- Christoph Mine, Kaokoveld Plateau, Kunene Region, Namibia
- Small Cabinet, 6.0 x 3.5 x 3.0 cm
- Ex. Charlie Key
Even after all the other historical localities (Tsumeb, Russia, etc.), there is still something about these elongated dioptase crystals from modern finds in Northern Namibia by Charlie Key (keyite, ludlockite, and the Indiana Jones of mineral collecting in Southern Africa) and his mining team that blows me away - and this is among the largest crystals found, with a superb, pristine, nearly 4 cm crystal standing straight up on well-trimmed matrix. It is COMPLETE ALL AROUND, with a full 360 termination! After years of prospecting, they mined these in the years around 2005-2010, though lost control over the claim shortly after. This specimen, one kept back in his personal collection, is simply off the charts, unexpected, and too big to exist in such pristine quality combined with aesthetics. It should not exist. I was literally stunned to see it. This is a small and difficult deposit with narrow veins, and most specimens form in the small veins and cracks. Even then, the mining is tricky and based on less modern methods, and to get things out intact is difficult. Furthermore, many specimens were stolen from this mine and never made it to the owners, but Charlie happened to be there at the right time and moment to secure the pocket of exceptional crystals from which this came. Charlie sold his final collection to myself and Marshall Sussman recently, and this is one of the pieces Charlie kept back in handling the pocket at the time, for his own collection. It was a small collection of one superb small cabinet piece, when possible, from each pocket he handled in the last 20 years. Photo by Joe Budd. Comes with a custom lucite base.