ACF Mine (incl. Coud'a shaft; Coudia shaft), Mibladene (Mibladen; Mibladan; Miblanden), Upper Moulouya lead district, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco
Large Cabinet, 17.8 x 12.1 x 5.3 cm
Although fine vanadinite is a staple of many collections, and there are many pieces on the market, it has been a LONG time since large plates of large crystals were found here. This piece is from a stunning pocket of fat, brick-red vanadinite crystals was hit in the summer of 2013, and brought to market. What makes this pocket remarkable are the size of the crystals (to 2.5 cm as on this specimen), the deep rich red color, and the 3-dimensional, fat crystal form. They stand up from matrix, rather than being pressed against it. And the best of them, as with this piece, show isolation to the crystals rather than the more common clumping up into solid crusts of crystals that is more typical with large sized vanadinite crystals from other pockets. There is a style for everybody. This one is all about impact. There can be finer aesthetics in smaller pieces, and sometimes an association with Baryte which is surely desirable; but the stark geometry here combined with size and color really makes this piece, as one of the best from this new pocket, leap out at even the jaded viewer. Joe Budd photos.