Chamosite With Emerald
Small Cabinet, 7.7 x 6.1 x 4.4 cm
Hupei Mine (Qinjiafang Mine), Pingjiang Co., Yueyang Prefecture, Hunan Province, China
A highly unusual specimen featuring mediocre but colorful emerald, which serves as the background for superb, sharp crystals of chamosite, the iron analogue of clinochlore. The sharpest crystal here is a doubly-terminated, razor-sharp crystal measuring 1.7 cm across. I had not seen these before from this productive emerald locality and was suspicious when first shown this piece as an "axinite" which generally would not occur with emerald. The identity was confirmed by RAMAN and XRAY analysis in the lab of Dr Robert Downs at University of Arizona. I think this is a quite good example of the species, and one wonders how many such crystals have been thrown away as rubbish in the mad search for crumpled green emeralds!