Tantara Mine, Shinkolobwe, Katanga, Dem. Republic of Congo
Cabinet, 10.3 x 10.0 x 6.6 cm
Large hemispheres of rich sky blue shattuckite to 3.5 cm across form an attractive cluster. At the periphera contacted spheres clearly exhibit the radiating pattern common to almost all botryoidal growth. This is one of the major pieces from a recent find in end of 2013, of what we consider the world's best and richest examples of the species. Initially, they came out labeled as plancheite but we had the first samples x-rayed at University of Arizona and they are, in all the color variety you see here (three different colors!), all phases of shattuckite. It is a huge vug filled with sky blue shattuckite spheres to 3.3 cm across. Tiny spheres of a second generation darker blue shattuckite are strategically located on the lighter blue shattuckite. The rich massive matrix of shattuckite is solid and is carving grade (as you can see from the photo by Joe Budd of cabochons and a polished slice through the end cap of the last specimen in this update...these sell for $10 per gram and more on the gem market now!)! At the current pricing for the cut material, trademarked as Lunazul based on its comparison to the "Blue Moon," this specimen is probably worth its weight in carving rough. But from my point of view, it is simply a fantastic, very large, aesthetic example of a generally rare species, preserving this "vug" or cavity appearance which shows how it formed.