Olmiite (2 generations)
Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 6.8 x 4 cm
N'Chwaning II mine, near Kuruman, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

This specimen was a holdback by my source for many pieces I purchased over the course of multiple finds of this species, from around 2005 to 2015, Charlie Key (semi-retired but still a sourcing force to be reckoned with in his old stomping grounds in Namibia!) It stands out from all others, to my eye, for its curvaceous crystals, and almost sensual mix of colors as two generations of crystals intermix in a "ball" with minor matrix around it. Emplaced beautifully on matrix and sitting among smaller spheres of the same species, is a large, exceptionally lustrous, somewhat translucent, two tone sphere measuring 5 cm in length. I can recall seeing only a handful of crystal groups approaching this size, and none had quite this unique aesthetic. When backlit as shown, the large sphere glows a luscious orange color while in room light it is more muted umber-pink in tone (this species is notoriously difficult to photograph for this reason - it changes color in different lighting!). Around the base of the specimen are tiny white spheres of oyelite, to 1.5 mm across. Charlie Key finally released to me his collection of miniatures and small cabinet pieces, of which he kept one specimen from each pocket he handled. While we have now seen thousands of these come to market, I have not seen one like this. It is unique, and beautiful. Among literally thousands of specimens that came out, in dozens of styles and a variety of colors, this piece to me stands at the top of the lot among the very best.

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