Sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena, tetrahedrite and native metal. Ainai Mine, Akita Prefecture, Japan

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An unidentified native metal (cream-white, high reflectance, centre) occurs within galena (light blue-white, centre bottom) which has complex intergrowths with chalcopyrite (yellow, centre) and sphalerite (grey, centre right). A single crystal of tetrahedrite (green-blue, centre top left) is present. The sphalerite is inclusion-free. Gangue phases are black and include lath-shaped baryte (bottom right).

Polished thin section, plane polarized light, x 160, oil

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