Skorpion Mine, Rosh Pinah, Luderitz District, Karas Region, Namibia
Small Cabinet, 5.6 x 4.1 x 4.0 cm
Tarbuttite is normally rather boring an often-ugly phosphate disparagingly referred to as a bat-poop mineral (because often it has formed under ancient caves layered with tens of thousands of years of deposition of mineral-rich bat guano). However, specimens from the Skorpion Mine are different. A new find appeared on the market in 2007, and I consider these transparent, truly gemmy, apple-green crystals to be the best of species for aesthetic quality by an order of magnitude. This is a rich small cabinet piece, solidly formed of tarbuttite, with swerving and wave-like sprays of crystals all over it. It is an outstanding example of a rare species.