Niobophyllite With Feldspar, Aegirine
Mt Malosa, Zomba, Chilwa Alkaline Area, Malawi
Thumbnail, 2.8 x 2.0 x 1.5 cm
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I have followed, or so I thought, the new finds out of Mt Maloso for the past 7-8 years pretty well. In that time, I have had lots of aegirine and arfvedsonite, zircon, parisite, etc etc....but I had NEVER seen one of these and in fact i'd never even heard of the species before now and had to go look it up: it is a titanium and niobium-containing fluorosilicate, nicely complex and interesting. It was only recently reported (Lapis, 2003) from this new locality for the species. I am told that these are the best, compared to previous occurences. This piece features tightly packed, bladed crystals of a rusty orange color, accented by feldspar and aegirine. It is quite non-ugly in person, surprisingly enough.