- Fluorite on Dolomite (Illustrated!)
- Shangbao Mine, Leiyang, Hunan Province, China
- Cabinet, 11.1 x 10.4 x 10.2 cm
Gorgeous and complex coloration, combined with a total transparency, makes this Shangbao Mine piece stand out from its peers, many of which tend to be more simple mixes of color, or smaller crystals if this gemmy. Alternating highlighted edges of purple, and purple basal faces on the modified cuboctahedral crystals, contrast with the teal blue color of the fluorite core. The larger fluorite crystal atop is 4.5 cm across, almost two inches! The sidecar crystal is unusual in that it IS complete, but looks like half a crystal - as if a knife sliced it cleanly through during growth, and then the surface continued growing to form a new layer of skin over the core. So, you can look right into its middle. It probably formed as a constrained growth against a now-missing dolomite or feldspar crystal, giving it that straight edge. The two crystals together are perched nicely atop the knoll of dolomite to display to their maximum extent, and complete all around. The piece has a color and transparency that make it glow, even with only minimal backlighting.
Illustrated in the Mineralogical Record, Vol. 42, No. 5 (China IV).