Rhodochrosite (shield crystals style, illustrated)
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 cm
N'Chwaning I Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari MN field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Ex. Marshall Sussman
Of all the specimens of rhodochrosite, and all the styles, produced by these rich Kalahari Mines in the late 1970s and early 1980s, this is among the most rare. These so-called "shield form" crystals came out of only one pocket, either in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and were never seen again. This particular specimen exhibits unusual aesthetics in that it has nice edges, whereas most are cleaved masses with broken edges showing, and this piece has combined good luster and excellent cherry color. On that fact, also, there are grades of quality even among pieces of similar color: Many have a backing of thick matrix or thick massive rhodochrosite, and so light does not transmit. This piece practically glows when backlit, and light transmits well through it. (Here it is shown with only moderate front and back lighting by halogen, but with a flashlight or LED behind it will have a deeper glow). Unlike most of these I have seen, of smaller or larger sizes, not only is this aesthetic, but is undamaged as well. The specimen was originally in the Marshall Sussman collection by the early 1990s, before he sold off his worldwide suites to focus on Tsumeb minerals. He got it from the well known Abe Rosenzweig collection (1977). Comes with a custom lucite base. Joe Budd photos.