Smithsonite (fluorescent)
Wenshan County, Yunnan Province, China
Cabinet, 10.8 x 7.2 x 5.2 cm
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The famous find of attractive, yellow Smithsonites (often generically referred to as 'Cadmian Smithsonite' because of the coloration) from Wenshan actually occurred around 2003-2005, and was hoarded until a few years ago. Now, the area is producing again - I suppose people went out looking for more after these older pieces came to market. This botryoidal knob (really, a stalactite!) of Smithsonite is quite appealing with its excellent, velvety luster and good translucence. Really, the luster is so good you could almost call is flashy, unusual for smithsonite. From the side, you can appreciate the layered growth pattern as it looks like two generations of growth, and the Smithsonite even has an intense, purplish-pink fluorescence that is a surprisingly common thread for these particular Smithsonites. This specimen is unique among at least 50 good specimens I brought in from China over the last few years. It was found covered with particularly thick "rust," a coating of iron oxide that took months to come off in the lab with gentle cleaning. Maybe that is why it has such good luster. It is unique in my experience, of dealing with the most specimens from this remarkable old hoard. I have sold most of the others, but due to the length of time this needed for cleaning, even though it is the most interesting of all perhaps, it remains. Comes with a custom lucite base for display. One last time, I will say the color is shocking in person, especially when backlit.