Atacamite (Unusual Crystal Habit)
copper mines of Naltagua, near Las Casas, Santiago province, Chile
Miniature, 4.8 x 4.0 x 2.0 cm
This specimen features SHARP, pseudo-octohedral crystals of atacamite (to 6 mm), robust and sharp on massive matrix. Most atacamite was found in the Antofogasta Region and not in the Santiago region of Chile. A very appealing, display-worthy specimen that is an unusual example for the species. For those who collect aesthetic display rarities, this is one sure to stump most people into guessing it is Libethenite or Malachite first. NOTE ADDED FROM CURATOR Pierre-Jacques Chiappero of the Parisian National Musuem: I write you about your specimen of atacamite TUC 102-08. I recognize immediatly the origin of this specimen. It belongs to the Vesignie collection. The name atacamite and the catalog number 2950 A had been written by him. Vesignie bought this specimen from the Parisian mineral dealer Deyrolle in June 1930 for 81 french francs. The initial handwriting give the locality in french that I can translate by from the copper mines of Naltagua near Las Casas in Santiago province, Chile. This specimen was obtained by the Museum in 1955. It was probably exchanged to a collector or a dealer during the sixties.