Small Cabinet, 8.0 x 7.5 x 2.5 cm
Nandan Co., Hechi Prefecture, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
We had some of these amazing limonite specimens in auctions awhile back, and they were fiercely bid on. We spent 4 months after that trying to track down the Chinese guy who had them, and arranged to meet the Chinese guy who had them in Tucson. There, he had about 65 specimens - the great majority of which were ugly, but about 6 or 7 of which had the amazing iridescence you see here. We had to buy the entire lot of 65 to get the good ones - and we were later able to pick up a handful more. But, we have not seen any since. The luster of these is just unreal, particularly considering that chemically, limonite is basically the same as rust! The surface actually looks hardly natural; it is so shiny and weirdly bumpy - unlike any other mineral I have personally seen.