Willemite (fluorescent)
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Miniature, 4.1 x 2.9 x 2.0 cm
Ex. Kay Robertson
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Tsumeb is renowned for the Smithsonite varieties it produced over the years and when these came out in the late 1960s they were assumed to be another variety of sparkly smithsonite from the mine (as Kay's label from 1969 attests). This is today known to be, instead, a unique occurrence of Willemite from this mine! This fine miniature of tan WILLEMITE is glassy, translucent, and a mix of botryoidal form interspersed with more euhedral crystals, though the rounded form dominates. It was one pocket, now long ago, and rare on the market. Note there are a few small bruises or contacts at edges, but it is nevertheless a beautiful display piece - particularly when backlit as shown in the first image. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this miniature is that it fluoresces two different colors under either SW or LW. This specimen is both aesthetic and unusual.