ex. Dr. Edward David
This is a huge plate of matrix-bound dioptase crystals perched on contrasting matrix of rolling blue plancheite (and in itself a fabulously rich specimen for this species!). This is classic material found here about 15 years ago, although seldom seen in specimens so large and showy. The crystals here reach fully 2 cm in size, many of them doubly terminated. Most are pristine, though a few have minor damage, insignificant in context. Part of the reason large plates from this lcoality are so rare is that they form upon crusts inside cavities in the rock, and generally these are small and tight pockets. Hence, large pieces like this are difficult to get out. This piece is not repaired, but it has been stabilized with glue on the backside to ensure it stays together, once it was removed from the rock matrix behind it. For the price, you seldom get so much dioptase bang for the buck (certainly not from Tsumeb!), and these crystals in form plus overall matrix appearance are so very different from anything you see from Tsumeb. I like knowing that, for the price, you can get among the best of this locality for the cost of a frankly mediocre large Tsumeb specimen...that translates to a much more significant rock fo ryour money invested, a good quality !
ex. Marilyn Dodge
Gemmy 1 mm Dioptases spread liberally on a matrix of sharp .6 cm white Calcite Rhombs. Classic Tsumeb all the way, and getting harder to find!
A rare locality piece....very bright, colorful, and better in person!
ex. Charlie Key
A beautiful specimen with unusual contrast both in color and in relief...most Kaokoveld dioptases are pretty flat on the matrix but this one features fat, 3-D crystals that are themselves standing largely free atop a rounded knoll of matrix, for double effect. The piece has a 3-cm-long cluster atop with two intergrown, doubly-terminated diop crystals hangiging out into space. It is VERY dramatic. The crystals are 2.5 and 2 cm in size, and again are doubly-terminated. Smaller crystals provide accent. At first glance, we had appraised this at a much higher price. On very close inspection, you can see a small chip, probably one form geological time that has been partly healed over because it is so hard to see, in the left-rear side of the smaller crystal in the cluster. I have to be hnest and admit this detracts a bit, from ONE angle out of four for potential display, and from the overall quality of condition...but visually, its really a pretty trivial damage and in a backwater spot, so you get a lot of visual impact for the buck on this specimen ; and it remains in my mind a very significant and impactful Kaokoveld dioptase.
ex. Charlie Key
This specimen is not only unusual, it is downright odd. A complete spherical ball of lustrous, dark green malachite, almost 7.0 cm across, formed on a cerussite matrix. Although only small amounts of massive cerussite can be seen, the heft of this specimen makes it likely that the whole core is probably cerussite, inside. Later growth of lustrous and translucent, emerald green dioptase crystals, to nearly 1.0 cm across, ensued. Although this specimen doesnï¿½t get quite the highest marks for aesthetics (the top of the malachite ball is contacted slightly) and condition (some dioptase crystals are damaged), the combination of malachite and dioptase along with the weight from cerussite put this specimen in the "unique" category and it certainly stands out visually amongst a crowd!
A showy, sparkly specimen of classic Tsumeb diop, with pristine sharp xls of the best lustre and color to 7 or 8 mm in size. VERY nice piece, and lots of showiness for the price! These are 30 years or so out of the ground now, and they only go up in price and down in availability each year.
ex. Edward Swoboda
WOW! This is a very rare specimen! These were found in the early 1980s, and the specimen consists of small calcite crystals on dioptase, that were completely replaced by the copper mineral plancheite and turned a rich blue in color. This is only at ONE end of the piece. AT THE OTHER END, the calcites have been replaced by chrysocolla, I think; or at least so heavily coated one cannot tell and its a moot point visually. This is a very interesting, colorful, and fun specimen from the prominent pseudomorph collection of Ed Swoboda (see MinRec nov/dec 1997). He sold to Carter Rich in 1999, who sold this to George Loud right after, and it now is coming back to the market.
An important, superb, colorful plate, in REALLY good condition. The crystals are to 1.5 cm in size and have TOP color. The form, not so obvious in photos as in person, is extremely 3-dimensional with a curving and mounded look. Minute orange specks you see are tiny little wulfenites. This is pristine except only the peripheral edges as you expect from removal. These were mined in the early to mid- 1980s and you CANNOT GET SUCH things now on the market. This is a very impressive for piece for the price, that I think is going to be hard to find out there in a comparable quality.
It is hard to get large dioptase specimens today in any kind of condition unless you want to pay a bloody fortune, six figures in several cases i have seen the last few years. However, I was able to get this as a fixer-upper from an older collector who had obtained it in the 1970s and never prepped it to remove the peripheral damaged parts which were distracting, that I had trimmed down to remove damage and enhance the display...and so now I can offer it for under 50k. I have never had a large diop of this quality, this price . They just have to cost more, almost a priori, normally. This is a massively large specimen to be in such good condition, almost 5 inches across and with dozens of crystals that are almost pristine with just a few teeny dings or damaged spots of no significance. It is the most desirable style in that they diops are both isolated and on white calcite. moreover, the calcite is crystallized and not just druse. I cannot tell you how many diops I have seen that do not possess these qualities! To make this really top, it does have the absolutely highest lustre you could ask for. The crystals are even translucent when backlit.
At first glance, because of the vivid color and the size of the piece, most people would think this to be a Tsumeb Mine dioptase. And it DOES look the part…though it is in fact from Reneville (plancheite on backside is indicative, for one), and is probably older than the mid-1980s Tsumeb material of the same species, which fetch such a premium in part just because they are from the more famous mine locale. This piece has a tremendous display impact for the price, at a fraction what it would cost if it were labelled as Tsumeb. The crystals are sharp and there are many discrete crystals poking up, to over 1 cm. The color saturation is the best for the locality, a very vibrant hue which has some "life " to it and not so dark as to suck up too much light and color, as is sometimes the case. Joe Budd photos
ex. George Elling
A Tsumeb dioptase of quality is a capstone in any display collection. "Poor Man's Emerald" as it was once called...ironic, because now that Tsumeb is closed and the best dioptase came out 20 years ago in the 1980s, they are harder to obtain and MORE expensive in many cases than real emeralds. And they only get harder to obtain, and higher priced, every year as we go on from the closure of Tsumeb. I love them, and stash them away for the future myself. This one is among the more elegant and sculptural pieces I have had, with gemmy crystals of highest quality to over 1 cm, perched on an attractive matrix. The matrix is coated with sparkling , drusy calcite for contrast - the best style. I see absolutely no reason save pricing this based on cost and not peak value, that this couldn't equally well be on a shelf at a show for 12-15k. Given the appreciation rate on dioptase and sweet home rhodos, its one of the few mineral species with a really trackable, steady appreciation rate over time which I would even guarantee by offering buyback with profit, down the road. ex. George Elling Collection
ex. Charlie Key
Dioptase gems in sizes above 1 carat are very hard to obtain. Although not totally clean, this is overall mostly transparent, and has an even and saturated color. A beautiful rare gem! A well-cut , rare gem - notable in size - cut by Spectrum Award winner Mark Kaufman.
ex. Charlie Key
A 1.6-cm-long dioptase, fairly translucent , is perched on a reticulated cerussite here! UNIQUE combination, and the only one like it I have seen amidst a small trickle of specimens from this new mine in the Kaokoveld plateau. Although not quite pristine on very close examination, it looks pristine from arms length, and anyways it is the contrast of color and geometry that so mesmerizes, here. It is , amongst so many Kaokoveld dioptase that hav eno associations at all with them, really surprisign to me to see this one.
ex. Charlie Key
A gemmy, transparent crystal, pristine and complete all around. Although it has some veils, it still would cut a few nice gems…but as is, makes a superb thumbnail.
ex. Charlie Key
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.
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