- Vauxite, Paravauxite, Metavauxite
- Large Cabinet, 21.6 x 9.4 x 5.8 cm
- Siglo Veinte Mine (Siglo XX Mine; Llallagua Mine; Catavi), Llallagua, Rafael Bustillo Province, Potosi Department, Bolivia
From the new find of 2006, this is undoubtedly one of the most significant and momentous discoveries ever made at this locality. Not since the days of World War II has there been such a remarkable find of this material. These are simply put, some of the largest overall Vauxite specimens in the world, but the greatest aspect of these pieces is two-fold. First, the Vauxite itself is associated with micro fibrous "strands" of the super rare phosphate Metavauxite, plus tabular micro crystals of Paravauxite and small whitish spheres of Wavellite which means that these are just a dream for phosphate collectors. It is incredibly rare to have FOUR individual phosphate species all on one specimen, and the fact that this mine is the TYPE LOCALITY for Vauxite, Paravauxite and Metavauxite makes it all the better. There are also some small gem Quartz crystals on most of the specimens found as well, which is really a nice touch to these already amazing pieces. The second significant attribute of these specimens is the fact that they formed on a solid Quartz-Diorite porphyry matrix, and not crumbly clay (after Allophane) which means that they are much sturdier and allows the pieces to be displayed with ease. Now you must note that despite the sturdy matrix, the crystals themselves are somewhat brittle and must be handled with care. Nonetheless, this is a MAJOR find of these incredibly rare minerals, the likes of which I've never seen from Bolivia, or any other world locality. This particular piece is a remarkable, large, very well crystallized, ridiculously rare, specimen consisting of small, bladed, beautiful blue color, radiating aggregates of Vauxite associated with micro fibrous strands of colorless Metavauxite, along with micro tabular blades of Paravauxite and small whitish spheres of Wavellite plus a few scattered gem quality Quartz crystals on firm Quartz-Diorite porphyry matrix. I have photographed the Vauxite crystals under high magnification to show that they are truly terminated crystals and not just a blue mass. I have also photographed the Paravauxite and Metavauxite crystals under the microscope. It is very difficult to obtain any specimens of this incredibly beautiful phosphate and to find all three "Vauxites" together on one piece is amazing. This piece is from the type locality for Vauxite, Paravauxite and Metavauxite which was discovered along the Contacto and San Jose veins in this mine and was first described by Sam Gordon and Mark Bandy. It is so unbelievably rare to find good size, beautifully crystallized matrix specimens of Vauxite from Bolivia like this one.