- Cabinet, 13.7 x 11.8 x 6.7 cm
- Tonglushan Mine, Daye City, Hubei Province, China
Two thick, rounded stalactitic knobs of lustrous variegated green malachite, to 9 cm in length rise form a common mound of solid malachite matrix on this display-quality specimen. A major Chinese malachite! This is a good size, not too small and not too big, and has a really nice aesthetic balance to it, that looks more organic than mineral in form. These are from finds over many years at this mine, which is actually the oldest continually operating copper mine in the modern world and provided copper ore for the Chinee bronze age. 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. Comes with a custom lucite base for display.