Apophyllite on Stilbite
Momin Akhada well dig, Rahuri, Maharashtra State, India (2001)
Cabinet, 17.5 x 9.0 x 9.0 cm
Ex. Dr. Stephen Smale
Out of all the finds of all minerals in all the world, when a collector says the words Disco Ball apophyllite, it can mean only one thing: one of under a few dozen of the great apophyllite specimens with complete spherical crystal clusters from one single find back in 2001. There is nothing else that comes close, no later find that compares, and nothing from any other locality. This piece, is one of the Ikons of an iconic pocket, not to lay it on too thickly. It was the finest complete ball on balanced matrix in its size, according to the Indian dealer who handled 90% or more of the pocket, and it is balanced and complete 360 degrees all around, without damage. It went immediately into the personal collection of Dr. Steve Smale, from whom I exchanged it some 15 years later. Steve has always been after the best of India and probably has owned the single finest overall suite of Indian minerals of top quality. He is the "go to guy" for the major Indian dealers when they find the piece of absolute perfection at the top of the food chain. At the time, he bought this first by hand delivery from KC Pandey and the rest of us got...the rest. I personally handled over 50 specimens at the time. Only a few approach this piece in magnitude, out of all found. While there are larger plates, the isolation and perfection of the crystal cluster on this piece is special and has stood the test of time. This specimen has never been exhibited or shown since that acquisition, except for an illustration as the prime example of the pocket in the largest and most important book on Indian minerals to date, Bert Ottens' masterpiece "Indien Mineralien" in German (2011). A fascinating story on this 2001 discovery can be read online here, on a newspaper published by the company Spirifer in Poland: http://spiriferminerals.com/foto_artyk/minerals/minerals-7.pdf. Price on Request. Photo and video by Joe Budd. A video can be seen at this link: https://vimeo.com/198292789