Rhodochrosite on Manganite (circa 1979 find)
Hotazel Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari MN field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Small Cabinet, 10.0 x 6.5 x 4.0 cm
Sparkly, Cherry-red rhodochrosites from the oldest finds here in the late 1970's are legendary to this day for their unique color saturation, sparkly luster, and overall impressive appearance. Note they were found before, and are MUCH more rare, than their cousins from the nearby N'Chwaning Mines. They have never been matched by any find of rhodochrosite from anywhere, including from 40 more years of mining in the Kalahari manganese fields. Although many more rhodochrosite specimens came out later, into the early 1980's, they were of different habit. This specimen is from the same pocket as the iconic "Snail" rhodochrosite that has been exhibited so widely over decades, in the Larson collection. It is approximately the same size, and has the same color and luster. Like the famous piece, this has a mounded, sparkling mass of translucent rhodochrosite rising from manganese ore matrix. The number of such specimens in existence can probably be counted on two hands, and in this size I believe there to be only a handful. The specimen came from the original owner in an old collection, and was trimmed down in size to make it aesthetic, as you see here. This is the first time I have shown it publicly, in fact. These were collected in a hurry at the time b miners ignorant of the world mineral market and our taste for perfection, and it is a miracle that the specimen is nearly pristine (just a few bits of periphery wear or contact). In the pantheon of all Kalahari rhodochrosites, surely this special style, of which only a few specimens ever came out and were preserved, is more desirable even than the classic elongated rhodochrosite scalenohedral that came out later (from the nearby N'Chwaning Mines). Comes with custom lucite base. Price on Request. Photo and video by Joe Budd. A video can be seen at this link: