Dioptase on Calcite
Small Cabinet, 6.9 x 5.5 x 2.0 cm
Tsumeb Mine, Namibia
Ex. Dr. Peter Bancroft
The association of emerald-green dioptase on white calcite is one of the combinations that every collector wants to own, and that defines the most idealized and desired mineral specimen from Tsumeb. This is no exception. Several, deep emerald-green, lustrous crystals of dioptase that are translucent with internal highlights cover the sugary, white, calcite matrix. THE DIOPTASE CRYSTALS REACH ABOUT AN INCH In SIZE! (to 2.5 cm in length) Dioptase crystals that reach 2 cm are extremely rare. Specimens like this, and on matrix no less....incredibly uncommon. There is damage to the back side of the large crystal termination which shows only slightly from the front side on close exam, but this admitted minor defect pales in comparison to the obvious quality and impact of the specimen. It is in good shape overall, considering the size. The crystals stand up so smartly against the matrix of smaller dioptase and calcite, that this IS simply a MAJOR specimen. Without the damage, it would be $50k, showing the premium and raity of such a piece and the value put on it by top collectors (i have seen some over 100k recently, not much better to look at them!). Obviously it was one of the major pieces in this collection, and I got it in part based on Pete room to deal thru getting it in the 1970s instead of at today's prices, but it is still not a cheap specimen nor will it ever be (ding or not). But, it IS a relative bargain, I would say, compared to both what I know to be available today and to the material I have seen for sale the last few years which is generally of steadily declining quality as these recycle into new collections and go up in value as fast as any other investment you could make in minerals today. It is one I would call investment grade, and buy back for cash on the barrelhead at any time.