N'Chwaning Mine (1981), Kalahari Manganese Fields, South Africa
Cabinet, 8.0 x 5.0 x 4.5 cm (3.5 inches across)
Crystals to 3.5 cm. Only trivial damage, and incredible visual display, from one of the best several pockets of the late 1970s...I think anybody who owns copies of The Manganese Adventure or the Sacco Collection book can simply look in them and see where this piece ranks compared to even the BEST known and illustrated specimens therein. For those who do not, I will just say this is the Holy Grail of collecting NChwaning rhodos - a cabinet piece without tons of damage, with the large crystals, and the glowing GEMMY large scalenohedra. Few exist to be had by those who were not there with big money and luck both, when they were mined some 27-28 years ago. This is the largest and best I have ever had for sale, and one of a very few in this size range I have seen even with others for sale. There is, as with most of these, contacting around the edges; but the piece is so well-trimmed and formed that the contacted periphery displays down and out of sight, and the glorious flashing crystals show to their best. This piece is almost 30 years out of the ground. In that time, NOTHING has been found to rival these save a few more pockets through 1981. Because of its beauty and rarity, a cabinet NChwaning is, therefore, one of the best investments possible in minerals to my mind (along with Sweet Home pieces). Comes with custom engraved lucite base, for easy display.