This is a lump of high grade silver ore found on the mine dumps around Cobalt. The silver here is invariably mixed to a greater or lesser extent with the element cobalt. It is the paucity of this material that dictates the silver yield. The “low Grade” ore is rich in cobalt. It is dull and of an aluminum like lustre. As you can see by the attached photo, the “High Grade ore is pretty lusterous.
In combing through the mine dumps the rocks look pretty similar but a few hints can help you locate the greatly prized high-grade ore. The silver occurs in veins of varying thickness. At the silver sidewalk the exposure was a pure streak of silver over five feet wide. Usually the silver is found as flat sided slabs from thinner veins that are rich in calcite.
Andy Christe of the Princess Sodalite Mine (Bancroft) showed me how to feel for silver. By closing my eyes and dragging my finger tips over the rock I was immediatly able to feel a rock that contains raw silver. It is as though my skin is catching on tiny barbs of tinfoil. Push to hard and they flatten out. The magic of the touch is lost.