Rhodochrosite on Manganite
N'Chwaning I Mine, Kuruman, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Miniature, 4.0 x 3.5 x 2.5 cm
Wheatsheaf-style rhodochrosites like this came out only in a few small pockets, circa 1980. Today, they are almost never seen for sale on the market and are treasured in old collections. This particular style is epitomized by the piece here; lustrous, transparent crystals in wheat sheaf-like bundles, individually segregated and standing against jet black, lustrous manganese matrix. In balance, color, and aesthetics, this is a superb example of this famous find. I have managed to obtain perhaps only a dozen of these in any quality in 20 years of dealing-the people who own them generally just don't part with them. Joe Budd photos.