece that I have long lusted to obtain from the collection and bring to market. Joe Budd Photos.
The rock's stalactites landscape looks like a miniature version of a Mario Bros. world: