Azurite on Malachite
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Small Cabinet, 5.2 x 5.1 x 3.6 cm
Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Santa Cruz Municipality, Sonora, Mexico

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The exquisite contrast of both vibrant color and sublime texture on this specimen is not only eye-catching but also mineralogically interesting! When the Milpillas Azurites came onto the market in 2011, collectors fell in love with the lustrous crystals that also displayed an almost chatoyant electric blue. Historically, most lustrous Azurites -especially the famous crystals from Tsumeb- appear almost black in a display case; however, Milpillas Azurite exhibits an electric blue radiance in both sunlight and with LED display lighting. This is due to the Azurite forming a layer of crystallization over Malachite after Azurite pseudomorphs! What makes this specimen truly fascinating is two different Milpillas style habits are juxtaposed: the ~3cm fibrous Malachite and the crown of ~2.7cm Azurite crystals provides a mind-bending example of visual geochemistry. There is some chatter around the edges and a small ding on the side that don't distract. Both fascinating and beautiful, this piece is hard to beat!