Dioptase with Cerussite
Cabinet, 12.0 x 8.0 x 6.0 cm
Kimbedi, Mindouli District, Pool, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)
I was surprised at Tucson in early 2017 to see a new find of dioptase from a very old locality apparently known during the old French era, but not productive since. Not only was this a new source for dioptase, but the small pocket produced has crystals with a satiny luster, sharp form, and superb color that makes them rival the best of Tsumeb in quality! They are fairly translucent and have a shiny skin that is hard to describe and which sets them apart from Tsumeb crystals. These are just a little less dark, because light seems to penetrate the skin and bounce back from an inner layer, making them a slight bit more green than the Tsumeb pieces I compare them too. The crystals are large, and pristine on this specimen (2.2 cm as shown on the doubly-terminated floating in the closeup photo!) A small cerussite is in association. The matrix is unusual and definitively different from any Namibian dioptase host rock I have seen, with a greater heft, greater hardness, and almost quartz infused or metamorphosed in character. It is a strange thing, and a total surprise, to see Tsumeb quality crystals (or better!) from any other locality. I waited and waited, but no more has been forthcoming since this find, a single pocket of which I bought most contents. Notably this large display specimen has no repairs, no restores, and is cleanly and naturally trimmed to present as one of the finest dioptase specimens in its size class that I have yet seen on the market. Other than a very few Tsumeb specimens, and a very few Kaokoveld specimens, this is right up there with the finer large dioptases one could own today. In person, it is MUCH more three-dimensional, and the vibrant color shows at its best. Photo by Joe Budd. Comes with a custom lucite base.