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Recent Activities -A visit to Kongsberg, Norway


In 1996, I was fortunate to attend a conference on mining in the Arctic in Svalbard, Norway. On the way back from Svalbard, I stopped in Oslo for a couple of days. I took the opportunity to take a one-hour, or so, train ride to Kongberg to visit the Norwegian Mining Museum. The museum is situated in a very peaceful, attractive area, adjacent to the old mines. My memory is getting hazy but it seems to me that it was very beautiful there. I realize that this is not a "Recent Activity" but thought I'd use this forum to show you some pictures of a number of the excellent silver specimens that were on display in the silver vault, at the museum, at the time. There are many more great silver sprecimens on display plus many other excellent mineral specimens in other parts of the museum but I'll just focus on the silvers. I've stated sizes or weights where I know or am reasonable sure of the size of specimens but unfortuantely I can't recall all.

Here is a view of the beautiful grounds of the Norwegian Mining Museum as it was in 1996.

All of us would be proud to have ANY of the specimens that were on display, in our personal collections. There were so many excellent pieces, small and large. This specimen was about 7.0cm, tall.

A mass of "wire" silver weighing 12kg.

Thick, beautiful wires of silver, probably 7.0cm or so across.

Crystallized silver with acanthite ps. argentite. About 8.0cm across.

I have a hard time calling this wire or even "rope" silver. It is simply a huge specimen of crystallized silver weighing 48kg!! I can't recall the size but it seems to me that it was 28.0cm across, or so!

Wonderful! I'm glad that somebody rescued this little specimen of silver with a calcite crystal from the smelter!

A nice specimen of wire silver with some calcite.

The silver specimens were all housed in a vault with a big black door. Inside the vault was a wondeful array of woden cases of various confgirations showing off the mineral heritage, particularly silver specimens, of Kongsberg. Along with the silver specimens were life-sized mining dioramas, showing miners at work.

You don't have to understand Norwegian to figure out what the silver specimens resemble and what the words mean.

Great shapes!

"Solv" is, of course, the Norwegian word for silver. A portion of the display, playfully showed off the various shapes of the wire silver recovered from the mines at Kongsberg.

An antique model constructed to show the lifestyle, activities and methods employed in the mines. A wonderful, historical and teaching aid.

There are so many great silver specimens in the Museum. The playful display of shapes is wonderful!

One of the more famous silver crystal specimens from Kongsberg. This marvelous crystal is 2.0cm tall.

Long, thin wires with calcite. 12.0cm across.

Long, thin wires with calcite. 12.0cm across.

A crystallized leaf of silver protruding from silver and calcite matrix. 6.0cm tall(?)

Several large masses of wire silver from the prolific Kongsberg silver mines.

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