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Dioptase with Cerussite from Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/new2010/di02b.jpg]
Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia
Small Cabinet, 6.9 x 5.7 x 4.8 cm
This is a colorful cluster of nearly massive dioptase, with admixed cerussite as well. From it spike out gem, elongated dioptase crystals to 2.1 cm! This is one of the few matrix specimens of this crystal style recovered from the mine as yet and who can say whether more will come? This habit of elognated crystals, in such gemminess, is really quite new, and beautiful. The massive dioptase knoll on which the main crystal sits has some evident damage and bruises, to be sure, but the piece is priced accordingly; and the important crystal is not damaged, despite its freestanding nature. It is partially coated on the backside by quartz, which helped to protect it.
Dioptase on Quartz from Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/new2010/di05x.jpg]
Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia
Miniature, 4.7 x 3.6 x 2.9 cm
A beautiful specimen, really unique in aspect, featuring sharp, swordlike dioptase crystals to about 1.5 cm. They have intense color and great translucency (gemmy when backlit) , just popping up out of sparkling, drusy quartz matrix. The combo is really quite unusual, and the stark contrast makes this among the most pretty, even if with smaller crystals, of the specimens from the find. A special miniature for the sophisticated collector, I think.
Dioptase from Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/new2010/di08a.jpg]
Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia
Miniature, 3.1 x 1.3 x 1.0 cm
A sharp single crystal of rather large size, with perfect termination showing a steep point. The whole crystal is highly translucent and actually also "gemmy" in some areas; and it GLOWS when backlit. Complete all around , this is a large, dramatic, full thumbnail specimen or small miniature (toenail). IT IS A KILLER...MUCH BETTER IN PERSON THAN THE PICS CONVEY. The sheer size and perfection of this crystal would be remarkable from any locale.
Dioptase from Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/new2010/di10c.jpg]
Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia
Miniature, 4.5 x 3.6 x 1.9 cm
This central crystal is 4.6 cm tall! I have seldom seen or heard of such a giant dioptase crystal from ANY locale. The thing is crazy big - you just keep looking to see that it surely must be a composite crystal but, it is not. It is a straight, honest to god, single large crystal. The big one is flanked by smaller crystals (mostly complete, though a few have edge contacting), all with electric green color, good lustre, and a glowing translucency that will make this pocket famous , I predict. It is hard to photograph dioptase, and I assure you these are quite better in person, this in particular. Mounted on a base, and stood in a case, it makes a very imposing full miniature. If it were from Tsumeb, you could add a zero to the price, too; but Kaokoveld is contemporary and mined more cheaply, so even great specimens do not cost as much as they should based on historical precedent for this species. Price aside though, this IS a great piece, worthy of any major collection.
Dioptase with Cerussite from Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/new2010/di11e.jpg]
Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia
Miniature, 4.5 x 3.8 x 1.9 cm
A radial spray of pristine, glowing green , elongated dioptase crystals runs across the top of this flowery specimen. The crystals have the gemminess and transparency of this relatively new mine, which will someday be famous I predict. There is some damage to the massive dioptase knoll on which the radiating vertical crystals sit, but this is "matrix" anyhow and does not bother me visually. The brown, vitreous cerussite crystal in the middle is a nice accent. And, for the quality, they are in some ways even better than Tsumeb yet at a much lower pricepoint for a great specimen (for size of crystal but also gemminess and translucency, surely). If from Tsumeb, you really could add a zero to the price these days.
Dioptase on Quartz from Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/new2010/di14a.jpg]
Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia
Miniature, 3.2 x 2.2 x 1.8 cm
This small miniature is the most elegant piece we obtained, and looks like a snake coiled and rising up above its prey. The dioptase is floating, or hanging, or curling, upon this little shard of quartz at its core. All the dioptase is super-lustrous, very green, and translucent throughout. A sharp and special specimen, I think!
Dioptase from Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/new2010/di15b.jpg]
Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld, Namibia
Thumbnail, 3.3 x 1.1 x 1.1 cm
A sharp single crystal of rather large size, with perfect termination showing a steep point. The whole crystal is highly translucent and actually also "gemmy" in some areas; and it GLOWS when backlit. A small , horizontal, thin cerussite crystal crosses the dioptase for a bit of accent. Complete all around , this is a large, dramatic, full thumbnail specimen or small miniature (toenail). IT IS A KILLER...MUCH BETTER IN PERSON THAN THE PICS CONVEY. The sheer size and perfection of this crystal would be remarkable from any locale. If it were from tsumeb, though in a slightly different style (fatter, less steeply terminated), it would not hav esuch gemminess to it and yet you could add a zero to the price.
Dioptase from Reneville, Republic of Congo [http://img.irocks.com/pics/es158a.jpg]
Reneville, Republic of Congo
Miniature, 4.8 x 4.3 x 3.1 cm
This locality features dioptase with the potential to be generally larger than its Tsumeb relatives, and this piece shows the trait off well! This aesthetic rosette of radiating dioptase crystals displays the variegated, intense, emerald green color so often seen in the Reneville specimens. Several crystals display gemmy highlights and most have incredible luster that is nearly impossible to photograph so it is better in person. There is some peripheral contact around the edges but the central and main crystals are in good shape. The individual crystals reach over 1.5 cm in length.
Dioptase from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/pics/es97a.jpg]
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Miniature, 5.2 x 3.4 x 1.4 cm
With the great Tsumeb mine now history, specimens of this quality are hard to come by. These deep, emerald green dioptase crystals, to a whopping 2 cm in length on the largest, completely cover the whole specimen with glistening color. In addition, they are fairly gemmy for the species and have vibrant luster. Just a great piece! For the price range, especially, i do not think i could replace this with one of similar quality without stepping to the 4-5k price tier. NO DAMAGE to the display face. Lastly, the piece photos better horizontally but really can be stood vertically for maximal display, with the larger crystal then centered on the top half of the specimen.
Dioptase from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/pics/fc11a.jpg]
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Thumbnail, 3.1 x 2.3 x 1.8 cm
A killer toenail featuring a 2.25 x 1 x 1 cm dioptase crystal perched atop a natural pedestal. No damage, this is pristine! The aesthetics are incredible. Would trim slightly to a full thumbnail, as well...
Dioptase on Calcite rhombohedra from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/pics/fc28a.jpg]
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Miniature, 3.6 x 2.2 x 1.7 cm
A gorgeous miniature dioptas,e that doesn't break the bank: this specimen features a main crystal 1.7 cm long and 1 cm thick! It has TOP color, lustre, and is just much better in person than it appears, as with all dioptase in photos.
Dioptase and Chrysocolla from Ray mine, near Kearny, Pinal County, Arizona [http://img.irocks.com/new2011/D10149a.jpg]
Ray mine, near Kearny, Pinal County, Arizona
Cabinet, 10.1 x 7.7 x 2.6 cm
An extremely rare dioptase from the RAY MINE. Most people who see Arizona dioptase only see it from Morenci - this one was a big surprise to me and I doubted it until it was verified by an Arizona collector expert. The matrix is lighter weight than Morenci material, and the chrysocolla association is also distinct here. The dioptase here, though small in crystal size, has an incredible bright itensity and the crystals sparkle like sugar! It is a very beautiful, and rare, large specimen
Dioptase from Tantara, near Reneville, Congo [http://img.irocks.com/pics/k-118a.jpg]
Tantara, near Reneville, Congo
Small Cabinet, 7.0 x 5.5 x 3.7 cm
A large and stunning specimen of classic old Congo dioptase, in a specimen of rare size and calibre for the locality. Reneville is knock for large blocky crystals as you see here. They have not quite the lustre of a Tsumeb dioptase (or the best Kaokoveld pieces), but have even deeper green color to them. This would represent a specimen of excellent quality, most likely from the late 1960s or early 1970s I am told.
Dioptase from Otjikotu, Kaokoveld, Kunene, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/pics/k-122a.jpg]
Otjikotu, Kaokoveld, Kunene, Namibia
Miniature, 3.3 x 2.4 x 1.1 cm
A glowing, translucent crystal of really quite large size for the locality AND the species....when lit from behind, it is extremely beautiful in a glowing, softly colored way that Tsmeb dioptases, darker in color, are not.This piece is flattish on the backside, but just contacted and not damaged. It LOOKS like a Tsumeb diop at first glance, because of teh size, but the color is lighter and the inner core more translucent than you'd expect from Tsumeb. But at first glance, it looks like a 5k Tsumeb toenail!
Dioptase from Otjikotu, Kaokoveld, Kunene, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/pics/k-145a.jpg]
Otjikotu, Kaokoveld, Kunene, Namibia
Miniature, 3.6 x 1.2 x 1.0 cm
A shockingly large, doubly-terminated, translucent crystal of dioptase! This is nearly as large as a crystal of this species can get in length, if not thickness. It is flattish, contacted natrually, in back, but form teh front shows all bevels and looks quite 3-dimensional. It has one small contact in front, and no damage. You would expect a crystal of such size and translucency , and intense color, to cost a lot more, I think...but Charlie passed these on at fair prices to us and we are trying the same. This is a MAJOR dioptase and a killer small miniature by any standard!!
Dioptase  (large XL) from Reneville, Brazzaville Department, Republic of Congo [http://img.irocks.com/new2010/LTH12B.JPG]
Reneville, Brazzaville Department, Republic of Congo
Thumbnail, 2.9 x 2 x 1.2 cm
Exceptional, 2.9 cm doubly-terminated Dioptase from an older, classic locality. The luster is excellent, and the color a deep, beautiful green. One termination is partially contacted, but to find a DT Dioptase of this size so complete, and aesthetic, is unusual. This is a domninating, HUGE single crystal and makes for a fullsized thumbnail of some impact. It is a very fat, robust crystal that LOOKS like Tsumeb material (which would be thrice the price).
Dioptase from Pimbi, Mindouli, Pool Region, Republic of Congo [http://img.irocks.com/2014-updates/OB14B/OB14B04a-herb-obodda-collection-fine-mineral-specimen.JPG]
Pimbi, Mindouli, Pool Region, Republic of Congo
Miniature, 4.3 x 3.2 x 2.4 cm
Classic Congolese Dioptase cluster featuring lustrous crystals and very distinctive dark to medium-green mottling. The largest Dioptase is an impressive 3.4 cm, and it is doubly-terminated. There are about a dozen crystals composing this rich cluster. Good aesthetics, and from a well-known and historic locality.
Dioptase on Calcite from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/2014-updates/T14/T14-Tsumeb-Mineral-Specimens-05a.jpg]
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Miniature, 4.7 x 3.5 x 3.2 cm
Beautiful cluster of gemmy Dioptase crystals set on and above (always better, in my view) a drusy, fluorescent Calcite matrix. The Dioptases have all you could ask for: superb luster, sharp form, and deep, fiery green color. The largest of these gems is 1.7 cm long, and it sits upright on the matrix, as do the other main crystals. Excellent aesthetics.
Dioptase on Calcite from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/2014-updates/T14/T14-Tsumeb-Mineral-Specimens-36a.jpg]
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Miniature, 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.8 cm
Glorious pair of superb Dioptase crystals on a layer of fluorescent Calcite. Each of the major Dioptases is over 1.6 cm, and the mirror-like luster and the gemmy green fire cannot be beat by those from other locales. They are so good, in fact, that in the pics it looks like the surfaces of the crystals are pitted, yet all you are doing is looking down into the crystals seeing the green fire beneath the glassy surface. A superb miniature.
Dioptase from Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/2014-updates/T14B/T14B11a-tsumeb-fine-mineral-specimens.JPG]
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Miniature, 3.3 x 2.6 x 2.1 cm
Superb cluster of dazzling, deep green, gemmy Dioptase crystals. Save for a small amount of attached matrix, this miniature is 100% Dioptase. The crystals have superb luster, and they burn with a deep green fire . The largest crystal, which is 2.2 cm long, is perched atop the cluster beautifully. The condition of the specimen is excellent, with only one tiny, minor bit of edgewear - it is virtually pristine. A terrific, and very hard to come by, Dioptase miniature of top quality.
Dioptase on Calcite from Tsumeb Mine, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/2013-updates/THUMB13/THUMB1314a.jpg]
Tsumeb Mine, Namibia
Miniature, 3.0 x 2.2 x 1.9 cm
Aesthetically emplaced a sugary, snow white calcite matrix are a few glassy and gemmy, rich emerald green crystals of dioptase, to 1.6 cm across. This is nearly a world class thumbnail save for the tiniest wilbers on the tips of the two largest crystals. Still, this is a significant and beautiful thumbnail of dioptase on calcite.
Dioptase on Quartz from Kaokoveld, Namibia [http://img.irocks.com/new2011/Dioptase-TsumebMine-Namibia-45mm-JB225-16.jpg]
Kaokoveld, Namibia
Miniature, 4.5 x 4.5 x 2.1 cm
A ONE INCH dioptase crystal, fat and dramatic, crowns this specimen! The crystal is huge for the species, stands straight up and is pristine and freestanding, and is complete all around ! The crystal has deep color, and is translucent around the edges when backlit. It surely must rank as one of the better examples coming from several new mines in the northern Kaokoveld region in the last 5 years. For the size, it seems hard to beat the aesthetics. The crystal is emplaced on a nice, contrasting quartz matrix. Formerly in the Charlie Key collection, this then went to the Marshall Sussman collection in a deal they did, and was kept for the last 4 years or so in his general Namibian suite. The dramatic nature of the piece, and the significant, pristine crystal, puts this into a high level. A similarly aesthetic and large crystal from the older mine in Tsumeb would cost another "zero" in the price, making this a relative bargain from a contemporary locale. And, out of literally thousands of dioptase specimens to come out in the last 5 years or so as this region is developed, I regard this as one of the best and most impactful for my own tastes (as did the two previous owners, both known as African experts and specialists) . Joe Budd Photos
Shattuckite ps. after Dioptase from Tantara Mine, Shinkolobwe, Katanga, Dem. Republic of Congo [http://img.irocks.com/new2012/TUC1203b.jpg]
Tantara Mine, Shinkolobwe, Katanga, Dem. Republic of Congo
Small Cabinet, 8.9 x 5.9 x 5.7 cm
Shattuckite is a rare mineral that seldom crystallizes. Here, it has formed large fat crystals as a replacement of a previous generation of dioptase, resulting in a pseudomorph, or replacement, after that original mineral that faithfully preserves the crystal shape of the first species. This large, display-sized specimen has dozens of sharp crystals in excess of 1 cm, in 3-dimensional clusters on matrix. Remnant dioptase is still present in some places. From 2010-2011 finds. This is one of only a small handful of specimens I have seen that even remotely approach this level of quality.