Dioptase (huge crystal!)
Miniature, 4.3 x 2.6 x 2.3 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, but this was by far the largest of the entire lot and by luck it is pristine and complete all around! A small dusting of microcrystalline something sits atop some faces, but does not detract and in fact highlights the deep green - it is more visible inthe camera than to my eye. 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 crystal is among the world's largest examples of the species, PERIOD FROM ANYWHERE, and is a fine display miniature of competition level quality that is shocking in person. It is complete and terminated on both ends, and the display face. If turned over, it has a contacted back face and one contact on the back of one termination, but is complete - this is not damage. It sits naturally for display on its own. A photo simply does not convey the sheer size impact of this specimen.