- Manganoan Smithsonite with Chalcocite inclusions
- Miniature, 5.0 x 3.0 x 2.7 cm
- Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia
Gorgeous, pastel pink crystals of Manganoan Smithsonite cover the display side of this attractive piece. This would already be an excellent example of this rare varietal, where the red color is due to manganese and not the more common cobalt inclusions - and Tsumeb produced the best manganoan smithsonites in the world as well. The totally gemmy Manganoan Smithsonites range in size from 0.5 to 1.2cm in maximum dimension and have some internal crazing that reflects incoming light and makes them "pop"! The more red tones of this Manganoan Smithsonite are distinct compared to the pastel pink hues of various styles of Cobaltoan Smithsonite from Tsumeb and are readily distinguishable after you have seen them in person, although also commonly mislabeled in old collections. Most manganoan smithsonite is thought to have come out in the mid-1980s, and it was originally sold as cobaltian smithsonite. One conspicuous crystal on this piece is incredibly gemmy and uniquely among all we have seen is host to a spray of gray-black, acicular crystals. These crystals were analyzed while this piece was in the collection of Rainer Jackle (himself a scientist and Tsumeb collector in South Africa) and the XRD analysis revealed that these needle-like inclusions are in fact Chalcocite. The original analysis comes with this piece.