Dioptase on Calcite
Thumbnail, 2.5 x 2.0 x 1.7 cm
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Ex. Ron Pellar

Like many of Ron's top pieces, he found just a smashing example of a relatively common species and sat on it for 20-30 years or more. While dioptase thumbnails are common enough, this piece just has a perfect balance and a sharpness to it, that few have. The dioptase crystal is 1.9 cm from tip to tip, and sits perfectly on a well-balanced matrix, showing all terminations. It is RAZOR sharp. I first saw this on exhibit in the Pellar collection competitive cases when I lived in California in the early 1990s. It is complete all around, and is more than just a "small example," transcending to be superb thumbnail way beyond the norm for a relatively common species. Purchased by thumbnail collector Ron Pellar in 1984, right at the height of the dioptase production from Tsumeb, he picked this and kept it since. At the time he bought it, the price paid was probably a near record for a thumbnail from this find, as much was coming out for 2 years, and smaller pieces were often sold inexpensively. But this is one of the great ones! Joe Budd photos.