Loparite-(Ce) (Twinned)
N'yorkpakhk, Khibiny Massif, Kola, N. Region, Russia
Small Cabinet, 6.2 x 4.0 x 3.5 cm
Ex. Al Ordway
A penetration twin of lustrous, black loparite, a very rare species in large crystals, is perched aesthetically on sugary white matrix. The crystal measures 1.2 cm across and is complete on all display faces, just contacted on the back side which is invisible when properly displayed. The crystal has superior luster for this species and pieces like this are seldom seen. I have seen many smaller, more typically matte crystals, generally loose, in the past (when Russian minerals first started coming out in quantity in the early 1990s), but not superb ones in some time. A member of the perovskite group, loparite contains titanium niobium, and a host of other elements bonded in a simple oxide.