Small Cabinet, 8.2 x 5.3 x 5.2 cm
Tonglushan Mine, Daye City, Hubei Province, China
Closely resembling rounded flower buds ready to burst into full bloom, this malachite specimen somehow looks alive and moving. It has good luster along with outstanding botryoidal form as well as a rich green color. What more could you want in a malachite specimen, but something DIFFERENT to our jaded eyes after all the years of African material and other old locales? It is a dramatic small cabinet piece. It leaps out at you. Interestingly, this is form the oldest copper mine of all! A somewhat dated but accessible museum currently sits over the site of the old mining entry tunnels, and features exhibits on the mining and refining technology and how these changed over 2500 years. Until I visited the museum myself and saw the working mine still going adjacent to the museum area, I had no idea that modern specimens came out of here. Asking around and making inquiries for the last several years resulted in some miners bringing out specimens to show me. With the quantity and low prices of so much African malachite flooding the Chinese market (it is used mostly for decor and wellness and until recently there was not a sense that native Chinese minerals might be more valuable on a species to species comparison of big malachites), there simply was not a good domestic "market pull" to bring these amazing malachites out of rural southern China and onto the mineral market in the larger cities that served as mineral dealing hubs for the last 20 years as the market developed (Changsha, Guilin, etc.), Thus, these amazing malachites from China itself were mostly destroyed even as African material was selling, and I am thrilled to have rescued as many as I have from that fate, some several dozen over the last few years! While most are damaged in mining and handling, there are the occasional treasures that have come our way, and we are happy to present them here. Few smaller sized specimens seem to have been saved, which is a tragedy. This is one that was saved because of its dramatic form and shape, and is the smallest sized specimen of quality I have purchased from this mine - small for Chinese collectors, but the absolutely most perfect size for most collectors I know in the USA and Europe! Comes with a custom lucite base for display.