Potosi, Bolivia

Crystals of this very rare Silver-Germanium mineral on matrix; whole is about 2 cm across. We chemically check each piece for silver AND germanium to ensure it is authentic.

Regarding Argyrodite, it is of historic importance because it is in this mineral that the element Germanium was discovered.

If one were to digress a little on Germanium, one may add that it had been predicted by the young British chemist Newlands in 1864 as the missing element in a triad between Silicon and Tin. Seven years later the much older Russian Mendeleev specified the properties it should have using his newly devised Periodic Table of the Elements. A hunt got under way by inorganic chemists and to be brief, in 1886 Winkler found it and named it in honor of his country. The source was Argyrodite.

Lest it be thought that this was a straightforward process, one might mention that Winkler having isolated it, nevertheless assigned it the wrong place among the then missing elements! It was not until some time later that another German chemist Lothar Mayer (now of Latharmayerite fame) recognised its proper identity and position in the Periodic Table that the case on Germanium was finally concluded.

Now you know a little more about Argyrodite! From knowledge comes appreciation.