Calcite on Calcite
Tonglushan Mine, Daye, Hubei Province, China
Cabinet, 16.0 x 13.0 x 8.0 cm
A stunning "jewel" of a calcite! Chinese calcites have long since hit the quantity of fish in the ocean, to the point where I am jaded and seldom excited about new calcite finds there. I happened to be in China, not far from the town of Daye, when this new pocket was hit in early May of 2015. I bought as many as I could, of which this is one of the best, from the direct source dealer from that town on the closing day of my travel. The Tonglushan Mine is actually an ancient copper mine worked since 2700 BC for ore, but only in the last 10 years for specimens! Apparently, it has produced on and off pockets of malachite and calcite, but only sparsely and they seldom came to the Western markets. When I saw these new pieces, it was hard to believe that they were not polished, they were so lustrous even fresh out of the mine with dirt on them. After cleaning, they only got MORE lustrous and bright. This particular piece is, to my mind, the best matrix specimen of the pocket (I kept one large single crystal, for size, though this is probably the finer of the two overall). It features a perfect, pristine, 10-cm-long crystal perched perfectly atop a natural framework of intensely sparkly smaller calcites covering a sculptural matrix shape. It has no damage of note and is very 3-dimensional. Comes with custom lucite base. It is more sparkly in person, than you can imagine. Photo and video by Joe Budd. A video can be seen at this link: