Smithsonite on Willemite
Small Cabinet, 6.7 x 6.0 x 5.7 cm
Berg Aukas, Grootfontein District, Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Most Berg Aukas smithsonite is inferior to Tsumeb material, and one watches for the rare example that just leaps out, stands on its own, and presents so nicely as this piece. The crystals are large, well developed- and nearly pristine. The largest is 4 cm, tip to tip! They dominate a well trimmed matrix, and have a beautiful green daiquiri color to them. The crystals are translucent, and practically glow when backlit as the best Berg Aukas material does. This is from an old European collection where the owner purchased it from the father of the Gobin brothers (dealers), over 20 years ago; and is one of the better examples from this locality I have seen in this style. It is, for the price and size range, a much more important example from this locality than you could get in a comparably sized Tsumeb piece, given that for some reason the Berg Aukas locality is just disparaged in pricing compared to its more famous brother locale. And yet, Berg Aukas is almost as old, and had a history of producing amazing specimens too! It was discovered in 1913, and mined until 1978 (per Mindat.org). Joe Budd photos

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