Orange Prehnite
Miniature, 3.2 x 2.3 x 1.5 cm
N'Chwaning II Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari manganese field, N. Cape Prov., South Africa
Ex. Charlie Key
This is NOT the Wessels Mine "Inesite" material people normally associate with Kalahari! This is, instead, from a small find at N'Chwaning many years later, 2000-2002, of prehnite that is still often confused with Wessels inesite as they turn up on the market again. The orange Prehnites are in a rich coating of very gemmy crystals, orange in color, and themselves are quite rare for both color and crystal habit for the species. There is a whole scientific paper on them written by Bruce Cairncross, as Prehnite seems to be significant in its near-absence and rarity in the Kalahari fields. To my eye, this is an exquisite thumbnail specimen (and we handled a number of them from Charlie Key, back in the day, for context). This is from the personal thumbnail collection of (semi-) retired dealer Charlie Key whom is certainly, in my book, the top dealer in African minerals in our lifetimes. I obtained this collection in 2008.