Broken Hill, Kitwe, Zambia
Cabinet, 10.5 x 8.0 x 5.0 cm
Tarbuttite has come recently from Namibia in fine new specimens. But, as nice as they are, and as good as it is that more people can own a good example of this rare species, the finest historic examples of the species came from Broken Hill in old Zambia. From a private European collection, this is the best I have ever seen of that older material, even amidst the museums known for stocking such rarities (ex. Sorbonne, Houston. The color is a rich pastel green-yellow hue: not pale, very attractive. The crystals are gemmy, translucent to transparent at tips, and ROBUST in thickness and depth whereas normally the species appears as smaller crystals in all dimensions (or in the new finds as elongated lathe-like crystals). In size, it is large for the material and quite hefty at 524 grams (for a lightweight phosphate!). The luster is GLASSY - better in person but somehow hard for the camera to pick up easily. In person, it is more sparkly and bright. This is old material, I am told, perhaps 1940s-1960s vintage. Possibly even earlier. There is no damage!!! It was coated with a white layer of some other phosphate which we found could be chemically removed, and that protected all these crystals from scratches. Overall, a superb, museum size and museum quality specimen that is a beauty in its own right, and important in context for this species as well. Joe Budd photos